Norah Jones Biography

Pianist, Singer(1979–)
Jazz singer, songwriter and musician Norah Jones won five Grammy Awards for her debut album, Come Away With Me, in 2003.

Synopsis

Norah Jones was born in New York City on March 30, 1979, to the Indian musician Ravi Shankar. Jones grew up in Texas and studied jazz piano at the University of North Texas. In 1999, she moved to New York City, where she performed in clubs and waited tables. She signed with Blue Note Records in 2001, and went on to win five Grammy awards for her debut album, Come Away With Me (2002). Her recent albums include her 2012 solo effort Little Broken Hearts and No Fools, No Fun (2014) as part of Puss N Boots.

Early Life

Born in New York City on March 30, 1979, Norah Jones grew up in Grapevine. She is the daughter of legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar. Her parents had a brief relationship before she was born, and Jones was raised by her mother alone. Jones later explained to the Independent that she and her father "only started our relationship when I was 18, even though I saw him when I was little."

After singing in church choirs and taking piano lessons, she attended Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. After winning Down Beat's Student Music Award for Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Original Composition, Jones majored in jazz piano at the University of North Texas where she sang with a jazz band called Laszlo.

Two years later, in the summer of 1999, she moved to New York's Greenwich Village after becoming inspired by local musicians to write her own songs. There, she waited on tables and sang jazz standards in local clubs, often appearing with the funk-fusion band Wax Poetic.

Career Breakthrough

After pulling together her own group, which included Jesse Harris (guitar), Lee Alexander (bass) and Dan Rieser (drums), Jones signed to Blue Note Records in early 2001. Produced by the illustrious Arif Mardin, her debut album, Come Away With Me, was released the following year. Jones won five Grammy Awards in 2003, including the top honors for best new artist, album of the year and song of the year for the hit "Don't Know Why."

Jones followed up her initial success with 2004's Feels Like Home, which reached the top of the Billboard album charts. The recording earned the acclaimed performer another Grammy for her work on the song "Sunrise." She picked up two more Grammys for her collaboration with legendary musical talent Ray Charles for their duet, "Here We Go Again."

On a winning streak, Jones returned to the top of the charts with 2007's Not Too Late. She also made her film debut around this time; she appeared in the drama My Blueberry Nights alongside Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman.

Recent Projects

In 2009, Jones released a very personal album, The Fall. The record drew much of its inspiration from her relationship and break-up with bassist Lee Alexander, a member of her band. Before the album came out, Jones spent some time in India with her father and his family there.

Known for working with other artists, Jones went on to contribute her vocal talents to a creative endeavor called Rome. The music for Rome was created by Danger Mouse (the stage name of musician and producer Brian Burton) and Daniele Luppi, an Italian composer. Jack White, formerly of the band the White Stripes, also participated in the project.

Jones then reunited with Burton for her next solo album, Little Broken Hearts (2012). Burton served as a producer and co-wrote several of the songs on the recording. The album's first single, "Happy Pills," fared well on the rock and adult contemporary charts.

Later in 2012, Jones suffered a great personal loss. Her father, Ravi Shankar, died on December 11, 2012, at the age of 92. Jones released a statement to the Wall Street Journal blog, "Speakeasy," at the time, saying "My Dad's music touched millions of people. He will be greatly missed by me and music lovers everywhere."

More recently, Jones has worked on a number of collaborative projects. She teamed with Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day for the 2013 album Foreverly, which featured the duo's takes on the songs of the legendary Everly Brothers. Jones joined with Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper to form the country trio Puss N Boots. The group released their first record, No Fools, No Fun, in 2014. 

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