Norah Jones (born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar; March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. She is a daughter of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is Anoushka Shankar’s half-sister.
In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away with Me, a fusion of country music and pop with elements of jazz which was certified diamond album, selling over 26 million copies. The record earned Jones five Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. Her subsequent studio albums Feels Like Home, released in 2004; Not Too Late, released in 2007, the same year she made her film debut in My Blueberry Nights; and 2009’s The Fall all gained Platinum status, selling over a million copies each and were generally well received by critics. Jones’ fifth studio album, Little Broken Hearts, was released on April 27, 2012.
Jones has won nine Grammy Awards and was 60th on Billboard magazine’s artists of the 2000-2009 decade chart. Throughout her career, Jones has won numerous awards and has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000-2009 decade.
After her parents’ separation in 1986, Jones spent her childhood with her mother in Grapevine, Texas. She attended Colleyville Middle School and Grapevine High School before transferring to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. While in high school, Jones sang in the school choir, participated in band and played the alto saxophone. At the age of sixteen, with her parents’ consent, she officially changed her name to Norah Jones.
Jones began singing in church and also took piano and voice lessons as a child. She still attends church. She considers herself spiritual and appreciates the rituals of her church but does not consider herself deeply religious.
She attended Interlochen Center for the Arts during the summers. While at high school, she won the DownBeat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist (twice, in 1996 and 1997) and Best Original Composition (1996).
Jones attended the University of North Texas (UNT), where she majored in jazz piano and sang with the UNT Jazz Singers. During this time, she had a chance meeting with future collaborator Jesse Harris. She gave a ride to a band playing at the university whose members happened to be friends of Harris. He was on a cross-country road-trip with friend and future Little Willies member, Richard Julian, and stopped to see the band play. After meeting Jones, Harris started sending her lead sheets of his songs. In 1999, she left for New York City. Less than a year later, she founded a band with Harris which would prove to be the starting gun to her career.
With a successful solo career in full swing, Jones formed The Little Willies in 2003 alongside Richard Julian on vocals, Jim Campilongo on guitar, Lee Alexander on bass, and Dan Rieser on drums. The alternative country band released its eponymous first album in 2006 and For the Good Times in 2012.
In 2008 Jones formed another alternative country band with fellow friends and Brooklynites, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper. Their debut full-length album, No Fools, No Fun, was released on July 15, 2014, by Blue Note Records.
Jones’ solo albums include Come Away with Me (2002), Stay With Me (2003), Feels Like Home (2004), NotToo Late (2007), The Fall (2009), Little Broken Hearts (2012), and Foreverly with Billie Joe Armstrong (2013).
As of 2015, Norah Jones remains well-grounded in spite of her extraordinary success, and her humble, down-to-earth nature, combined with her brilliant musicianship continue to endear her to millions of fans around the world.
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