Norah Jones

  • Singer, songwriter and pianist born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar in 1979 in New York City.
  • Her parents are musician Ravi Shankar and concert promoter Sue Jones. They separated when Norah was 6 years old, and she moved with her mother to the Dallas suburbs. She legally changed her name to Norah Jones when she was 16.
  • Her mother liked old jazz music, and Norah listened to her mother’s records, particularly Billie Holiday music. She sang at church, took piano and voice lessons, and went to a high school for the performing arts in Dallas. She also spent summers at an Art Center in Michigan. While in high school, she won 3 Student Music Awards from Down Beat, a jazz and blues magazine – 2 for Best Jazz Vocalist, and 1 for Best Original Composition. In college, she majored in Jazz Piano, and sang in a jazz choir. In 1999, she left for New York City to start a career in music.
  • She started as a lounge singer in the city. One day in 2000, blues guitarist and producer Peter Malick entered a night club where Jones was singing a Dinah Washington song, Since I Fell For You. Malick was smitten, and he asked Jones to collaborate with him on an album that he was working on – 3 original compositions, plus a couple of covers. In 2003, the album was released – titled New York City by the Peter Malick Group featuring Norah Jones.
  • While performing with the JC Hopkins Biggish Band, she got her break. The wife of JC Hopkins worked at EMI Publishing, and she gave executives at the label a demo tape that Jones had made. This led to her signing a contract in 2000. She was paired with a staff producer who had experience with jazz and blues music, and 9 songs were recorded. Six appeared on a sampler EP titled First Sessions, released in 2001. Around 10,000 copies were made, which were sold at concerts and on Jones’ website. One song was written by Jones – Come Away With Me.
  • Her debut studio album, Come Away With Me, was released in 2002. Most of the songs from the sampler EP ended up on the album. It was a huge success – #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, worldwide sales of over 27 million copies, certified Diamond in the U.S., and 5 Grammy Awards (including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Album of the Year). Her cover of Jesse Harris’ Don’t Know Why won Harris a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. It reached #30 on the Hot 100 chart (very high for a jazz song) and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • Her second album, Feels Like Home, was released in 2004. Another huge success, it was certified 4x platinum. Its lead single, Sunrise, won a Grammy award, and reached #26 on the Adult Contemporary chart (and #1 on Japan’s Hot 100 music chart). That same year, she recorded a duet with Ray Charles – Here We Go Again, which Charles originally released and charted at #15 in 1967. The duet was included in Charles’ last album, released after he died. It earned 2 Grammy awards, including Record of the Year in 2005.
  • In 2007, Jones released Not Too Late, her third album. Another #1 album and certified double platinum, all of the songs were written or co-written by Jones. By January 2007, it was the most pre-ordered album of all time on The single Thinking About You cracked the Hot 100 at #82, and was her second #1 in Japan.
  • Her final album of the 00s, The Fall, was released in 2009. It was certified platinum in sales, and reached #3 on the album chart. Given her run of success in the decade, Jones was named the top jazz artist of the decade by Billboard, and was ranked #60 of all artists for the decade. The single Chasing Pirates peaked at #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • Two more studio albums were released – Little Broken Hearts in 2012 and Day Breaks in 2016. In addition, a compilation album was released in 2010 – …Featuring Norah Jones contains 20 songs previously released by various artists where Jones is the featured vocalist. All types of genres are included – artists include Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Wayclef Jean, Outkast, and The Foo Fighters. In 2018, she released 4 new singles, which will likely be included in an upcoming album.
  • Norah Jones brings old school jazz and blues music into the new millenium. Her sultry but soothing vocals just sound great. Watch her video for her signature song, Don’t Know Why.

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