. American singer-songwriter and occasional actress, Norah Jones was born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar on March 30, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York to Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. Spending her childhood with her mother, Norah Jones was strongly influenced by her likes in music especially Bill Evans, Billie Holiday and Willie Nelson. Jones began singing in church choirs, taking piano lessons, and even trying out the alto saxophone. Norah Jones officially changed her name at 16.
Before becoming a recording artist, Norah Jones was a lounge singer and played with numerous artists and bands including Wax Poetic and the Peter Malick Group. In 2001, Norah Jones performed quite frequently with guitarist Charlie Hunter. Norah Jones massively successful debut contemporary pop album ‘Come Away with Me’ came in February 2002 and sold over twenty million copies worldwide. It hit number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, with the single ‘Don’t Know Why’ hitting number one on the Top 40 Adult Recurrents in 2003. The sensual, plaintive soul/folk/country tinged album received six Grammy Awards with Jones winning ‘Best New Artist’ and the album winning ‘Album of the Year’. ‘Don’t Know Why’ was also performed on Sesame Street, as ‘Don’t know why Y didn’t come’, and thereby introducing the letter Y to the young audience.
Norah Jones also made a cameo appearance in the 2002 movie ‘Two Weeks Notice’ playing the piano and singing ‘Nearness of You’ at the fundraiser. In 2003 Norah Jones appeared on Outkast’s Speakerbox. The Love Below album in a duet with André 3000. Although Jones’ sultry-yet-powerful vocal style is appreciated by all, her abilities as a jazz pianist have likewise been celebrated. Norah Jones appeared as a guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR on January 19, 2003 and performed jazz standards including ‘September in the Rain’ and ‘I Can’t Get Started’. Later, she again appeared with McPartland at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival and performed ‘Lover Man’ and ‘Walking My Baby Back Home’. Jones performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in both 2004 and 2005.
‘Feels like Home’ is Norah Jones second album that had more than a million sales in the first week of its U.S. release on February 9, 2004. It was all country music and Jones did a global tour for promotion with Handsome Band and backing singer Daru Oda. She was now included on the Time 100, Time magazine’s most influential people of 2004. Three Grammy Awards went to Norah Jones in 2005, including ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals’ for her collaboration with Ray Charles on the song ‘Here We Go Again’. ‘Sunrise’ won her the ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’. Later, Norah Jones appeared on the self-titled record by Amos Lee.
Norah Jones concert collaborated with Foo Fighters on their 2005 record ‘In Your Honor’, singing vocals with Dave Grohl on ‘Virginia Moon’ which was later nominated for ‘Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal’ in 2006.
Released by Blue Note Records, her third album, ‘Not Too Late’ came out on January 30, 2007 and became the 800th album to reach the top spot on the UK chart. It has sold more than 2.2 million copies worldwide. Jones wrote or co-wrote every song, and some of them are much darker than those on her previous albums. The song ‘My Dear Country’ is a political satire; she wrote it before the United States Presidential Election Day in 2004. ‘Thinking About You’, became Jones’s first single to chart on the U.S. Hot 100 since ‘Don’t Know Why’.
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