India.Arie

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India.Arie

India.Arie at the Singapore Winehouse Festival in 2011
Background information
Birth nameIndia Arie Simpson
Born(1975-10-03) October 3, 1975 (age 37)
Denver, Colorado
United States
OriginAtlanta, Georgia
GenresSoul, R&B, neo soul, folk
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, flute, keyboard
Years active2000–present
LabelsMotown (1999–2007)
SoulBird, Universal Republic (2007–present)
Websitewww.indiaarie.com www.soulbird.com
 
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India.Arie

India.Arie at the Singapore Winehouse Festival in 2011
Background information
Birth nameIndia Arie Simpson
Born(1975-10-03) October 3, 1975 (age 37)
Denver, Colorado
United States
OriginAtlanta, Georgia
GenresSoul, R&B, neo soul, folk
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, flute, keyboard
Years active2000–present
LabelsMotown (1999–2007)
SoulBird, Universal Republic (2007–present)
Websitewww.indiaarie.com www.soulbird.com

India.Arie (born India Arie Simpson; October 3, 1975) is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and record producer.[1] She has sold over 3.3 million records in the US and 10 million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards from her 21 nominations, including Best R&B Album.

Contents

Background

Simpson was born in Denver, Colorado. Her musical skills were encouraged by both parents early in life. Her mother Joyce is a former singer (she was signed to Motown as a teenager and opened for Stevie Wonder and Al Green)[2] and is now her stylist. Her father is former NBA basketball player Ralph Simpson. She has an older brother named J'On.[3] According to a DNA analysis, she descends from the Mende people of Sierra Leone, the Kru people of Liberia and the Fula people of Guinea-Bissau.[4][5]

After her parents divorced, Simpson's mother moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia when she was thirteen.[3] Simpson had taken up a succession of musical instruments throughout her schooling in Denver, but her interest in the guitar while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, led to a personal revelation about songwriting and performing. "When I started tapping into my own sensitivity, I started to understand people better. It was a direct result of writing songs", she said at the press release of her debut album, Acoustic Soul.

Co-founding the Atlanta-based independent music collective Groovement EarthShare (Groovement was the collective artists' name and EarthShare was their independent label name), her one-song turn on a locally-released compilation led to a second-stage gig at the 1998 Lilith Fair. In 1999, a Universal/Motown music scout spotted her and made an introduction to former Motown CEO Kedar Massenberg. Arie resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Musical career

Acoustic Soul was released on March 27, 2001 and debuted at number ten on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Within months, without the concentrated radio airplay that typically powers pop and rap albums, Acoustic Soul was certified double platinum, selling 2,180,000 copies in the U.S. and 3,000,000 copies worldwide. Arie performed a duet with rock singer-guitarist John Mellencamp on the song "Peaceful World" for his 2001 album Cuttin' Heads. While Arie and the album were nominated for seven Grammy awards in 2002, they won no awards, losing in five of seven categories to Alicia Keys. She closed the ceremony with a performance of her song "Video". Arie performed a duet with jazz singer Cassandra Wilson on the song "Just Another Parade" for her 2002 album Belly of the Sun.

Arie followed the success of her debut on September 24, 2002 with the release of Voyage to India. It debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and number one on the R&B chart. In 2003 it won her two Grammy Awards in 2003—"Best R&B Album" and Best Urban/Alternative Performance" for the song "Little Things". Soon after its release, Voyage to India was certified platinum selling 1,400,000 copies[citation needed]in the U.S. and 2,300,000 worldwide[citation needed].

On September 12, 2005, Arie performed "Just 4 2day", a song written for her appearance on the debut of The Tyra Banks Show.[6] She also performed "What About the Child", a song that did not air but was made available as a one-dollar Internet download to support child victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.[7] Arie is also featured on Stevie Wonder's album A Time to Love, released on October 18, 2005. Arie and Wonder duet on the title track "A Time to Love", written by Arie, which was nominated for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals" at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Three years earlier, their rendition of Mel Tormé's 1944 classic "The Christmas Song", recorded for the holiday TV commercial for retailer Target, had been nominated for the same category, making it the first song created and financed exclusively for a commercial to be nominated for a Grammy Award.[8]

India.Arie performing in Lokeren Belgium, August 3, 2004

Arie's third studio album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, was released on June 27, 2006. It gave Arie her first number-one spot on the Billboard 200 and was her second chart-topper on the R&B charts. This album was also the first number-one album for Motown in twelve years[citation needed]. Its first-week sales of 161,000 copies are Arie's best sales week to date and was certified gold in August 2006, selling 730,000 in US and 1,300,000 worldwide. "I Am Not My Hair" was the most successful release from Testimony: Vol. 1., reaching the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at #97 and the UK Singles Chart at #65. Arie collaborated with Akon for her song "I Am Not My Hair". On the April 16, 2007 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show entitled "After Imus: Now What?", Arie guest-starred as a panelist. Arie performed a duet with singer Anthony David for his song "Words" for his 2008 album Acey Duecy.

Her next album, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics was released on Tuesday, February 10, 2009. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and No. 2 on the R&B chart. Within this CD, Arie collaborated with such artists as Sezen Aksu, Keb Mo, Gramps Morgan and Musiq Soulchild to fulfill her self-proclaimed desire to "do projects with people who are making music that is meaningful, with a lot of integrity and a lot of sonic diversity". Arie also identified this CD as her first to write and sing songs without worrying about public opinion after a much-needed vacation to Hawaii. The album was her first produced and released after her departure from Motown to Universal Records.[9] Arie performed "Video" with British singer Adele at the 2009 VH1 Divas. Arie is one of over 70 artists singing on "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti", a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Arie contributed vocals to "Imagine" for the 2010 Herbie Hancock album, The Imagine Project along with Seal, P!nk, Jeff Beck, Konono N°1, Oumou Sangare and others.[10]

Arie at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2010.

In August 2012, Arie was featured in Yoga Journal, claiming that yoga gave her voice back. India.Arie's new album, a work produced in collaboration with Israeli singer Idan Raichel is due to be released in late 2012.[11]

In September 2012, she will be featured in a campaign called "30 Songs/30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book.[12]

Discography

Studio albums

Awards

India.Arie on the red carpet VH1 Divas 2009.

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Arie has won four awards from twenty-one nominations, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. In 2002, She got record Most Nominations in One Night without winning with received seven nominations.

YearNominated workAwardResult
2002India.ArieBest New ArtistNominated
Acoustic SoulAlbum of the YearNominated
Best R&B AlbumNominated
"Video"Record of the YearNominated
Song of the YearNominated
Best Female R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
Best R&B SongNominated
2003"The Christmas Song"Best Pop Collaboration with VocalsNominated
"Little Things"Best Urban/Alternative PerformanceWon
Voyage to IndiaBest R&B AlbumWon
2006"A Time To Love"Best Pop Collaboration with VocalsNominated
2007"I Am Not My Hair"Best Female R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
Best R&B SongNominated
Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & RelationshipsBest R&B AlbumNominated
2008"Beautiful Flower"Best R&B SongNominated
2009"Words"Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or GroupNominated
2010"Chocolate High"Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or GroupNominated
Testimony Vol. 2, Love & PoliticsBest R&B AlbumNominated
"Pearls"Best Urban/Alternative PerformanceWon
2011"Imagine"Best Pop Collaboration with VocalsWon
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)Nominated
BET Awards
2002 - Best Female R&B Artist (Won)
2003 - Best Female R&B Artist (Won)
MTV Video Music Award
2001 - MTV2 Award for "Video" (Nominated)
Soul Train Music Award
2003 - Female R&B/Soul Single for "Little Things" (Nominated)

Tours

Headlining
Opening act

Filmography

List of television and film credits
YearTitleRoleNotes
2003American DreamsNina Simone"Act of Contrition" (Season 1, Episode 16)
2003The Bernie Mac ShowHerself"Raging Election" (Season 2, Episode 13)
2006One on OneHerself"I Love L.A.: Part 1" (Season 5, Episode 21)
2009Pastor BrownLateefahDebut film

Theater

In 2009, India.Arie portrayed Nina Simone in a staged reading at the Roundabout Theatre Company of the upcoming Broadway musical "Soul Doctor", about the life of Shlomo Carlebach written by Daniel Wise.

References

  1. ^ "On A Spiritual And Emotional Journey - India.Arie And Her Music". EF News International. http://www.efi-news.com/2011/10/on-spiritual-and-emotional-journey.html. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
  2. ^ "The soul of a songwriter: India.Arie talks about reading, writing and stoking her creative fires". Black Issues Book Review. September–October 2004. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0HST/is_5_6/ai_n6192628. Retrieved 2007-05-05.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b "India.Arie MTV biography". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/arie_india/artist.jhtml#bio. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  4. ^ "India.Arie Ancestry Reveal". YouTube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-E1h1y7A_o. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  5. ^ "Growing Interest in DNA-Based Genetic Testing Among African American with Historic Election of President Elect Barack Obama". Prweb.com. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/11/prweb1673564.htm. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  6. ^ "Telepictures Productions". Tyrashow.warnerbros.com. http://tyrashow.warnerbros.com/show_recaps/show_recap_mon1.html. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  7. ^ "Tyra Banks & India.Arie". iAmplify. December 8, 2005. http://www.iamplify.com/tyra_banks_release.php. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
  8. ^ "Brian McKnight, Marc Anthony & More On Stevie Wonder Tribute Collection". Spotlight on R&B. February 9, 2003. http://www.xs4all.nl/~mroyen/News/2003/news_february_9_2003.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
  9. ^ Lewis, Pete. "India.Arie: Sweet, Sweet Soul Music." Bluesandsoul.com. Issue 1024. 3 November 2009
  10. ^ "The Imagine Project". All About Jazz. 2010-06-21. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=36827. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  11. ^ "India.Arie (indiaarie) on Twitter". 2012-02-05. https://twitter.com/#!/indiaarie/. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
  12. ^ "30 Songs / 30 Days for Half the Sky | Half The Sky". Halftheskymovement.org. 2012-08-30. http://www.halftheskymovement.org/blog/entry/30-songs-30-days-for-half-the-sky1. Retrieved 2013-02-21.

External links