India Arie, Singer   Leave a comment

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 U.S. and 10 million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards from her 21 nominations, including Best R&B Album.



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. She has an older brother named J’On. 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 currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Musical career

Acoustic Soul (2001)

Main article: Acoustic Soul

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. 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“.

Voyage to India (2002)

Main article: Voyage to India

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].

India.Arie performing in Lokeren Belgium August 3, 2004

 Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship (2006)

Main article: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship

Arie at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2010.

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 chart. 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.

Her cover of Don Henley‘s “The Heart of the Matter” from Testimony: Vol. 1 was used in 2008 as a feature in the trailers to the film Sex and the City: The Movie.

 Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics (2009)

Main article: Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics

Her highly anticipated 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, in the cited interview, also identified this CD as the first of her collection to come directly from her own point of view, without feeling any necessity to fulfill fan or media needs. Arie was able to achieve this newfound ability to write and sing songs without worrying about public opinion after a much-needed vacation to Hawaii. This CD was Arie’s first CD produced after her change from Motown to Universal Records.[4]

 Open Door

India.Arie’s new album, a work produced in collaboration with Israeli singer Idan Raichel is due to be released in summer, 2012.[5]

[edit] Collaborations

Arie in 2007.

  • Arie performed the vocals for “It Might Be You” on Dave Koz‘s 2007 album At the Movies.
  • 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. She stated that she was not completely crazy about the duet partner, but the label suggested that it would make the album more commercial. Versions without Akon on the song were made available.
  • Arie performed the song “She Is” for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, inspired by the PBS Independent Lens documentary Iron Ladies of Liberia.
  • Arie performed “Self-Fulfilling” in duet with Beate S. Lech of Beady Belle on the band’s 2008 album Belvedere.
  • Arie performed “Video” with British singer Adele at the 2009 VH1 Divas
  • Arie performed a duet with Marc Cohn on the song “Make It With You” for his 2010 album Listening Booth: 1970.
  • Arie collaborated with Idan Raichel to create a series of different songs including a performance at the Noble Peace Prize

Posted February 18, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Singer

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