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Norah Jones

Norah JonesAKA Geetali Norah Jones Shankar

Born: 30-Mar-1979
Birthplace: New York City

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: Multiracial
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Singer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Come Away With Me

Born in New York City to nurse (and former dancer) Sue Jones and sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, Norah Jones was raised exclusively by her mother in the U.S., receiving little contact with her father or the Indian half of her heritage. When she turned four Jones was relocated to a suburb of Dallas, where she developed an interest in music by way of her mother's Billie Holiday records and participation in the church choir. Piano lessons soon followed, as well as a brief affair with alto saxophone; by the time she had enrolled in Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, music had become the focus of her ambitions. On the day of her 16th birthday she made her debut performance at a Dallas coffeehouse, choosing Holiday's I'll Be Seeing You as the song with which to announce her entrance into the life of a public entertainer. Jones excelled in her studies, earning multiple performance and composition awards, and gaining entrance into the University of North Texas as a jazz piano major shortly after her high school graduation.

An opportunity to sublet a friend's apartment in Greenwich Village during the summer of 1999 brought the young performer's studies to an abrupt end: captivated by the thriving Manhattan music scene, Jones came to the decision that she wanted to immerse herself in it full-time. The next year was spent performing with the trip-hop band Wax Poetic, but eventually she put together a quartet of her own, and the final pieces to her music career were in place; with this band a collection of demo songs was recorded in mid-2000, and by the beginning of 2001 a contract with the jazz label Blue Note had been secured. Work on what would become her debut album proceded throughout 2001, during which time Jones made an appearance on guitarist Charlie Hunter's Songs from the Analog Playground (providing vocals for cover versions of Roxy Music's More Than This and Nick Drake's Day is Done), as well as working as a member of his live band.

With the release of Come Away With Me in early 2002, Jones' life was suddenly and dramtically changed. Critical and public response to the debut was enormous: the album became one of the year's biggest sellers, climbing to the top of both the jazz and mainstream charts and scoring eight Grammy awards (including those for Record Of The Year and Best New Artist). Following all the uproar, Jones made an attempt to continue her life as usual; not surprisingy, this attempt proved hopeless. Suddenly thrust into the international spotlight, every aspect of her life, from her housing circumstances to her relationship with her estranged father, became media fodder. The singer managed to keep from being overwhelmed by the avalanche of attention, however, and followed up Come Away in 2004 with her sophomore effort Feels Like Home.

Father: Ravi Shankar (musician)
Mother: Sue Jones (promoter, former dancer)
Sister: Anoushka Shankar (musician, half-sister)
Boyfriend: Lee Alexander (bassist)

    High School: Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas, TX
    University: University of North Texas (three years)

    Wax Poetic Vocalist/Pianist 1999
    Charlie Hunter Vocalist/Pianist 2001
    Norah Jones and the Handsome Band Vocalist/Pianist
    Norah Jones
    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
    John Kerry for President
    Grammy Record Of The Year (2002)
    Grammy Album Of The Year (2002)
    Grammy Best New Artist (2002)
    Grammy Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (2002)
    Grammy Best Pop Vocal Album (2002)
    Risk Factors: Smoking

    Echo in the Canyon (20-Sep-2018) · Herself
    They Came Together (24-Jan-2014) · Herself
    Ted (29-Jun-2012) · Herself
    The Zen of Bennett (18-Apr-2012) · Herself
    My Blueberry Nights (16-May-2007) · Elizabeth
    Two Weeks Notice (18-Dec-2002) · Herself

Official Website:

Appears in articles:
Time, 9-Feb-2004, DETAILS: Come Away Again -- A year after her Grammy-grabbing debut, Norah Jones returns with a noisier CD, a new nickname and a game plan-- to keep it saner this time (p.64, two pages plus one page photo), BYLINE: Josh Tyrangiel

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