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Norah Jones


Birth name:

Geethali Norah Jones Shankar




New York City, New York, USA



Race or Ethnicity:


Sexual orientation:



Singer-songwriter, musician, actress


Jazz, blues, pop, soul, folk, country


United States

Executive summary:

Come Away With Me


5' 1" (1.55 m)

Norah Jones



Norah Jones - Pictures

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Additional Free Pictures of Norah Jones


Norah Jones - Biography


Norah Jones (born March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, keyboardist, guitarist, and actress. She is the daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar, and the half-sister of Anoushka Shankar. Her career began with her 2002 debut album Come Away with Me, an adult contemporary vocal jazz album with a soul/folk/country tinge, that received five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist. This was followed by her second album, Feels like Home, released in 2004. In 2007, she released her third album, Not Too Late. Jones released her fourth album, The Fall, on November 17, 2009. She has sold more than 17 million albums in the US and over 40 million records worldwide; altogether, she has sold more albums than any other female jazz artist during the 2000s. On December 11th 2009, Jones was named Billboard's 60th-highest artist of the decade based on charting of her songs.

Jones was born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar in Brooklyn, New York on March 30, 1979 to Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and concert producer Sue Jones. She spent her childhood with her mother, who moved to the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, Texas, when Jones was four. She attended Colleyville Middle School, followed by a short period at Grapevine High School before transferring to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. Her only formal vocal training was her stint in the choir at Colleyville and Booker T. Washington. While at Colleyville, she also participated in band and played the alto saxophone. At the age of sixteen, with the blessings of her parents, she officially changed her name to "Norah Jones."
Jones always had an affinity for the music of Bill Evans and Billie Holiday, among other 'oldies.' She once said, "My mom had this eight-album Billie Holiday set; I picked out one disc that I liked and played that over and over again." She considers Willie Nelson her mentor. She began singing in church choirs and took piano lessons as a child. She still attends church. She considers herself spiritual and appreciates the ritual of church but does not consider herself the religious type. She attended Interlochen Center for the Arts during the summers. While at high school, she won the DownBeat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist (twice, in 1996 and 1997) and Best Original Composition (1996).
Jones went to the University of North Texas, where she majored in jazz piano. It was during this time she had a chance meeting with future collaborator Jesse Harris, which would later catapult her to fame. She was to pick up a band playing at the university that also happened to be friends of Jesse Harris. Jesse Harris was making a stop on a cross-country road-trip with his friend, and future Little Willies member, Richard Julian, to see the same band play. After meeting, Harris was soon sending her lead sheets of his songs. In 1999, she left for New York City. Less than a year later she started a band with Harris.

Norah Jones signed a deal with Blue Note Records, a EMI Group owned label. In January 2001, prior to the release of her first album on Hollywood, she released a five-song EP, This Is My Time Advance EP to promote the album. Jones was a lounge singer before becoming a recording artist. She played with artists and bands including Wax Poetic and the Peter Malick Group. She performed frequently with guitarist Charlie Hunter in 2001.
Jones' debut album, Come Away with Me, was released in February 2002 and was instantly celebrated for its blending of mellow, acoustic pop with soul and jazz. 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 and #30 in the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. It won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. She made a cameo appearance in the 2002 movie Two Weeks Notice playing the piano and singing "The Nearness of You" at the fundraiser.
The album received platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America on August 22, 2002, and went on to become a diamond album on February 15, 2005.

Jones released her second album, Feels Like Home, on February 9, 2004. Rather than repeat the softer, jazz mood of Come Away with Me, her second album was influenced by country music. Within a week of its release, Feels Like Home had sold over a million copies, making it the highest-selling album in the history of Blue Note Records. Jones toured globally again, to promote the album with the Handsome Band, and the addition of backing singer Daru Oda. Time magazine included Jones on the Time 100, a list of the most influential people of 2004. The album débuted at number one in at least 16 countries around the world.

Jones' third album, Not Too Late, was released by Blue Note Records on January 30, 2007. The album is her first for which she wrote or co-wrote every song, and according to her, some of them are much darker than those on her previous albums. Not Too Late was mostly recorded at Jones's home studio and is the first album Jones recorded without producer Arif Mardin, who died in the summer of 2006. Jones described the sessions as "fun, relaxed and easy" and without a deadline; executives at Blue Note Records reportedly did not know they were recording an album. The song "My Dear Country" is political commentary; she wrote it before the United States Presidential election day in 2004.
Not Too Late reached the #1 position in twenty countries. It is the third best first week album sales of 2007 after Avril Lavigne's third album The Best Damn Thing and Linkin Park's third album Minutes to Midnight. The album became the 800th album to reach the top spot on the UK chart. It also reached #1 in the U.S. with 405,000 copies sold. According to a press release from EMI, Not Too Late is certified gold or platinum in 21 countries as of February 2007. The album has sold 5 million copies worldwide.

Jones announced in August 2009 that she would release a new album, The Fall, on November 17. According to Billboard.com, the album is a departure from past offerings, as she will forgoes her signature jazz sound and embarks on more contemporary rock. She will collaborate with Ryan Adams, Will Sheff of Okkervil River, the keyboardist James Poyser, bassist Frank Swart, guitarists Marc Ribot and Smokey Hormel.
On September 9, 2009, Jones performed live at the Apple "It's Only Rock and Roll" iPod event in San Francisco, California, to promote her new album.
The first single from The Fall, "Chasing Pirates", was released on October 13, 2009 through iTunes.
On January 13, 2010 Norah Jones released the "Chasing Pirates(Remix) - EP" through iTunes. The EP contains the original and two remixes of "Chasing Pirates", as well as, a new original song and it's remix, "That's What I Said".

Jones was in a long term relationship with her bass player Lee Alexander from 2000 until they split during Christmas of 2007.

Jones made a cameo appearance in the 2002 movie Two Weeks Notice, just as her career was beginning to expand. The film shows her briefly at the piano, singing for a charity benefit.
In the latter part of 2003, rumors emerged that veteran Indian filmmaker Dev Anand was planning to make the film Song of Life, inspired by Jones's troubled relationship with her father, Ravi Shankar. Both Jones and Shankar were enraged by the rumors. Jones commented, "Anand has no idea of our story, and he's not going to represent it in a truthful way, I'm sure. It's sad because it's personal stuff and nobody's business but ours."
Jones appeared on the Ryan Adams & The Cardinals album, Jacksonville City Nights on the track, "Dear John".
Jones additionally formed the Little Willies in 2003 alongside Richard Julian on vocals, Jim Campilongo on guitar, Lee Alexander on bass, and Dan Rieser on drums. The self-titled album contains mostly covers material and is primarily influenced by classic country music artists.
Jones appeared on the OutKast album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below on the track "Take Off Your Cool". This album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
In a change of direction predating The Fall, Jones (virtually anonymous in a blond wig) played guitar on the self titled El Madmo released on May 20 2007 as "Maddie".
Jones has also worked with Mike Patton providing vocals on the track Sucker on the Peeping Tom project.
Jones appeared in the 2004 special Sesame Street Presents: The Street We Live On.
Jones appeared on Ray Charles' final album, Genius Loves Company, on the track "Here We Go Again". This song later won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and the album won Album of the Year.
In February 2006, Screen International reported that Jones would make her acting debut as the protagonist of a film directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film, My Blueberry Nights, was the opening film for the 2007 Cannes Film Festival as one of the 22 films in competition. She wrote a song for the movie. In January 2007, Jones recorded a live session at Abbey Road Studios for Live from Abbey Road. The episode, on which John Mayer and Richard Ashcroft also appeared, was aired in the United Kingdom on Channel 4 in March 2007 and in the USA on the Sundance Channel in June 2007. She appeared twice on the PBS series Austin City Limits, on November 2, 2002 and October 6, 2007. The latter appearance was the season opener.
Jones appears in Herbie Hancocks' River: The Joni Letters singing the first track titled "Court and Spark". This album also won Album of the Year.
Jones appeared in the comedy track Dreamgirl in the debut album from The Lonely Island, Incredibad (featuring SNL performer Andy Samberg). The first half of the song pays homage to a certain fictional female, but the second half goes on tangent, paying yet another homage to Chex Mix.
In 2009, Jones made a cameo appearance in the independent film, Wah Do Dem, co-starring Sean Bones and written by Ben Chace and Sam Fleischner.
Jones was a judge for the 5th annual Independent Music Awards, supporting independent artists' careers.
In 2007 Norah Jones appears on Foo Fighters "In Your Honor" album with piano and vocals on the song "Virginia Moon"

Jones is one of the participants in the so-called Hank Williams Project being overseen by Bob Dylan, and reportedly including contributions from Willie Nelson, Jack White, Lucinda Williams, and Alan Jackson. On March 31, 2008, Jones commemorated the 10th anniversary of The Living Room with a midnight performance at the intimate Manhattan music venue where the singer got her start. She played a new song titled "How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart" and explained that it originated from newly-found Hank Williams lyrics she was asked to put to music. Jones also performed the song in late 2008 on Elvis Costello's talk/music television series, Spectacle: Elvis Costello with...

Throughout 2002 and 2003, Jones appeared on stages globally, for her first tour with the Handsome Band, travelling throughout Asia, America, Europe and Oceania. The tour was received with numerous sell-out concerts and positive critical acclaim. Jones began a United States concert tour to promote her third album, Not Too Late, on April 13, 2007, ending with a free concert in New York City on July 6, 2007. Pre-sales of tickets to the shows were available to her fan club members, and many sold out well before the performance date. She began her European tour on July 9, 2007 in Paris, and concluded with a concert in Reykjavík, Iceland on September 2, 2007. While playing with the Handsome Band, Jones & co. are known to play several known hits from her albums, modified for stage performance with guitar solos and additional percussion. Additionally, shows may also feature several covers of country, jazz, blues, or folk songs, ranging from the ubiquitous to the obscure. Artists covered have included, among others, Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Randy Newman, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, and Tom Waits.
Jones worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organization, for her 2007 summer tour. She also performed at Bryant Park on July 6 as part of Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series.

- 2002/2004: Come Away with Me Tour
- 2004/2005: Norah Jones & The Handsome Band Tour
- 2007/2008: Not Too Late Tour
- 2007/2008: The Fall Tour

- On September 9, 2009, Jones performed the songs Come Away with Me and Young Blood at the end of the Apple It's Only Rock and Roll press - conference in San Francisco, for the release of iTunes 9 and video camera-equipped iPods, among other items.
- She appeared on Sesame Street performing alongside Elmo to the song I Don't Know Why.
- On May 14, 2009, Jones made a guest appearance and performed with many other music icons on the NBC series30 Rock.
- On November 18, 2009, Jones played Young Blood from The Fall on the Colbert Report.
- On December 15, 2009, Jones played Chasing Pirates on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.


Norah Jones - Personal Quotes


I don't always know where to put my hands; sometimes it is endearing, sometimes not.

[asked by Katie Couric how she felt after sweeping the 2003 Grammy Awards] I felt like I went to somebody else's birthday party and I ate all their cake without anybody else getting a piece.

[on the effects her success has had on her life] I just do the same stuff I always did. I have a bigger apartment--that's the main change.

I'm not melancholy; I'm a happy-go-lucky person, kind of silly. I like funny things. I have a lot of energy. I tend to like music that's mellow, though.

Without a piano I don't know how to stand, don't know what to do with my hands.

That's been the coolest thing about all this - I get to meet people that I worship!

I don't try to sound like anyone but me anymore. If something is out of my element, I try to avoid it.

[on her role in My Blueberry Nights (2007)] I was asked by [director] Kar Wai Wong to be in his new film. It didn't seem like I would be the most obvious person for him to ask, but for some reason he did, and for some reason I dove in head first before I knew anything about the project. I watched several of his films and thought they were beautiful, so I just trusted him.

Recently I've started to drive again. Living in New York City you don't really need a car, and I had let my license lapse. I've really found it liberating to drive again. I don't think it is good for me to drive too much in New York City, though, because I am prone to road rage. Plus I drive like a granny and everyone in New York drives with impatience.

With the first record I was very overwhelmed - a scared little chicken - because I felt like people were staring at me and I didn't have any clothes on or something. Now, people aren't really staring at me, so I'm able to be more comfortable with myself.

[on being approached by director Kar Wai Wong to star in My Blueberry Nights (2007)] I thought maybe he wanted some music for a movie, and he asked if I wanted to be in a movie. And I said, "Well, I don't know if I can act -- have you seen my music videos?" I'm pretty uncomfortable in front of the camera, and he said, "No, you're natural, I like that".


Norah Jones - Discography


Come Away with Me (2002)
Feels like Home (2004)
Not Too Late (2007)
The Fall (2009)


Norah Jones - Filmography


Wah Do Dem (2009) .... Willow
My Blueberry Nights (2007) .... Elizabeth


Norah Jones  - Related Links

Wikipedia: Norah Jones
YouTube: Norah Jones





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