Joan Armatrading |  Artist

Joan Armatrading | Artist

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Joan Armatrading, CBE is a Caribbean-English singer-songwriter and guitarist born 1950 in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Armatrading has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996. When Joan was three her family moved to Birmingham but sent Joan to live with her grandmother in Antigua, where she lived for four years before reuniting with her family in the UK. At the age of 14 Armatrading began writing songs on piano, before her mother bought her a £3 guitar from a pawn shop. She left school at the age of 15 and worked as a typist to help support her family. She first performed in public at Birmingham University for her brother at the age of about 16. In 1968 Armatrading joined a touring production of the stage musical Hair, where she met the lyricist Pam Nestor. The two worked together on Armatrading's debut album Whatever's For Us, released 1972 by Cube Records. On 28 November 1972 Armatrading appeared on the BBC Radio 1 John Peel Show performing "Head of the Table", "Spend A Little Time", "Child Star" and "Whatever's For Us". Armatrading's commercial breakthrough came when she signed with A&M Records. Her second album, 1975's Back to the Night, was produced by Pete Gage and promoted on tour with six-piece English jazz-pop group The Movies. A major publicity launch in 1976 and the involvement of producer Glyn Johns propelled her next album, Joan Armatrading into the Top 20 and spawned the hit single "Love and Affection". The album mixed acoustic work with jazz-influenced material, and set the template for follow-up albums Show Some Emotion and To The Limit, also produced by Glyn Johns. By this time Armatrading was a worldwide star, becoming the first black British female singer-songwriter to enjoy international success. To-date the artist has released 20 studio albums, plus several excellent live albums. Standouts include Joan Armatrading (1976), Show Some Emotion (1977), To The Limit (1978), Me Myself I (1980), and the live album Steppin' Out (1979). In addition to her music career, Armatrading earned a BA degree in history from the Open University, of which she is now a trustee. She entered into a civil partnership with artist Maggie Butler in the Shetland Islands in 2011.

Artist Website: joanarmatrading.com

Featured Albums: Joan Armatrading

Video Clips: Down to Zero, Love and Affection, Me Myself I

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