Born: October 3, 1975
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia
Occupation: Musician, Songwriter, Record Producer
India.Arie (born India Arie Simpson; October 3, 1975) is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and record producer . 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) 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. 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 continued to reside in Atlanta, Georgia.
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".
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 copiesin the U.S. and 2,300,000 worldwide.
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. 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.
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.
India.Arie's new album, a work produced in collaboration with Israeli singer Idan Raichel is due to be released in summer, 2012.
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, she lost all. In 2002, She got record Most Nominations in One Night without winning with received seven nominations.
|2002||India.Arie||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|Acoustic Soul||Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Best R&B Album||Nominated|
|"Video"||Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Female R&B Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|Best R&B Song||Nominated|
|2003||"Little Things"||Best Urban/Alternative Performance||Won|
|"The Christmas Song"||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||Nominated|
|Voyage to India||Best R&B Album||Won|
|2006||"A Time To Love"||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||Nominated|
|2007||"I Am Not My Hair"||Best Female R&B Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|Best R&B Song||Nominated|
|Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationships||Best R&B Album||Nominated|
|2008||"Beautiful Flower"||Best R&B Song||Nominated|
|2009||"Words"||Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group||Nominated|
|2010||"Pearls"||Best Urban/Alternative Performance||Won|
|"Chocolate High"||Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group||Nominated|
|Testimony Vol. 2, Love & Politics||Best R&B Album||Nominated|
|2011||"Imagine"||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||Won|
|Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)||Nominated|
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.