India Arie biography
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 US and 10 million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards from her 21 nominations, including Best R&B Album.
BackgroundSimpson 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. Her father is former NBA basketball player Ralph Simpson. She has an older brother named J'On. According to a DNA analysis, she descends from the Mende people of Sierra Leone, the Kru people of Liberia and the Fula people of Guinea-Bissau.
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 resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Musical careerAcoustic 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. Arie performed a duet with rock singer-guitarist John Mellencamp on the song "Peaceful World" for his 2001 album Cuttin' Heads. 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 performed a duet with jazz singer Cassandra Wilson on the song "Just Another Parade" for her 2002 album Belly of the Sun.
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 in the U.S. and 2,300,000 worldwide .
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