DDV Music - Music Information and Education

Norah Jones

Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Origin New York City
Years active 2001 - present
Genre(s) Pop, folk, soul, jazz
Label(s) Blue Note

Norah Jones (born March 30, 1979) is an American multi-Grammy Award winning pianist and singer-songwriter whose career was launched with her massively successful 2002 debut album Come Away with Me, a contemporary pop album with a soul/folk tinge, that sold 20 million copies worldwide and received eight Grammy awards.

Education and Musical Influences

Norah Jones was born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar in New York City, but later changed her name officially to Norah Jones at age 16. She is the daughter of Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, and the half-sister of musician Anoushka Shankar. She spent her childhood with her mother, Sue Jones, who moved to Dallas, Texas, when Norah was four. She always liked the music of Bill Evans and Billie Holiday among others from the 'oldies' section, as she found the music intriguing and relieving. Norah has been quoted as saying, "My mom had this eight-album Billie Holiday set. I picked out one disc that I liked and played that over and over again. 'You Go To My Head,' that was my favorite..."

Jones began singing in church choirs, taking piano lessons, and even briefly trying out the alto saxophone. She attended the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and the University of North Texas, where she majored in jazz piano, and won Beat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist (twice, in 1996 and 1997) and Best Original Composition (1996). In 1999, two years into the program, Norah left for New York City.

Career and Accolades

In New York, Jones played with numerous various artists and bands including Wax Poetic and the Peter Malick Group. Jones performed quite frequently with guitarist Charlie Hunter in 2001 and appeared on Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below album in a duet with André 3000 in 2003. While Jones is best-known for her vocal sultry-yet-powerful vocal style, often compared to that of Billie Holiday or Nina Simone, her abilities as a jazz pianist have likewise been celebrated. In late 2003, Jones appeared as a guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on NPR performing jazz standards including "September in the Rain" and "I Can't Get Started". She has performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in both 2004 and 2005.

Her debut album, Come Away With Me, debuted in February 2002 and was instantly celebrated for its blending of mellow, acoustic pop with soul and country. It hit #1 on Billboard 200, with single "Don't Know Why" hitting #1 on Top 40 Adult Recurrents in 2003.

Jones walked away from the Grammy Awards of 2003 with eight awards. By receiving Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist honors all in 2003, Jones was the first artist to sweep the "Big Four", or the four most prestigious Grammy awards, since Christopher Cross did so in the Grammy Awards of 1981. It should be noted that the Song of the Year award went to Jesse Harris for writing "Don't Know Why", but because Jones performed the song, she is associated with winning Song of the Year as well. Of the eight awards that came from "Come Away With Me" at the 2003 Grammy Awards, Jones personally received five awards with the other three awards attributed to the album itself.

Her second album, Feels Like Home, was released 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. In that same year, Time magazine listed Jones among the most influential people of 2004.

Jones received 3 awards at the Grammy Awards of 2005, two for her Record of the Year collaboration with Ray Charles on the song "Here We Go Again." That year, Norah Jones appeared on the self-titled record by Amos Lee.

In the latter part of 2003, rumours emerged that veteran Indian filmmaker Dev Anand was planning to make the film Song of Life, inspired by Norah Jones's troubled relationship with her father, Ravi Shankar. Both Jones and Shankar were enraged by the rumors and Jones's comments were, "He [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."

Norah Jones also collaborated with the Foo Fighters on their 2005 record In Your Honor, singing vocals with Dave Grohl on "Virginia Moon". The song was nominated for a Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2006.

In February 2006, Screen International reported that Norah Jones would make her acting debut in a film by 2046 and Chungking Express director Wong Kar-wai. The film called My Blueberry Nights, would be Wong Kai-wai's English language debut and will be partly funded by StudioCanal and Jet Tone Productions.


Norah Jones has won multiple awards, most noticeably her Grammy awards (winning 8 awards, plus an additional three received by Come Away with Me, in only 2 years of eligibility)

These are Jones' Grammy Awards:

  • 2003 Best Pop Vocal Album - Come Away with Me
  • 2003 Album of the Year - Come Away with Me
  • 2003 Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical - Come Away with Me
  • 2003 Record of the Year - "Don't Know Why"
  • 2003 Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - "Don't Know Why"
  • 2003 Song Of The Year - "Don't Know Why"
  • 2003 Best New Artist
  • 2005 Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals - "Here We Go Again" (with Ray Charles)
  • 2005 Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - "Sunrise"
  • 2005 Record of the Year - "Here We Go Again" (with Ray Charles)


Throughout 2003 Jones appeared on stages, globally, for her first tour with the Handsome Band, travelling throughout Asia, America, Europe and Australia. The tour was received with numerous sell-out concerts and positive critical acclaim.

In 2005, Norah toured globally again, to promote her 'Feels Like Home' album with the Handsome Band and the addition of backing singer Daru Oda.



  • First Sessions (EP) (2001)
  • Come Away with Me (2002) US #1 (for 4 weeks), UK #1, AUS #1 [Sales:US 10 million, 20 million Worldwide]
  • Feels Like Home (2004) US #1 (for 6 weeks), UK #1, AUS #1 - [US 4 million, 12 million Worldwide
  • The Little Willies (2006) as vocalist and pianist for The Little Willies


  • Feelin' The Same Way(EP)
  • Come Away With Me(EP)
  • Don't Know Why(EP)


  • Artist's Choice: Norah Jones

Albums Featured

  • 2005 - In Your Honour (Album by Foo Fighters, Norah Jones performs vocals on Virginia Moon)
  • 2006 - Peeping Tom (Collaboration album by Mike Patton (as Peeping Tom), Norah Jones performs vocals on Sucker)

DVDs and videos

  • Live In New Orleans
  • Live in 2004


  • Maximum Norah Jones
  • Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Chart Position

Year Title Chart Positions Album
2002 "Don't Know Why" #30 #4 #9 #3 Come Away With Me
2002 "Feelin' The Same Way" - - - - Come Away With Me
2003 Come Away With Me - - #2 - Come Away With Me
2004 Turn Me On - - #10 - Come Away With Me
2004 "Sunrise" - #26 #4 - Feels Like Home
2004 What Am I To You? - - - - Feels Like Home
2004 Those Sweet Words / Sleepless Nights - - - - Feels Like Home

The Little Willies

The Little Willies is a band formed in 2003 that features Norah Jones on piano and vocals. The other members of the band are Richard Julian on vocals, Jim Campilongo on guitar, Lee Alexander on bass and Dan Rieser on percussion. Although Norah Jones is better known for a jazz-influenced sound, her input on the The Little Willies album showcases her country influences; the album features covers of tracks by Willie Nelson, Fred Rose, Townes Van Zandt and Kris Kristofferson.

Discography - Albums

  • The Little Willies (Parlophone 3506712)....March 2006


  • My Blueberry Nights.....(Directed by Wong Kar Wai)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Document License
It uses material from the Wikipedia article - Norah Jones