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Norah Jones (born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar; March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actress. She is the daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is also Anoushka Shankar's half-sister.
In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away with Me, a fusion of jazz, pop, and country music, which was certified diamond album, selling over 26 million copies. The record earned Jones five Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. Her subsequent studio albums, Feels Like Home, released in 2004, Not Too Late, released in 2007, the same year she made her film debut in My Blueberry Nights, and her 2009 release The Fall all gained Platinum status, selling over a million copies and were generally well received by critics. Jones' fifth studio album, Little Broken Hearts, was released on April 27, 2012.
Jones has won nine Grammy Awards and was 60th on Billboard magazine's artists of the 2000–2009 decade chart. Throughout her career, Jones has won numerous awards and has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000–2009 decade.
Jones was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, to Indian sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar and American concert producer Sue Jones. After her parents' separation in 1986, Jones spent her childhood with her mother in Grapevine, Texas. She attended Colleyville Middle School and Grapevine High School before transferring to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. While in high school, Jones sang in the school choir, participated in band and played the alto saxophone. At the age of sixteen, with her parents' consent, 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."
Jones began singing in church choirs and took piano lessons as a child. She still attends church. She considers herself spiritual and appreciates the rituals of her church but does not consider herself deeply religious.
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 attended the University of North Texas (UNT), where she majored in jazz piano and sang with the UNT Jazz Singers. During this time, she had a chance meeting with future collaborator Jesse Harris. She gave a ride to a band playing at the university whose members happened to be friends of Harris. He was on a cross-country road-trip with friend and future Little Willies member, Richard Julian, and stopped to see the band play. After meeting Jones, Harris started 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, which made her famous.Jones moved to New York City and signed to Blue Note Records, a label owned by EMI Group. The signing came as an indirect result of Jones performing background vocals for singer-songwriter Victoria Williams. Shell White, the wife of Williams' producer JC Hopkins, worked in Blue Note's royalties department and passed Jones's three-track demo on to the label's president Bruce Lundvall and its A&R Brian Bacchus. The demo featured two jazz standards and a song by Jesse Harris.