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Bonnie Raitt

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Bonnie Raitt is a singer, songwriter, and slide guitar player who has been at the forefront of the American roots music scene for over four decades. Raitt was born in Burbank, California, in 1949. Her father, John Raitt, was a singer and actor best known for originating the role of Billy Bigelow in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Carousel. Bonnie began playing guitar at an early age and by her teens was performing with her father’s band on weekends. She went on to study at Radcliffe College before dropping out to pursue a music career full-time.

Personal Life and Career

Raitt’s self-titled debut album was released in 1971 to positive reviews, but it was her second album, Give It Up, that made her a star. The album featured Raitt’s signature slide guitar work and earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Her subsequent albums would find Raitt expanding her sound to include elements of rock, blues, and R&B. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, Raitt toured extensively and became known for her fiery live performances. In 1989, she experienced a career resurgence with the release of the album Nick of Time. The album won three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and catapulted Raitt to mainstream success.

Raitt has released 18 studio albums over the course of her career. She has won 10 Grammy Awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement, and has been nominated for 19 others. She is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (inducted in 2000) and the Blues Hall of Fame (inducted in 2017).

Discography

  • Bonnie Raitt (1971)
  • Give It Up (1972)
  • Takin’ My Time (1973)
  • Streetlights (1974)
  • Home Plate (1975)
  • Sweet Forgiveness (1977)
  • The Glow (1979)
  • Green Light (1982)
  • Nine Lives (1986)
  • Nick of Time (1989)
  • Luck of the Draw (1991)
  • Longing in Their Hearts (1994)
  • Fundamental (1998)
  • Silver Lining (2002)
  • Souls Alike (2005)
  • Slipstream (2012)
  • Dig In Deep (2016)
  • Just Like That… (2022)

Awards and Nominations

  • Grammy Awards
  • Americana Music Honors and Awards
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Other awards

  • In 1991, Raitt was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.
  • In 1997 Raitt was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal.
  • In 2017, Raitt was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Guitar Museum.
  • In 2018, Raitt received the People’s Voice Award from the Folk Alliance International Awards in recognition of her activism.
  • In 2022, Raitt received the Icon Award at the Billboard Women in Music Awards.