Norah Jones (born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar on March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, keyboardist, guitarist, and actress.
In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away With Me, which was certified a diamond album in 2002, selling over 20 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 and her 2009 release The Fall, all gained Platinum status after selling over a million copies and were generally well received by critics.
Jones has won nine Grammy Awards and was Billboard magazine's 60th best-selling music artist of the 2000–2009 decade
Born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, Jones is the daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, and concert producer Sue Jones. She is the half-sister of Anoushka Shankar. After her parents' separation in 1986, Jones spent her childhood with her mother in the Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine, Texas, where 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. A high school that has produced other artist such as musicians Edie Brickell, Erykah Badu, jazz trumpet player Roy Hargrove, singer song writer Patrice Pike and Zac Baird. While in high school, Jones sang in the school choir, participated in band and played the alto saxophone. At the age of sixteen, with the blessings of her parents, 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." She considers Willie Nelson her mentor.
She 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 the religious type.
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 The 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 would soon catapult her to fame