Joan Armatrading

Born December 9, 1950 on Saint Kitts, singer and songwriter Joan Armatrading was eight when she moved to Birmingham in the UK with her family, and started writing and singing when she was 14. In the early 1970s she moved to London to perform in a production of the stage musical Hair and met lyricist Pam Nestor, who collaborated with her on her debut album, 1972’s Whatever's For Us. Armatrading followed it with Back to the Night, but it was her self-titled third album which turned her into a major star. Flying in the face of the 1976 punk explosion, she had one of the biggest hits of the year with the gently sensuous “Love and Affection”. Subsequent albums Show Some Emotion and To the Limit further explored her uniquely intimate jazzy style on the gorgeous hits “Willow”, “Down to Zero”, and “Kissin' and a Huggin'”. She developed a harder style in the 1980s with Me Myself I and, while she continued to be a popular live performer, the hits dried up after “Drop the Pilot” in 1983. A Greatest Hits collection returned Armatrading to the charts in 1991 and she continued to work solidly, playing all the instruments herself on her 2010 album This Charming Life. In 2018 she enjoyed a chart resurgence when Not Too Far Away hit number 30, her best album position in 28 years, and she continued that momentum with 2021’s Consequences, which got her in the top 10 on the album chart for the first time since 1983.

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