Laura Nyro

Born Laura Nigro on October 18, 1947, in The Bronx, New York, influential singer, songwriter, and pianist Laura Nyro was one of the most successful songwriters of the late 1960s, although she never achieved huge commercial success as an artist during her lifetime. She became a musical inspiration for many artists including Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Kate Bush, Elton John, Jackson Brown, Todd Rundgren, Cyndi Lauper, and many others. As a teenager, she sang with friends in subways and on street corners, writing songs in her spare time. During this time, she changed her surname several times, finally settling on Nyro. She signed with a manager who helped her negotiate a record contract with the Verve Folkways label. In 1967, she released her debut album, More Than a New Discovery. The album featured her original versions of songs that would become massive hits for other artists including “And When I Die” (Blood, Sweat & Tears), “Wedding Bell Blues” (The Fifth Dimension), and “Stoney End” (Barbra Streisand). Laura Nyro became a critical favorite and other artists began to pay attention to her unique songwriting skills. She signed a management deal with David Geffen, who helped her securing a contract with Columbia Records. Her 1968 album Eli and the Thirteenth Confession featured the original versions of future hits “Eli’s Comin’” (Three Dog Night) and “Stoned Cold Picnic” (The Fifth Dimension). Further albums included New York Tendaberry (1969), and Gonna Take a Miracle, a collaboration with Labelle (1971). Uncomfortable being marketed as a celebrity, she retired from the music business in 1972 but returned in 1976 with the album Smile. Several more albums followed including Nested (1978), Mother’s Spiritual (1984), and Walk the Dog and the Light (1993). Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1996, Nyro and Columbia Records compiled the two CD compilation Stoned Soul Picnic: The Best of Laura Nyro, which was released shortly before her death. Laura Nyro died on April 8, 1997, at the age of 49. Since her death, her back catalog has been given a critical reassessment and she became more popular than ever. Her albums have been remastered, expanded, and reissued on CD. Laura Nyro was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2012).

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Laura Nyro

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.