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Joan Osborne Biography - Joan Osborne
Joan Osborne Biography
Singer Joan Osborne was born on July 8, 1962, in the town of Anchorage, KY, but it wasn't until relocating to New York City in
the early '90s (to study at N.Y.U.'s film
school) that she began to take a singing career seriously after singing Billie Holiday's classic "God Bless the Child" at a local bar's "open mic night." In addition to Holiday,
Joan Osborne looked to such legendary vocalists as Etta James and
Ray Charles as role models, as the up-and-coming singer decided not to cater to major record companies and formed her own label, Womanly Hips, which resulted in such releases as 1992's
Soul Show, among others. But eventually,
Joan Osborne decided to sign on with a major label, Mercury, which in turn issued the singer's next release, Relish, in March of 1995. The album proved to have a long life, as almost a year after its initial release the track "One of Us" became a massive MTV and radio smash, camping out at the number one spot on the U.S. singles chart for two weeks and Relish eventually racked up sales of three million copies. Further tracks ("Right Hand Man" and "St. Teresa") failed to match the success of Osborne's first hit, but the singer still managed to connect with a large and appreciative audience, especially during touring as part of the 1997 edition of Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair tour.
Joan Osborne also received numerous Grammy nominations in both 1996 and 1997.
Joan Osborne Biography
Joan Osborne Pictures
|Producing a worthy follow-up to Relish proved to be a time-consuming challenge for
Joan Osborne. Mercury tried to buy some time by issuing a compilation release, Early Recordings (which collected the early releases Live at Delta '88 and Blue Million Miles). In the meantime, Osborne focused on supporting a few groups/causes she felt strongly about, such as Rock the Vote and Planned Parenthood (eventually being named an honorary member of Planned Parenthood's Board of Advocates), in addition to covering "I'm Just a Bill" as a duet with Isaac Hayes on the 1998 Schoolhouse Rocks the Vote benefit album. She also studied briefly with late Qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and performed alongside such notables as
Etheridge, Taj Mahal, Luciano Pavarotti, Spearhead, Bob
Dylan, and the Chieftains. September 2000 finally saw the release of
Joan Osborne's next all-new studio album, titled Righteous Love, which failed to match its predecessor's commercial success and sunk from sight shortly after release. She bounced back in 2002 with How Sweet It Is, a collection of covers that leaned heavily on
classic soul and R&B tunes from the 1960s and
'70s. A career retrospective, One of Us, followed in 2005. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide
Bio From: VH1
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