Joan Armatrading Still Sings of Love and Affection

Forty-seven years after she left high school to support her family in Britain and became a musical sensation, lesbian singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading shows no signs of stopping now.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

February 26 2013 8:54 AM ET


Your 2007 album Into the Blues debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Blues Chart, which made you the first U.K. female artist to earn that distinction. 
I love how people connected with Into The Blues and I love it that people are still discovering my music.

I know that album was also nominated for a Grammy Award, also making you the first female U.K. artist to be nominated in the Grammy Blues category.
I was really pleased and surprised to find that I was the first female.

You joined Cyndi Lauper on the True Colors Tour. What was your favorite part of that tour?
I just love doing live shows and I've played my own sell out gigs at Red Rocks so it was nice to play there again

Your lyrics have always included gender neutral language — one of the reasons why lesbians have always been drawn to your music —but you once said your "songs aren't about me at all. If the songs were about me I'd be so embarrassed." Do you still feel that way?
Starlight is my twentieth CD. Can you imagine if every song on all of those CDs was about me, how self-centered would that make me? My writing style is to write in the first person and I do that no matter what or who the inspiration is. I suppose that's why people think all my songs are about me. The thing to know is that the songs are usually from something that I've observed, read, or experienced. The kinds of songs that are obviously about me tend to be songs like "Blessed," "I'm Lucky," "Me Myself I." I also tend to put myself in parts of songs. For instance, I'm a very positive person and I believe friendships are important so that gets reflected in lyrics.

Tags: Music

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