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Bonnie Raitt


On 01/11/1949: Bonnie Raitt was born. She was born in Burbank, California and her full birth name was Bonnie Lynn Raitt. She is the daughter of Broadway star John Raitt and his first wife pianist Marjorie Haydock. She first took up the guitar at Camp Regis-Apple Jack in Paul Smiths, NY at an early age.
In 1967, after graduating from Oakwood Friends School, Raitt entered Radcliffe College majoring in social relations and African studies. During her time there she became friends with blues promoter Dick Waterman. In her second year, Raitt took a semester off and moved to Philadelphia with Waterman and other local musicians.
In 1970, Raitt was spotted by a reporter for Newsweek magazine whilst opening for Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell at the Gaslight Cafe in New York. After the reporter spread the word about the performance scouts from major record companies started attending her shows. She signed with Warner Bros.
In 1971, Raitt released her debut album "Bonnie Raitt". It was well received by the music press and she had particular praise for her bottleneck guitar playing.
In 1972, Raitt released "Give It Up" to universal acclaim. Many critics considered it her best work, but her sales were still modest.
In 1973, Raitt released the album "Takin' My Time".
In 1974, Raitt released "Streetlights", which received more mixed reviews. Raitt was experimenting with different producers and styles.
In 1975, Raitt released "Home Plate". In the same year, she had a cover story for Rolling Stone Magazine.
In 1976, Raitt appeared on Warran Zevon's eponymous album along with Jackson Browne, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.
In 1977, Raitt released the album "Sweet Forgiveness". It would give her a commercial breakthrough, with a hit single in the cover song "Runaway". The success of the single prompted Columbia Records to big for her contract. This allowed Raitt to renegotiate her contract with Warner Bros for a bigger deal.
In 1979, Raitt released the album "The Glow". The album was not as well received as previous albums and had modest sales. In the same year, she helped organise the five Musicians United for Safe Energy concerts at Madison Square Garden. A film and album were made off the shows. The shows featured Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Gil Scott-Heron amongst others.
In 1982, Raitt released the album "Green Light" which saw her move her sound closer to her earlier albums. It received her strongest reviews in years, but the sales did not improve.
In 1983, Raitt finished work on her album "Tongue and Groove". However, Warner Bros dropped her from the label the day after mastering was finished on the album. The album was left shelved. Raitt was struggling at the time with alcohol and drug abuse problems.
In 1985, Raitt appeared and sang in the video of "Sun City" the anti-apartheid record by Steven Van Zandt. She also appeared in Farm Aid and Amnesty International concerts.
Warner Bros notified Raitt that they planned to release "Tongue and Groove". Raitt persuaded them to allow her to go in and recut half of it. In 1986, the album was released as the renamed "Nine Lives". The album didn't do too well both critically and commercially.
In 1987, Raitt appeared in the first joint Soviet/American Peace Concert in Moscow. In the same year, she appeared in the benefit concert Countdown '87 to Stop Contra Aid in Los Angeles. In the same year, Raitt was a backing vocalist for Roy Orbison's tv special "Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night". Raitt then started to work on her own material, now clean and sober. She later credited Stevie Ray Vaughan for helping her.
Raitt met Don Was through Hal Wilner who was putting on a tribute album to Disney music for A&M. Was and Wilner wanted Raitt to sing on the song "Baby Mine" from the film "Dumbo". Raitt was pleased with the sessions and asked Was to produce her next album.
Raitt was considering signing with Prince's label Paisley Park, but negotiations fell through. Raitt's management approached numerous labels before she signed with Capitol Records.
In 1989, Raitt released the album "Nick of Time". The album would receive commercial success. It went to the top of the US charts after Raitt made a Grammy sweep in 1990. Raitt also received a Grammy for her duet "In the Mood" with John Lee Hooker on his album "The Healer".
In 1991, Raitt released the album "Luck of the Draw", which received three more Grammy Awards.
In 1994, Raitt released the album "Longing in Their Hearts" which received three more Grammy Awards.
In 1995, Raitt released the live album "Road Tested", it would be her last collaboration with Don Was.
In 1998, Raitt released the album "Fundamental" which was produced by Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake.
In 2000, Raitt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2002, the album "Silver Lining" was released. It reached 13 on the Billboard chart.
In 2005, the album "Souls Alike" was released. It reached number 20 on the Billboard chart.
In 2006 Raitt released a live DVD/CD "Bonnie Raitt and Friends" it featured Keb Mo', Alison Krauss, Ben Harper, Jon Cleary and Norah Jones. It was recorded at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ.
In 2007, Raitt contributed to the album "Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino".
In 2012, Raitt performed a duet with Alicia Keys at the 54th Grammy Awards, honouring Etta James. In the same year, she released the album "Slipstream". It reached number 6 on the Billboard chart. Also that year, she featured in a campaign called "30 Songs / 30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
In 2013, she appeared on Foy Vance's album "Joy of Nothing".
In 2016, she released the album "Dig in Deep". The album reached number 11 on the Billboard chart.
Raitt is listed at Number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and is also listed at number 89 in the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.