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India Arie Simpson

(born October 3, 1975) is a two time Grammy Award-winning American neo-soul and R&B singer, songwriter, guitarist and a flautist. She is professionally known as Indie Arie or India.Arie.

India Arie Simpson was born in Denver, Colorado. She absorbed musical skill early in life, encouraged by both parents: her mother, Joyce, herself a former singer, and now India Arie's stylist; and her father, basketball star Ralph Simpson. She had taken up a succession of musical instruments throughout her schooling in Denver, Colorado, but her interest in the guitar while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design led to a personal revelation about songwriting and performing. "When I started tapping into my own sensitivity, I started to understand people better. It was a direct result of writing songs," she said at the press release of her debut album, Acoustic Soul.

Co-founding the Atlanta-based independent music collective GroovmentEarthseed (Groovement was the collective artists' name and Earthseed was their independent label name), her one-song turn on a locally released compilation led to a second-stage gig at the Lilith Fair. Their Universal Records/Motown music scout spotted her and made an introduction to Motown CEO Kedar Massenburg. Sidestepping all the devices of flavor-of-the-month record-making, Acoustic Soul acquainted listeners with a brave and eloquent new voice, drawing an uncommonly broad swath of listeners from hip-hop, the so called neo-soul, blues, folk, and classic troubadour-style singer/songwriting, all at once.

The album, released in 2001, debuted at number ten on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and number three on the R&B album chart. Within months, without the concentrated radio play that typically powers pop and rap albums, Acoustic Soul was certified double-platinum. As a capstone to the album's success, India.Arie had the distinction of having the most total Grammy nominations of any single artist that year. Fans and peers alike were stunned when she was not awarded a Grammy in any of the nominated categories. Nonetheless, Arie stole the spotlight by closing the ceremony with a brave performance of her single "Video", accompanied only by herself on guitar.

India Arie is also featured on Stevie Wonder's album A Time To Love which was released on October 18, 2005. India Arie and Stevie Wonder duet on the title track "A Time To Love" that India wrote, which was nominated in the 2006 forty-eighth Grammy Awards, for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration with Vocals.

On the September 2005 premiere of The Tyra Banks Show, Arie performed "Just 4 2day" . She wrote this song especially for Tyra's show. Arie also wrote "What About the Child", a song that did not air but was made available as a $1 internet download to support child victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_Arie

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