India Arie or India Arie Simpson, is a singer-songwriter, actress, musician, and record producer who has sold over 10 million albums worldwide. Out of 21 nominations, she’s won four Grammy’s, including Best R&B Album. She hails from Denver, Colorado. Co-founding the Atlanta based independent music collective Groovement EarthShare, her one song led to a second stage gig at the 1998 Lilith Fair. In 1999, she was spotted by a music scout, who introduced her to former Motown CEO Kedar Massenburg. The rest is history.
Arie released her debut album Acoustic Soul in 2001. Brimmed with meditations on affirmation, resiliency and strength, the album was met with positive reviews and commercial success. It debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Within months, without the concentrated radio airplay that typically powers pop and rap albums, Acoustic Soul was certified double platinum. Arie’s third studio album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, was released in 2006. It gave Arie her first number one spot on the Billboard 200 and was her second chart topper on the R&B charts. This album was also the first number one album for Motown in 12 years. ‘I Am Not My Hair’ was the most successful single release from the album.
Arie has always sought out to fulfill her self-proclaimed desire to “do projects with people who are making music that is meaningful, with a lot of integrity and a lot of sonic diversity.” These days, Arie seeks to write and sing songs without worrying about public opinion. Her messages of perseverance and self-respect are as compelling now as ever before.
Get ready for India. It’ll be a night of holiday favorites with a jazzy R&B twist, along with classic India Arie tunes. More likely than not, she’ll perform ‘Video’ and ‘Brown Skin.’ Arie believes one reason for her success is that she tapped a nerve in women who don’t look like the buxom young supermodels inhabiting most music videos. Expect to hear ‘Little Things’ and ‘I Am Not My Hair’ also.
Since her debut, this inspiring soul has ascended the ranks of R&B royalty. Now she brings her warmth, heart and passion to Music City to celebrate ‘Christmas with Friends,’ Monday, December 21, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.