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India Arie

Real name: India Arie Simpson
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single


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India Arie Simpson (born October 3, 1975), professionally known as India.Arie, is an American soul, R&B, and neo soul singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, and flautist.

Arie was born in Denver, Colorado. She absorbed musical skills early in life as she was encouraged by both parents. Her mother Joyce is a former singer (she was signed to Motown as a teenager and opened for Stevie Wonder and Al Green) and is now her stylist. Her father is former ABA and NBA basketball player Ralph Simpson. She has an older brother named J'On. After her parents divorced, Arie's mother moved the family to Georgia. Arie had taken up a succession of musical instruments throughout her schooling in Denver, but her interest in the guitar while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, 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.

Sidestepping all the devices of flavor-of-the-month record-making, Acoustic Soul acquainted listeners with a brave and eloquent new voice. The album drew an uncommonly broad swath of listeners from lovers of hip hop, neo soul, blues, folk, and classic troubadour-style singer-songwriter, all at once.

Acoustic Soul was released on March 27, 2001 and debuted at number ten on the U.S. 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. As a capstone to the album's success, Arie had the distinction of having the most total Grammy Award nominations of any single artist that year. Fans and peers alike were stunned when she was not awarded a Grammy Award in any of the nominated categories. Nonetheless, Arie stole the spotlight by closing the ceremony with a brave performance of her song "Video", accompanied only by herself on the guitar.

Arie followed the success of her debut in 2002 with the release of Voyage to India. Debuting at number six on the Billboard 200 and number one on the R&B chart, it eventually earned her two Grammy Awards in 2003—"Best R&B Album" and Best Urban/Alternative Performance" for the song "Little Things". Soon after its release, Voyage to India was certified platinum.

Arie's third studio album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, was released on June 27, 2006. It gave Arie her first number-one spot on the Billboard 200 and was her second chart-topper on the R&B chart. This album was also the first number-one album for Motown in thirty-three years since Diana Ross' 1972 Lady Sings the Blues. Its first-week sales of 161,000 copies are Arie's best sales week to date and was certified gold in August 2006, selling 730,000 in the U.S. It has also sold 784,750 worldwide.


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