Full name: India Arie Simpson.
Born: Oct. 3, 1976 in Denver, Colorado. Lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Growing up, India.Arie was encouraged in her love for music. Her mother, Joyce, is herself a former singer; Her father is former ABA/NBA basketball star Ralph Simpson. The family moved from Denver to Atlanta when India was 13. At the encouragement of her mother, India began playing the guitar while attending the Savannah College of Art and Design. Involvement in the Atlanta music scene led to the formation of an independent label, which released a compilation CD featuring Arie's first songs.
An India.Arie song on a compilation led to a second-stage gig at Lilith Fair, where a Universal/Motown music scout spotted her and made an introduction to then-Motown CEO Kedar Massenburg. She eventually signed with Motown, and after working on it for two years, her debut album, Acoustic Soul was released in 2001. It debuted at No. 10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and #3 on the R&B album charts. Within months, Acoustic Soulwent on to sell two million copies.
India.Arie followed the success of her debut in 2002 with the release of Voyage to India. Debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the R&B chart, the album eventually earned a Grammy for Best R&B Album. One of the singles from the record, "Little Things," also won a Grammy the same year for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. Soon after its release, Voyage to India was certified gold, having sold over half a million copies.
'Testimony' and More:
India Arie's third studio album, Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship
was released June 27th, 2006. Originally Testimony
was originally planned to be a double album, but was split up into two separate releases. Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics
was released in March 2009. Then, after taking an extended break, India released her fifth studio album, SongVersation
, in the summer of 2013.
"Color has a great significance because I feel it. If I wear white, I feel a certain way – very calm, clear. I wear pink and it makes me feel a certain way; really loving and more open. Yellow is a lot of energy and orange is very sensual. But I feel it when I put those colors on; that's why I wear colors. It actually works. It's not something I learned from a book or anything. It's just something that works for me." -- India.Arie