Ben Harper

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About Ben Harper

Ben Harper packs every song with a fiery passion, whether singing about stealing kisses to a beatbox rhythm or galvanising the oppressed over a funk-fueled groove. Born in 1969, in Pomona, California, the singer-songwriter picked up a guitar early and soaked up a wide range of folk, blues, soul, hip-hop and reggae, all of which would inform his 1994 debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World. Those roots—and his slick slide-guitar moves—have held firm throughout a prolific career that’s seen him powering through impassioned protest anthems, intimate acoustic meditations, groovy gospel exaltations with The Blind Boys of Alabama, soul-drenched blues ballads with Charlie Musselwhite, and stripped-down Americana odes with his mother, Ellen Harper. Through the decades, he’s used his voice to turn pain—within himself and the world—into soul-stirring music with unwavering conviction. “[I] was a very energetic, youthful optimist,” Harper told Apple Music about his early days. “I used to sing it, and now I really believe it. I’ve lived into the songs.”

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