Bonnie Raitt

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About Bonnie Raitt

By the time Bonnie Raitt found worldwide success with 1989's Nick of Time, the songwriter and master slide guitarist had already recorded 10 albums over two decades. A pioneering figure in roots rock who spent her early years apprenticing with bluesmen like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Raitt, who was born in Burbank, California, in 1949, seemed to have stepped out of an imagined past, synthesizing strains of blues, folk, rock, and country in ways that felt both effortless and fresh. She does it all on 1972's Give It Up, which spans raucous New Orleans-style R&B ("Give It Up or Let Me Go") and contemplative ballads ("Nothing Seems to Matter"), bare-bones blues ("Love Me Like a Man") and string-heavy folk ("Too Long at the Fair"), with Raitt equally at home in each. She's since left her mark on artists covering all sorts of terrain—from Susan Tedeschi and Joss Stone to Adele and Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard. Or, as blues legend B.B. King said of Raitt's impact in one of his last interviews: "I came up in a macho world and never thought I'd ever declare the best living slide guitarist to be a woman. Well, I'm declaring."

Burbank, CA, United States
November 8, 1949
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