Who is India.Arie?

India.Arie was born in Denver, Colorado on October 3, 1975. When she was 13, Arie moved with her mother and siblings to Atlanta, Georgia after her parents divorced. There she began to play the guitar,the saxophone, baritone clarinet, french horn, and trumpet. Arie attended Savannah College of Arts and Design where she studied jewelry design but she gave designing up to focus her attention on music. She collaborated with other local artists in Atlanta, eventually forming a music group called ‘Groovement’. The group was very successful, but in 1999, Arie was discovered by and signed a deal with Motown records.  There at the age of 24 she began her career as a solo artist.

She is famous for writing songs about female empowerment and dismissing the societal standards of beauty. Arie’s debut album, Acoustic Soul, was released in 2001 and earned her seven Grammy nominations.

India Arie is an award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She has sold over 10 million records worldwide.


Arie is known for infusing social commentary into her lyrics as in the body positive lead single for ‘Video’. In 2008, Barack Obama included Arie’s song ‘There’s Hope’ in his campaign. She also released a single called, ‘Breathe,’which was Inspired by the death of Eric Garner and in solidarity with the Black Lives matter movement. Arie is also a regular at events remembering MLK’s legacy across the country.

Musical Influences

  • Bill Withers
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Donny Hathaway
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Roberta Flack
  • Sade
  • Sam Cooke

India.Arie Albums


Four Grammy awards:

  • Little Things
  • Best Urban/Alternative Performance
  • Voyage to India
  • Best R&B Album
  • Pearls
  • Best Urban/Alternative Performance
  • Imagine
  • Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

 21 Grammy nominations. She also has two BET awards, four NAACP Image awards, and has been nominated for five Soul Train music awards.

Awards and Recognition​

Similar Artist


Harrington, Richard. “India.Arie: A Gem of a Performer.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 Aug. 2001,

“India.Arie.” Billboard,

Kellman, Andy. “India.Arie: Similar Artists.” AllMusic,
Smith, Tiana. “India Arie (1975- ) • BlackPast.” BlackPast, 27 Jan. 2019,


The one and only

India Arie Simpson born in Denver, Colorado on October 3, 1975, is best known as India.Arie (sometimes styled as india.arie). She is an American singer-songwriter, actress, musician, and record producer. She has sold over 3.3 million records in the US and 10 million worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards from her 21 nominations, including Best R&B Album.

Quotes on Her Own Career

“Just like the air you breathe or the water you drink, music shapes you. The trouble is, most people don’t use it to spread love and healing. But I think music can make a social contribution if you’re responsible with it.”

“For the first ten years of my career, I felt suffocated. People constantly stood over me while I tried to create. And in 2009, I hit rock bottom. I couldn’t find myself because I was looking to be defined by the music industry or by being number one on the Billboard charts. But I finally realized no one was going to say to me, “Hey, go be free and love yourself!” I had to make self-love my mission, so I did.”

Read more:


2001: Acoustic Soul
2002: Voyage to India
2006: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship
2009: Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics
2013: Songversation
2015: Christmas with Friends
2017: SongVersation: Medicine – EP



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