Music for the Soul. Music from the Soul- India Arie


India Arie is an award-winning Soul and R&B artist that was first signed to Motown Records. Arie got her claim to fame by creating music about women empowerment and making music that also disregard societal beauty standards.

Early Life: Before the Fame

India Arie was born on October 3, 1975 in Denver, Colorado. Arie has been around the music scene all of her life and got engaged in music pretty early. Her parents, Joyce, former singer and songwriter, and Ralph Simpson, both supported Arie pursuing music. Arie played many instruments such as saxophone, baritone clarinet, French horn, and trumpet. When Arie turned 13 years old, she moved from Colorado to Atlanta, GA. When Arie got to high school, she learned how to play the guitar.

India Arie attended Savannah College of Arts and Design where she studied jewelry design, but later focused her time just one music. Arie co-founded the independent music collective GroovmentEarthseed, which is a collective of artists plus an independent label that helped Arie release a compilation of songs. In 1999, she was found by Motown Records and signed her a deal. At 24 years old, Arie began her solo music career.


Well-Known Songs from 1st Album

Only after 2 years of becoming a solo artist, Arie released her debut album, Acoustic Soul ,  in 2001

In 2002, Voyage to India, Arie’s second album was released.

Testimony: Vol 1, Life and Relationship, was released in 2006

I Am Not My Hair. Being the most successful release of the entire album.

It hit #97 and #67 on Billboards Hot 100 in the U.S and UK charts. While the song also was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B song at the Grammy Awards in 2007

Testimony: Vol 2, Love and Politics was released in 2009

She has a Christmas album featuring Joe Sample called Christmas with Friends

Arie took a break from music and later released her 5th album, Songversation

Arie made a single entitled “Breath” that promoted the Black Lives Matter Movement and the death of Eric Garner in 2016.


For her debut album, Acoustic Soul, Arie earned her 7 Grammy nominations. This same album got Arie a certified double platinum by the Music Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album also was #10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and #3 on the R&B album chart.

Arie’s 2nd album went certified platinum by RIAA and won a Grammy for Best R&B Album in 2003.

Eight of her singles hit Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart

Her 4th album Testimony: Vol 2 hit #3 on the Billboard 200 List

Altogether, Arie has won 4 Grammy awards and has received 21 Grammy nominations. She has also won 4 NAACP Image awards, and 2 BET awards.

She has not received any Soul Train Music Awards yet, but has been nominated for at least 5.

Not only was Arie a singer/songwriter, but she is a multifaced black woman, activist, writer, and meditator. Arie is an inspiration for many black and brown girls around the world, one of them including me. Her unique style and sound touch souls and make many feel empowered.








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