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The incredible rise of Norah Jones

Last updated on: November 11, 2009 12:27 IST

The incredible rise of Norah Jones

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Come Away With Me, she sang -- and the world obeyed.

Norah Jones had a spectacular hit with her debut album, Come Away With Me, in 2002. It was a debut that not only notched up massive record sales worldwide -- going Platinum first and then finally hitting Diamond -- but won her tremendous critical acclaim, bringing the girl five Grammy awards, including Album Of The Year.

And that's just how she started off.

As she prepares to release her fourth album on November 17, here's a brief look at the lovely and multitalented Norah Jones.


Image: Jones poses for photographers with her five Grammy Awards at the 45th annual Grammy Awards in 2003
Photographs: Peter Morgan/Reuters
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Starting young

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Daughter of sitar legend Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones, Norah -- full name: Geetali Norah Jones Shankar -- was born on March 30, 1979. In high school she was in the choir, and when participating in the band, played the alto saxophone.

Influenced heavily by American jazz singer/ songwriter Billy Holiday, she won awards for her jazz singing in high school. She moved on to the University of North Texas, where she studied jazz piano.


Image: Norah Jones

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Country influence

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Despite the smashing success of Come Away With Me, Jones decided to change things up with her second releases, Feels Like Home, in 2004. Moving away from the soft jazz of Come Away, the new record featured a more Country music style.

Jones has often said that she considers Country music icon Willie Nelson her mentor. Well, the influence paid off as the album debuted at the number one spot in 16 countries.


Image: Norah Jones performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans in 2007
Photographs: Lee Celano/Reuters
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Can act too

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Before Norah began work on her third album, the striking girl made her acting debut in My Blueberry Nights, directed by Hong Kong's filmmaking genius, Wong Kar Wai.

She starred opposite Jude Law and the film opened to mixed reviews in 2006, though much was written in praise of Norah's looks.

Not Too Late, her third album, released in early 2007. It was another hit, reaching the number one position in 20 countries. Jones claimed the songs on this album were darker than those on her previous attempts.


Image: Jude Law and Norah Jones in a scene from My Blueberry Nights

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Will The Fall rise?

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This time, she's going for rock. Norah Jones' latest album, The Fall, sees her collaborating with contemporary rock musicians like Ryan Adams, Will Sheff, James Poyser, Smokey Hormel and Marc Ribot.

She's already performed live to promote the album, appearing on an Apple Computers event in California. A single from the album, Chasing Pirates, is already available through iTunes. Will this be another massive success for Norah? Will she be able to bring her distinctive song-stylings to rock?

Let's wait and see. The Fall hits stores on November 17.


Image: Norah Jones

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