Bonnie Lynn Raitt was born November 8, 1949, in Burbank, California. She is a grammy-winning singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Music was a staple in her life, and her parents were musically inclined. Raitt’s mother was a pianist, and her father was an actor in musical productions. Her parents encouraged her to pursue music at a young age, and she began playing the guitar at eight. She has received 10 Grammy awards throughout her career and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Raitt has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her career continues to shine as she is set to release her 21st studio album.
Bonnie Lynn Raitt
November 8, 1949
Bonnie Lynn Raitt, an American blues singer, and guitarist, was born in Burbank, California, on November 8, 1949. She was one of three siblings growing up with musical parents in an environment that encouraged their musical talents. Raitt picked up a guitar at eight and proceeded to teach herself to play it. Instead of lessons, she took influence from the American folk music revival of the 1950s as well as the beatnik movement. During her second year of college, she left school and moved to Philadelphia with other local musicians.
In 1970, Raitt released her self-titled debut album. It was warmly received by the music press, who praised her for her impressive guitar skills. Over the next few years, Raitt wrote and recorded six new albums, her most acclaimed being “Sweet Forgiveness.” This album featured her first hit single, ‘Runaway,’ which garnered her three Grammy nominations. In 1989, she changed record labels and began working with Capitol Records, this was a productive move, and she was rewarded with new levels of popular and critical acclaim. She won four more Grammy Awards in 1990, and the album “Nick of Time” shot to number one on the charts.
Amidst all this musical acclaim, Raitt is also an activist, and her political involvement goes back to the early 1970s. She has been involved in the environmental movement, doing concerts around oil, nuclear power, mining, water, and forest protection. Raitt is a founding member of Musicians United for Safe Energy which produced the historic concerts, album, and movie “No Nukes.” 21 albums later, numerous Grammy Awards and accolades, plus a Lifetime Achievement Award — Raitt’s career hasn’t looked to slow down or dim. Raitt and actor Michael O’Keefe got hitched on April 27, 1991. However, they announced their split on November 9, 1999.
Raitt features on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine on December 18.
"Sweet Forgiveness" is nominated for three Grammy Awards and features her single hit, 'Runaway.'
In 1990, Raitt wins four Grammy Awards; three for her album "Nick of Time" and one for her duet, 'I'm in the Mood,' with John Lee Hooker.
Her album "Longing in their Hearts" wins the Grammy for Best Pop Album.
In March, she is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
The National Guitar Museum honors her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Why We Love Bonnie Raitt
She speaks out for many worthy causes
Raitt has been outspoken on several issues, including Apartheid, Nuclear War, and various environmental issues. Raitt officially joined the Little Kids Rock initiative, which offers free musical instruments and lessons to kids in public schools across the U.S.
She is a notable guitarist
Raitt is an American blues singer and guitarist. Very few women at that time in popular music had strong reputations as guitarists. She is also on the list of the ‘100 Greatest Guitarists’ at the 89th position.
She founded the Bonnie Raitt Guitar Project
Bonnie Raitt Guitar Project runs 200 Boys and Girls clubs worldwide to encourage underprivileged youth to play music. They provide free guitars to these kids.
5 Surprising Facts
Her tour bus runs on biofuel
Raitt has been involved in environmental activism for years, so it's no surprise her tour bus runs on biofuel.
She works for Rhythm and Blues Foundation
The Rhythm and Blues Foundation works for increased recognition, health benefits, and royalty reform for the pioneer generation of R&B artists.
She has played at many festivals
Raitt has festival appeal and has played at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Indy Jazz Fest, and the Bonnaroo festival.
She was raised as a Quaker
Raitt was raised a Quaker, and her childhood summers were spent at a Quaker camp in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State.
A member of the No Nukes Group
She is a part of the No Nukes group, which opposes the expansion of nuclear power.
Bonnie Raitt FAQs
What is Bonnie Raitt's number one song?
One of Raitt’s most popular songs is ‘Something to Talk About.’
What slide does Bonnie Raitt use?
Raitt uses a custom-made Dunlop glass bottle guitar slide.
When did Bonnie Raitt win her first Grammy?
Raitt won the first Grammy Award of her career in 1989.
Bonnie Raitt’s birthday dates