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Bonnie Raitt, Musical Artist

Updated on January 22, 2020
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Bonnie Raitt fan since the 70s, loved her long before she became well known. What a CLASS act she is! LOVE her music, also HER soul!

Beautiful Bonnie!
Beautiful Bonnie!

Bonnie Raitt: Guitarist, Vocalist, Songwriter and Activist Extraordinaire!

Beautiful Bonnie Raitt is a best-selling musical artist, highly respected guitarist, an expressive vocalist, and winner of TEN grammies!

Bonnie is admired by adoring fans as an accomplished songwriter and entertainer, but also for having a beautiful soul and caring attitude, and for her dedication as a political activist.

Bonnie Raitt

paid her dues

to sing the Blues

...and folk

...and gospel

...and jazz

...and rock and roll!

Listen to Bonnie tell her story!

The above is a favorite among so many Bonnie Raitt videos because she tells stories between songs that allow the viewer to KNOW her, the incredible lady behind the music. In less than 30 minutes, an introduction to who she is and why fans find Bonnie such a CLASS act!

Bonnie Raitt and Folk Music, Blues and Jazz

Bonnie plays it all ... rock and roll, folk music, blues, jazz

When very young, Bonnie was very involved with folk music and blues...and commented:

"I'm certain that it was an incredible gift for me to not only be friends with some of the greatest blues people who've ever lived, but to learn how they played, how they sang, how they lived their lives, ran their marriages, and talked to their kids,"

she says. "I was especially lucky as so many of them are no longer with us."

Early Life of Bonnie Raitt

What a beautiful lady, inside and out, the one-and-only Bonnie Raitt!

Bonnie was born into a musical family in Los Angeles, California. During the late 60s she moved to Cambridge MA and ended up back on the west coast.

Bonnie began touring in the early 1970s and is still performing as strong as ever!

She has spoken in interviews (Parade 2012) of her current life in Marin County CA with her boyfriend (but won't 'advertize her man').

Bonnie has never limited herself to any one genre of music, she plays it all from folk to gospel and blues and jazz to hard rock and roll. She won't be limited to record labels either, and now produces under her very own record label. "Slipstream" was the first release for Bonnie on her own label, Red Wing Records.

Bonnie has shared the stage with so many other music greats including Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Emmy Lou Harris, Norah Jones, Melissa Etheridge, Taj Majal and many many more. Bonnie says, "Jackson Browne and Bruce Hornsby are like brothers to me. I love Bruce’s latest double-live album, Bride of the Noisemakers. If I had to be on a desert island and could only have one artist’s music, it would be Bruce Hornsby."

"The BEST slide guitarist of our time, Bonnie Raitt."

~ B.B. King

Bonnie Raitt & College Days

When she moved to Cambridge in the late 60's, Bonnie made this comment:

"I couldn't wait to get back to where there were folkies and the antiwar and civil rights movements," she says. "There were so many great music and political scenes going on in the late '60s in Cambridge."

Also, she adds, with a laugh, "the ratio of guys to girls at Harvard was four to one, so all of those things were playing in my mind."

Popular Bonnie Raitt CDs - Below is a partial list of Bonnie's releases through the years. Got a favorite Bonnie CD from this list of the most popular?

Below are some of the most popular out of Bonnie Raitt album titles.

Please vote for YOUR favorite.

Which Bonnie CD is your favorite?

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Bonnie Raitt as a Political Activist

Bonnie supports coalitions and activist groups.

Bonnie is a legend as not only musician, but as an outstanding human being and political activist. Raitt's web site urges fans to learn more about preserving the environment. Her activities as a political activist are many and varied.

Bonnie helped launch the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in order to protect the rights of veteran R&B musicians. She started the Bonnie Raitt Guitar Project to provide instruments and lessons to underprivileged youths with Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Bonnie has also been a longtime supporter of anti-nuclear efforts. She performed in the original 'No Nukes' benefit concert in 1979, and again at the anniversary reunion show in the Bay Area, along with Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills & Nash and others.

Bonnie is a generous and caring soul who respects the coalition between the musician community and the activist community. During her "Slipstream" tour in 2012, Bonnie dedicated John Prine's song "Angel from Montgomery" to her late mother Marge. Her mother had helped helped fuel a lifelong interest in political activism.

"This is an election year not an auction year. It's time to get money out of politics."

— Bonnie Raitt, 2012

The Return of the Blues Baroness

Bonnie was sympathetic to the Occupy movement activism protests.

Bonnie gets more interesting as you get a peek into what makes her tick. She's a class act and its in her blood to put herself out there and be of service as a political activist and supporter of musical arts.

When asked "What were you dreaming for the future ... What are you looking forward to down the line? in an interview titled "Bonnie Rait: The Return of the Blues Baroness", Bonnie replied,

"The whole Occupy movement has given me some hope that, across party lines, newer generations will rise up and ask for accountability and transparency and reform some of these laws. That is my first dream-to see people become more awake and compassionate. My dream is to be a service in that struggle and to not get discouraged.

One of the great things about playing live-besides being fun-is that we can buoy the troops, in terms of raising money and awareness for these issues. I want to enlist more artists to be politically active to make a difference. It's that marriage of music and being of service. My heroes are of the "The Times They Are a-Changin'" period-like Bob Dylan."

In July 2004, Bonnie drew thunderous applause at the Stockholm Jazz Festival with this comment about President George W. Bush:

"We're gonna sing this for George Bush

because he's out of here, people!"

"Your Good Thing (Is About to End)"

Bonnie & her "Slipstream" Tour - Historic Comeback in 2012

Slipstream marked a return to the spotlight for Bonnie, who took an extended break from performing music after the death of her mother, her brother and her best friend. She had remained out of the musical spotlight for six years, making this a historical comeback performance in April of 2012.

"Slipstream' is said by some to be Bonnie's best tour ever. Bonnie Raitt now has her own new label, Redwing, and featured cover songs by Bob Dylan, Joe Henry and also a reggae version of the late Gerry Rafferty's hit "Right Down the Line."

Her fans had missed her. Bonnie is BACK!

Did you know?

When Fender celebrated their 50th anniversary,

Bonnie Raitt was the first female ever

to be awarded a stratacaster.

Bonnie Raitt in 1977 - RUNAWAY

Gotta LOVE this video of Bonnie performing in the 70s as a very young woman!

BEST version ever of this song!

Bonnie and her 'Souls Alike' Album

"I Will Not Be Broken" ~ Bonnie

A more recent collection 'Souls Alike' featured surprising new directions and, as she describes them, "thorny, adult themes," This music reveals an extraordinary artist who's never been content to rest on her laurels.

"You gotta do stuff that stretches you," Bonnie says. "I'd hang up my spurs if I didn't have something new to play."

Regarding "I Will Not Be Broken," the Grammy-nominated lead single from Souls Alike, Bonnie comments:

"There was an element of being pushed to the wall with what was going on in my personal life, my family crises-and then there was the election,"

"So that song was like an anthem for me, and for everybody that wants to feel like they can stand up to getting pushed around."

"The great thing about the arts, and especially popular music, is that it really does cut across genres and races and classes."

— Bonnie Raitt

Interview with Bonnie Raitt by Charlie Rose in 2016 featuring "Gypsy in Me" and "All Alone With Something to Say"

© 2007 Carolan Ross


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