Bonnie Raitt or Bonnie Lynn Raitt was born on November 8, 1949, at Burbank, California, United States. She is a singer, songwriter and also plays the guitar, slide guitar and the piano.
Born to musical parents, Broadway musical star John Raitt and Pianist Marjorie Haydock, Raitt was raised in playing music at an early age itself. She was well noticed for her varied guitar playing named as bottleneck-style. Being very much inclined to academics with social relations and African studies, Raitt’s plan was to move to Tanzania. But her friendship with blues promoter Dick Waterman, made her quit college midway and move to Philadelphia. She had Dick Waterman and a few other fellow musicians with her and she still recalls saying that it was that opportunity which just changed her life.
Her first album was released in the 1970’s where she released a number of roots-influenced albums which had a mix of blues, rock, folk, and country in her songs. Her music was all of the critical acclaims but she wasn’t commercially that successful. She not only got commercial success but also became a major hit with her album "Nick of Time". Post ‘Nick of Time’, Bonnie Raitt smelled success like never before. Two albums "Luck of the Draw" (1991) and "Longing in Their Hearts" (1994) became multimillion sellers which generated blockbuster singles “Something to Talk About” “Love Sneakin’ Up on You” and the famous ballad “I Can’t Make You Love Me”.
Her deal with the Warner Bros, Columbia Records and Capitol Records at different times was what made Bonnie Raitt an A-list performer. She was just giving out very successful performances and at each performance, she tried different genres. She wasn’t sticking to the same type of song characters.
Along with her music career, Raitt was very much interested in world politics which we do know from her education. But her music too portrayed world politics and struggles. Her 1972 album "Give It Up" had it dedicated to the people of North Vietnam as printed on the back cover of the record. In the year 2008, Raitt donated a song to the 2004 tsunami-afflicted Southeast Asia. She also took part in many environmental organizations, anti-nuclear power expansions, and many other philanthropy measures.
During her musical career, Raitt used an excessive amount of alcohol and drugs in the late 1980’s but she also began to take psychotherapy after started to realize that being addicted wasn’t good for her, and she began to realize that “late nightlife” wasn’t working for her. Her strength and willpower made her combat alcohol and drug usage. Post-therapy, Raitt became more focused and disciplined and she gained a good amount of self-respect. During the loss of her parents, brother and best friend, Raitt took to sabbaticals.
Her awards include ten Grammys of which four were awarded in 1990 and three in 1992. In the year 1992, she was also awarded by The Recording Academy as the MusiCares Person of the Year. In the year 2000, she won the Hall of Fame Induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the year 2012, Raitt won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Music Honors and Awards. Also, in the year 1991, she was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.