The truth about Norah Jones’ famous parents
Norah Jones, Grammy winner and creator of hits like “Don’t Know Why” and “Happy Pills,” to name a few gems, boasts a well-known career that has spanned decades. And as she told The Telegraph in 2016, her trajectory to stardom has been a bit overwhelming at times. “It happened too fast,” the musician admitted. “It felt insane and stressful, people knowing who you are, people critiquing you.”
Jones took a small break after her the 2016 release of her album, Day Breaks, and came back even stronger in 2019 with Begin Again. The singer then followed up that success with the June 2020 debut of Pick Me Up Off The Floor. “I hear a human record,” she told Forbes about the work’s vibe. “We all get sad, we all need to be picked up, we all sort of have our moments. We go up and down, that’s what we do. I think that’s what it is.”
With the release of Pick Me Up Off The Floor, there’s a renewed interest in Jones’ life and background, especially where it concerns her parents. The star, born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar to concert promoter, Sue Jones, and famed musician, Ravi Shankar, in 1979, had a compelling childhood similar to many other musicians out there.
Norah Jones' relationship with her dad was complex
Norah Jones was born in New York but moved to Texas with her mom, Sue Jones, after her parents’ split in 1986, per D Magazine. Ravi Shankar (pictured above right), a “sitar virtuoso and composer” who “created a passion” for “classical Indian music,” as The New York Times described, was reportedly 59 and had a son with his first wife, Annapurna Devi, at the time of Jones’ birth.
Despite Shankar’s impressive resume (he was a mentor to The Beatles’ George Harrison, to list one accomplishment), Jones was tight-lipped about her dad. “I don’t like talking about him because he doesn’t have anything to do with me or my music,” she revealed to Rolling Stone in 2004. The “Shoot the Moon” singer had provided context for this in 2002, telling The Guardian, “Although I love my dad very much, I did only spend a fraction of my adolescence around him. This is probably why I try to downplay our relationship in the press.”
Shankar died in 2012 at age 92, with Jones stating about the death, per NME, “My dad’s music touched millions of people. He will be greatly missed by me and music lovers everywhere.” Before Shankar’s death, the musician told Oprah Winfrey in 2003 that she and her dad had “gotten close in the last five years.”
As for Sue, her bond with Jones is strong. “We talk every day on the phone, no matter what,” the singer relayed to Winfrey.
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