Songwriters I-J

Joe Jackson

JJ Arizona July 1982 David Gans

Born David Ian Jackson on 11 August 1954 in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK, JJ is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, as a teenager, won a scholarship to London’s Royal Academy of Music. He was popular early on for his pop/rock and new wave music before moving to more eclectic pop/jazz/classical hybrids. JJ released his debut album Look Sharp! in 1979 and, the same year, I’m The Man. He has had five Grammy Award nominations. He lives now in Berlin.

Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim


Born Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, on 25 January 1927 in Rio de Janeiro (died 8 December 1994), ACJ was a songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, pianist and guitarist, who was one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century. Many of his songs have become jazz standards. He and Joao Gilberto are credited with the creation of Bossa nova in the 1950s, and its introduction to the world with the release of Getz/Gilberto (1963). He is widely known as the composer of The Girl from Ipanema, one of the most recorded songs of all time. He was awarded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Grammys.

Billy Joel

Billy Joel 1974

Born William Martin Joel, 9th May 1949, in The Bronx, NYC, BJ is an American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. He took piano lessons aged 4, and admits to being a better organist than pianist. He started his musical career while in high-school, playing in a piano-bar during the evening. He released 12 studio albums from 1971-1993, and one in 2001. He is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time and has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards, winning 5 of them. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999) and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006). In 2013, he received the Kennedy Center Honors for influencing American culture through the arts.

Matt Johnson

MJ Getty

Matt Johnson, born 15 August 1961 in East London, is an English singer-songwriter and musician best known as the vocalist and only constant member of his band The The. He released a debut solo album, Burning Blue Soul, in 1981 to critical acclaim. The The released its debut album Soul Mining in 1983. MJ  is also a film soundtrack composer (Cineola), publisher (Fifty First State Press), broadcaster (Radio Cineola), and conservationist/local activist.

Robert Johnson


Born Robert Leroy Johnson in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, 8 May, 1911 (died near Greenwood, Mississippi, 16 August, 1938), RJ was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.

Johnson's shadowy and poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first induction ceremony, in 1986, as an early influence on rock and roll. In 2003, Johnson was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Norah Jones


Born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, 30 March, 1979 in Manhattan, NYC, NJ is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who is the daughter of Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar and is half-sister of fellow musician Anoushka Shankar. She launched her solo music career with the release of Come Away with Me (2002). It has been certified Diamond status, selling over 27 million copies. The record earned her 5 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000s.


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