Joan Armatrading is one artist that you really can’t pigeon-hole and she celebrates her 70th birthday this week.
Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading – CBE, no less, was born on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, but at the age of three, her parents decided to move to the UK but sent Joan to live with her grandmother in Antigua. It was only when Joan reached the age of seven she too moved to the UK and joined her parents in Birmingham.
At 15 she took an office job, but because she took her guitar to work and played to her colleagues in the break she was fired. She’d already began writing and own songs and the following year she performed at Birmingham University. She recorded her first album, Whatever’s for Us which was signed to Cube records and she did in John Peel session on Radio 1 in 1972.
Her career really took off when she signed to A & M records in 1975 and had her most famous hit, Love and Affection the following year. She has continued to record and tour and her most recent album was Not Too Far Away in 2018 which made the UK top 30.
This is one of my favourite songs by her, from the 1980 album Me Myself I and when released as a single only reached number 54.
Happy birthday Joan.