Bonnie Lynn Raitt (born November 8, 1949) is an American blues singer-songwriter and slide guitar player. During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of roots-influenced albums which incorporated elements of blues, rock, folk and country. In the 1990s she had a major return to form with the release of her album “Nick of Time” after several years of critical acclaim but little commercial success. The following two albums “Luck of the Draw” and “Longing in Their Hearts” were also multi million sellers generating several hit singles including “Something to Talk About”, “Love Sneakin’ Up on You”, and the ballad “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (with Bruce Hornsby on piano). Raitt has received ten Grammy Awards. She is listed as number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 89 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Raitt was born in Burbank, California. She is the daughter of Broadway musical star John Raitt and his first wife, pianist Marjorie Haydock. She began playing guitar at an early age. Later she gained notice for her bottleneck-style guitar playing. Raitt says she played “a little at school and at [a summer] camp” called Camp Regis-Applejack in New York.
After graduating from Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1967 Raitt entered Radcliffe College majoring in social relations and African studies. Raitt said her “plan was to travel to Tanzania, where President Julius Nyerere was creating a government based on democracy and socialism”. Raitt became friends with then 65-year old bluesman Dick Waterman. During her sophomore year Raitt took a semester off and moved to Philadelphia with Waterman and a number of local musicians. Raitt says it was an “opportunity that changed everything.”
Listen to her songs below