Mind, Body & Soul
"It's sad that people listen to music and decide how the singer should look." Joss Stone
Young British soul musician Joss Stone rose to prominence while gaining three Grammy nominations: Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (single You Had Me), and Best Pop Vocal Album (Mind, Body & Soul, 2004) in 2005. She was also noticed for her platinum certified debut album, The Soul Sessions (2003).
5' 10 inches tall Stone later branched out into modeling. She recently signed a multi-million-dollar contract with The Gap clothing line to be their image, replacing Sex and the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker. However, Stone is risking her contract with the fashion house because the 17-year-old soul phenomenon is rumored to live together with her 25-year-old boyfriend, music producer Beau Dozier (son of famed songwriter Lamont Dozier), in California. The situation may put boyfriend Beau in danger of rape charges since Stone is considered under-aged. Stone's family spokesperson denied the couple's living together by saying, "She's not living or staying with her boyfriend - she's in the care of his family."
Childhood and Family:
Joscelyn Eve Stoker, who would later be famous as Joss Stone, was born on April 11, 1987 in Dover, England, UK. Joss later spent her childhood in the small town of Ashill, Devon, England.
The Soul Sessions
"People say I'm the white Aretha Franklin. I wish I was her." Joss Stone
At age 14, Joss Stone began her music career by joining an audition for BBC's hit show, Star For A Night, in which she sang Aretha Franklin's striking classic, "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman." Her mature, soulful voice impressed an agent who later signed her up. Joss and her mother then flew to New York and met the CEO of S-Curve Records, Steve Greenberg, who also launched Hanson and the Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out," and subsequently netted a contract.
With the help from R&B/soul legend Betty Wright, Joss created her recording debut, the EP The Soul Session, which was released on September 16, 2003. In the album, Joss teamed with organist Timmy Thomas, guitarist Little Beaver and keyboardist Latimore, as well as collaborated with Angie Stone and the Roots on a cover of the White Stripe's "Fell In Love With A Girl" (later renamed "Fell In Love With A Boy").
"Steve loves Betty Wright. Then it turned into this whole album thing, it got bigger and bigger and bigger. It was just meant to be an introduction to my album. Steve had loads of different songs cut onto a CD, like, I don't know, thirty or forty. We would listen to them, and I would pick the ones I liked, and Betty would pick the ones she liked. And she brought a few songs to the table, too. We all sat around in a ring and decided on the songs." Joss Stone
The Soul Sessions was a runaway success. It topped the Billboard's "Heatseekers" chart in February 2004, was charted in the US Top 40 in April '04, and hit the Top Ten in thirteen countries worldwide. The album sold over two million copies internationally and was certified gold in the US by summer 2004. It also achieved critical acclaim, including from the Rolling Stone magazine and The New York Times. Being released in the UK a few months after the USA release, single "Fell In Love With A Boy" hit the UK's top 20 and the album itself was subsequently launched in Europe, Australia and Japan.
Following the hype of her debut CD, Joss found herself performing in notable settings like New York's Joe's Pub, Los Angeles' The Troubadour, and became the opening act for the Simply Red concert in Chicago's House of Blues. On screen, she appeared on the Late Show with Craig Kilborn and Ellen, as well as appearing in People magazine.
On September 27, 2004, Joss' sophomore album, "Mind, Body & Soul," was released. Reunited with her former success team, Joss co-wrote 11 of the 14 tracks, including "Spoiled" (with Lamont Dozier and Beau Dozier), Killing Time (with Beth Gibbons), and "You Had Me" (with Eg White, Betty Wright, and mother Wendy). She also contributed the single "Wicked Time" (featuring Mick Jagger) for the drama comedy film, Alfie (2004, starring Jude Law). Being asked about her involvement in the album, Joss said, "I think my singing is so much better on this album and I had a lot more confidence in myself as a writer than I would've had a year ago. Your voice can't ever be the same once you've started singing live as much as I have over the past year."
"Mind, Body & Soul" brought Joss into the spotlight. It scored her three 2005 Grammy award nominations: Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (single You Had Me), and Best Pop Vocal Album (Mind, Body & Soul, 2004). At the prestigious Grammy Awards, Joss attracted audiences' attention with her impressive duet with Melissa Etheridge, singing "Cry Baby/Piece of My Heart," in honor of Janis Joplin.
The young soul prodigy is now on her path to glory and her name has been added as one of the rich on the list of teen musician millionaires in UK.
"If am destined to be as big as Britney, I will be. If not, I will not." Joss Stone