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Bonnie Raitt

Grammy-winning Country and Blues singer known for hits like "I Can't Make You Love Me"

Grammy-winning Country and Blues singer known for hits like "I Can't Make You Love Me"

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Bonnie Raitt Biography

Bonnie Raitt headed to the East Coast for college at Radcliffe, eager to leap into the social turmoil of the 1960s. She once said, "I couldn't wait to get back to where there were folkies and the antiwar and Civil Rights movements. There were so many great music and political scenes going on in the late '60s in Cambridge."

Alongside her interest in social issues of the day, Raitt kept up with her music and often played at local coffeehouses between classes, fine-tuning her signature style -- a gritty, passionate voice coupled with skillful interpretations on the bottleneck guitar. Soon a staple of the Boston folk-and-blues circuit, she met blues promoter Dick Waterman, who would in turn introduce her to the likes of Sippie Wallace, Son House and Muddy Waters. It wasn't long before her reputation and insights into the blues guitar attracted the attention of record executives at Warner Bros.

By 1971, Raitt had released her self-titled debut album, which consisted mostly of carefully chosen covers. Her contemporary interpretations of songs like Del Shannon's "Runaway" and others by Randy Newman, John Prine and Eric Kaz impressed critics who hailed her as a prodigy. Despite her newfound status as a critical darling, Raitt struggled to find commercial success. It wasn't until 1977's "Sweet Forgiveness" that the singer had a hit. Soon thereafter, Warner Bros. and Columbia Records were locked in a bidding war to sign the rising star.

In the early 1980s, Raitt played a number of benefits that appealed to her long-held Quaker ideals. From nuclear war to apartheid, the guitarist would play for hundreds of causes throughout the years. She would go on to share bills with the likes of the Doobie Brothers, James Taylor and Jackson Browne.

Still lacking the commercial success to match her critical acclaim, Raitt continued to experiment musically. It wasn't until 1989 that she would really make her commercial breakthrough. Working with a new label (Capitol Records), Raitt hit her stride, smoothing out the kinks in her style to strike a successful balance between commercial and critical success.

"Nick of Time" earned the songstress three Grammy Awards in 1990, and she won another award for a duet with John Lee Hooker. The album rose all the way to the top of the charts, selling 4 million copies. Three years later, Raitt and producer Don Was struck platinum again with "Luck of the Draw," winning more Grammy Awards and critical accolades. The hit singles "Something to Talk About" and "I Can't Make You Love Me" sold more than 8 million copies in the United States.

Raitt continued to release strong albums throughout the early 1990s. In 1991, she married Michael O'Keefe and, after decades of nonstop work, decided to take a break from studio recording. Traveling for fun instead of work rejuvenated Raitt, but she still took the time to collaborate with friends like Keb' Mo and Pete Seeger on musical projects, even earning a Grammy in 1996 for her work on a tribute album to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Continuing to work for favored causes such as reproductive freedom, environmental defense and health care, Raitt lent her name to a series of Fender guitars with proceeds going to inner city music programs for young girls.

In 2000, Raitt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; three years later, she released a greatest hits album, "The Best of Bonnie Raitt" on Capitol 1989-2003. A follow-up project was a CD/DVD collaboration called Bonnie Raitt and Friends, featuring performances alongside the likes of Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, Keb' Mo and Ben Harper.

In 2009, Raitt and Taj Mahal set off on a 30-date tour across the United States, featuring duets as well as individual performances. Adding philanthropy to the mix, they also raised money for various charities by matching any donations made by ticket holders. "It's a great opportunity for all of us to raise the ante and the attention for something that needs focus. It's the cosmic food chain -- that we get so much and we give something back -- it's what we're supposed to do."

In April 2012, Raitt released her 16th studio album, "Slipstream," which went on to win various awards, including the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Americana Album.

Bonnie Raitt Videos

  • Bonnie Raitt - Need You Tonight [Live] - YouTube
  • Bonnie Raitt - Something To Talk About - YouTube

Bonnie Raitt Books

  • Bonnie Raitt - Longing In Their Hearts
    Bonnie Raitt - Longing In Their Hearts
  • Bonnie Raitt - Luck Of The Draw (Personality)
    Bonnie Raitt - Luck Of The Draw (Personality)

FAQs on booking Bonnie Raitt

  • How do I book Bonnie Raitt to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Bonnie Raitt for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Bonnie Raitt, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Bonnie Raitt or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Bonnie Raitt

    Speaking fees for Bonnie Raitt, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Bonnie Raitt are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Bonnie Raitt, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Bonnie Raitt speak about?

    Bonnie Raitt is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Activism, Arts & Humanities, Health, Influential Women, Music, Women.
  • Where does Bonnie Raitt travel from?

    Bonnie Raitt generally travels from an undisclosed location, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Bonnie Raitt’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Bonnie Raitt for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bonnie Raitt for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Bonnie Raitt or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Bonnie Raitt is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Bonnie Raitt for your event is available upon request. Bonnie Raitt generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Maren Morris, Jennifer Nettles, Lauren Alaina, Kacey Musgraves and The Band Perry. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bonnie Raitt for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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