Getting to know Aaron Neville

Howard Campbell

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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BORN in New Orleans, Grammy-winning singer Aaron Neville's sound is defined by the diversity of his hometown.

The 73-year-old has earned a remarkable 15 Grammy nominations in 11 categories.

Neville -- who performs on Saturday at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium — has been recording as a solo act having been a member of the Neville Brothers for over 50 years.

He started in the late 1950s when soul music was getting set to take off in the United States.

Since then, he has recorded as a soul, funk, pop and gospel artiste.

Though he had an international hit in 1966, with the much-covered Tell it Like it Is, Neville's solo fortunes soared in 1989 when Don't Know Much, his duet with Linda Ronstadt, won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

That triumph set the pace for a fruitful decade in which he recorded profusely. His first solo venture in the 1990s was the platinum-selling album, Warm Your Heart, which featured a cover of the Main Ingredients hit Everybody Plays the Fool.

In 1994, Neville won his fourth Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration with Trisha Yearwood for their cover of country legend Patsy Cline's I Fall To Pieces.

Eleven years later, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Aaron Neville was among the thousands affected, losing his home and other personal possessions.

The tragedy inspired him to record the Gospel Roots album which was followed by another set of inspirational songs, I Know I've Been Changed.




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