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Norah Jones sweeps Grammy Awards

Jones
Norah Jones

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(CNN) -- There's no doubt that singer/songwriter Norah Jones is enjoying life on cloud nine at the moment.

The 23-year-old newcomer swept the major Grammy Awards on Sunday night, winning album of the year for her jazz debut "Come Away With Me," record of the year and song of the year for "Don't Know Why" (an award that went to songwriter Jesse Harris) and best new artist.

Jones went five-for-five, also winning best pop vocal album and best female pop vocal performance. "Come Away With Me" producer Arif Mardin won producer of the year.

After the awards ceremony, Jones told The Music Room she was overwhelmed by her wins.

"I can't top it," she said. "I don't expect to top it."

TMR also chatted with the sultry singer last March, before "Come Away With Me" catapulted her into the limelight. Here's a look back at the interview:

TMR: Tell us about the first single released, "Don't Know Why", from your album. What is it about?

JONES: Songs are about whatever you want them to be about. For me it might mean something completely different than what it means to you. So I'd say it's about whatever the listener thinks it's about.

TMR: What attracted you to including a cover of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart"?

JONES: (It's a) great song and I've known it for a long time as a Hank Williams song. Then I heard Dinah Washington do it a few years ago and I thought, 'Wow, that's really cool, that's just a great song". It can be done in any way. When it came time to record songs for the record we thought, 'Why don't we just try it?' So we did!

TMR: There's been lot of buzz over your new album. Are you excited about that?

jones
Jones has played the piano since she was seven.

JONES: It's exciting for people to like the record and talk about it. It just kind of puts a lot of pressure on people when people are saying, 'Oh, you're great, you're the next big thing'. It's like hold on, let me do what I do. Don't put that kind of pressure on me because I don't want it. It's cool but I just want to play music. I don't want to be the next big anything. I just want to play for people and that's it.

TMR: Who were some of your influences growing up?

JONES: I listened to a lot of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder. I love Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, John Coltrane. I can't be asked that question without trying to put in everybody because they really do mean that much to me. You don't want to leave anybody out!

TMR: And you got to open for Willie Nelson?

JONES: I had the pleasure of opening for Willie Nelson for four nights in San Francisco, and I got to sing on stage with him for the last night. It was quite a thrill because I've always loved him and listened to his music since I was a little kid. It means a lot that I get to do that.

TMR: How hard is it as a new jazz artist to break into the record industry with it being so pop influenced. Did you feel you needed to do something different to break out?

JONES: It sort of happened very fast for me. I was very fortunate in that I didn't have to work very hard. I mean, I didn't have to work hard to get their attention. I'm on Blue Note records, which is primarily a jazz label, but they just love music. The pop world is cool, but I never really thought of myself as part of it or wanting to be a part of it because I'm on a label that's not really like that. They're not trying to dress me up, they're not trying to do things like that. I feel like I'm sort of separate from that, actually.

TMR: What advice would you give to really young kids -- like 5- or 6-year-olds -- who play piano and want to make it big in music?

JONES: Just play music you love and you'll stay happy.

TMR: What's in store for Norah's future?

JONES: I'm excited because we're going to be touring quite a bit this year and that just means playing lots of different places. That'll be fun.

Back to Music Room Main page.


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