More than four decades after her debut, British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading remains one of the country's most beloved and respected musical figures. Armatrading's honey-toned voice and raw, emotional lyrics earned her a string of hits in the '70s and '80s, and she's only improved over the years, delivering ever more moving and passionate performances on each successive tour. She's a veritable legend on the guitar, and whether she's picking out tunes on a six-string or a twelve-string, she never fails to impress with her nimble fingers and soulful playing. On the road in 2015 for the tour A Very Special Solo Evening with Joan Armatrading, the beloved singer offers fans a rare treat -- intimate, career-spanning solo performances featuring stripped-down renditions of classics like "Love and Affection" and "The Weakness in Me".
Caribbean-born Joan Armatrading spent her early childhood on Saint Kitts and Antigua before moving to Birmingham, England with her family at age seven. She picked up the guitar and piano in her early teens, and at age 16 she made her performance debut at Birmingham University with a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence". She released her first album Whatever’s for Us in 1972 and the follow-up Back to the Night in 1975, but she truly made a mark in 1976 when she cracked the Top 20 on the UK Albums Charts with her self-titled third album. The record's lead single "Love and Affection" was a Top 10 hit in the UK and also earned her a growing fanbase in the US, where she performed the song on Saturday Night Live in 1977. She cemented her status as the first black British female musician to achieve international success with her 1980 album Me Myself I, a new wave-influenced album that introduced a harder, rock edge to her sound and marked the pinnacle of her chart success. Armatrading has remained prolific ever since, releasing popular albums throughout the '90s and '00s. Following the 2012 release of her album Starlight, Armatrading hinted at retirement, meaning that the performances on her 2015 solo tour may be among her last.