If you want to know what soul music is, look no further than Irma Thomas. Often referred to as the "Queen of Soul" of New Orleans, Irma has been performing for over 50 years. She started her career in the early 1960s, and has since become one of the most respected and well-known soul singers in the world. In this blog post, we will take a look at Irma's life and music, and why she has been such an enduring figure in the music industry.
Born in 1941, Irma grew up in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. She started singing at a young age, and by her teens had already joined her first band, the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians. However, it wasn't until she met record producer Harold Battiste that Irma's career truly took off. Battiste produced Irma's first record, "You Can Have My Husband," in 1960, and she quickly gained popularity with her soulful vocals and emotional delivery.
Irma's career has brought her success both domestically and internationally. In 2007, Irma won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for After the Rain. She also performed at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and has toured with music legends such as Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones.
Irma's music is steeped in the traditions and culture of New Orleans, often exploring themes of heartbreak and resilience. She has also been a strong advocate for African-American rights, frequently performing at events supporting civil rights movements. Irma's impact on the music industry is indisputable, as she continues to inspire and influence contemporary artists.
So the next time you listen to soul music, be sure to give a nod to Irma Thomas, the undeniable "Soul Queen of New Orleans."