Music / Bonnie Raitt
"I think people must wonder how a white girl like me became a blues guitarist..."

At the age of twenty, Bonnie Raitt (born November 8, 1949), the daughter of famed musical theatre actor John Raitt, put a career in the political arena on hold to tour with The Rolling Stones and never looked back.

The Grammy-winning guitar player and vocalist has been a fixture in the music industry since the early 70's, releasing critically acclaimed (if not terribly commercially successful) albums throughout that decade and into the next before a cold streak in the mid eighties threatened to derail her career for good. The self-styled comeback effort Nick Of Time did all that and more, not only regaining her critical standing but setting the stage for a run as one of the most popular acts of the next decade. The 1991 follow-up, Luck Of The Draw featured her two most famous songs, Something To Talk About and I Can't Make You Love Me.

Rolling Stone readers voted her to their lists of the greatest singers (50th) and guitarists (89th) of all time.

Discography (get ready for a Long List):

Let's give 'em something to talk about - how about tropes, tropes, tropes?

  • Ace Custom: Raitt is the only female guitarist with a signature series Stratocaster to her name. Her tour guitar (pictured) is also a custom model, bought secondhand early in her career.
  • Breakup Song: "I Can't Make You Love Me", fittingly one of Adele's recurring covers.
  • The Cameo: Bonnie briefly appears in The Country Bears.
  • Cool Old Lady: Even in her sixties, she's still a major concert draw whose albums debut in the top ten.
  • Cover Version: While Raitt has found success as a songwriter, she's primarily an interpretive artist who can remake anything from 1920s Sippie Wallace numbers to New Wave Music in her folk-blues style.
  • Determinator: "I Will Not Be Denied"
  • Distinct Double Album: Slipstream is a downplayed version - half the album was recorded with Joe Henry's session players and the other half recorded with her touring band.
  • Everyone Can See It: "Something To Talk About"
  • Everything Is an Instrument: "Nick Of Time" features a miked sandbag for its "heartbeat" percussion.
  • I Call It "Vera": The creatively-named brown touring guitar, "Brownie".
  • Intercourse with You: Raitt was prone to these often during her early career. "Love Me Like A Man" is probably the clearest example.
    They all want me to rock them/Like my back ain't got no bone/I want a man to rock me/Like my back bone was his own/Darlin', I know you can..
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "I Can't Make You Love Me", again.
  • Live Album: Road Tested and the Decades Rock Live appearance.
  • Metaphor is My Middle Name: "The Road's My Middle Name"
  • Self-Titled Album
  • Skunk Stripe
  • Something Blues: "Walking Blues"
  • Something Completely Different: Wah She Go Do is a calypso number on a blues album.
  • Spiritual Successor: For a time, Susan Tedeschi was billed as Raitt's spiritual successor - similarly a white female blues vocalist/guitarist with pop leanings - but Tedeschi has since moved to fronting the massive Tedeschi Trunks Band, embracing more of a southern rock sound in the process.