Joan OsborneBorn: 7/8/1962
Pop singer/songwriter Joan Osborne's 1995 Grammy-winning megahit “One of Us” (penned by band member Eric Bazilian) exploded onto the charts with little advance warning, considering that her public debut took place only a few years earlier-performing a Billie Holiday tune at an open-mike night at New York City club. The impromptu performance inspired Osborne to launch a career performing an eclectic mix of original tunes and covers, developing a bluesy and intimate pop style that resulted in her debut, Relish (1994). Though the album initially sold poorly, it eventually attained multi-platinum status after “One of Us” was released as a single a year later. Nominated for seven Grammy awards, including Song of the Year, Relish generated mild controversy when religious groups objected to the depiction of God in “One of Us” as “a slob, a stranger on a bus, just like one of us.” The late '90s found Osborne producing more hits (“Spider Web” was a Grammy nominee in 1997) and more controversy as right-wing groups boycotted her for her pro-choice advocacy. In 2000, Osborne's critically acclaimed album, Righteous Love, met with little commercial success.
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