Joan Armatrading is more proud of her history degree than her music.
The ‘Love and Affection’ hitmaker loves songwriting and will continue to write new songs until her death, but she insists the greatest achievement of her life is earning her BA Honors degree, which she spent five years at the Open University studied and graduated in 2001.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, she said: “I love writing songs. . . and I won’t stop until I’m dead!”
“It must have been when I was getting my BA Honors degree in history.”
When asked what she’s most proud of, she said: “I really had to work for that. When songs come to mind. . . no problems, no fear.
“I can write for five minutes or two days and stop when I want. I feel very lucky to have been given this gift.
“But during my studies I had to learn to formulate answers and to find the right words.”
She also has six honorary degrees, doctorates or scholarships from various universities.
Joan’s 50-year music career was marked today (11/18/22) with the release of a new live album.
The 71-year-old music legend’s ‘Live at Asylum Chapel’ LP is out now.
It comes after the BBC recently honored the singer with a screening of the show, which was streamed globally for one night during lockdown last year, followed by the documentary about her life and music, Me Myself I.
Joan said: “Fifty years is a long time but it has flown by for me and writing songs still gives me the same thrills as when I started.
“This live album is a great way to look back and update my story by including songs from the latest album. I am very happy that so many people still want to hear them and sing along.”
Joan’s concert from the Asylum Chapel in south London featured some of her most famous songs, including “Drop the Pilot”, “The Weakness in Me”, “Me Myself I” and “Willow”.
Songs from her latest Top 10 studio album Consequences also made their live debuts, such as Natural Rhythm, Consequences, Already There, Better Life, Glorious Madness and To Everyone Who Will Listen “. .
The album features Joan’s live band – Jennifer Maidman on bass, Paul Stewart (drums), Alex Lee Richards (keyboards) and Jamie Anderson (saxophone).
Arriving alone from St Kitts in Birmingham to live with her parents at the age of seven, Joan taught herself to play the piano and guitar before becoming the first British singer-songwriter to achieve international success.
She has been producing and playing every instrument on her records since 2003.
Her admirers range from Bob Dylan to Arlo Parks and she is the first British artist to debut at number one on the Billboard Blues Chart and the first British artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the Blues category.
She has an Ivor Novello Academy Fellowship Award, Radio 2 Folk Awards Lifetime Achievement and an MPG Outstanding Contribution Award to UK Music.
She was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth in 2001 and received the CBE in 2020.