Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
British singer Joss Stone was only 16 years old when she hit the mainstream in 2003, armed with a powerful voice and a vintage, soul-based sound. Smartly aligning herself with a number of soul legends on her early records, Stone earned a devoted audience at home and abroad, first for her reinterpretations of classic soul songs (as heard on The Soul Sessions) and then, on future albums, for her songwriting chops and powerful delivery.
Born Joscelyn Eve Stoker in 1987, Stone grew up mimicking the sounds of American soul and R&B icons, particularly throaty vocalists like Aretha Franklin. Her voice developed quickly, a maturation that earned her a first-place finish at a BBC singing competition in 2001. Stone was only 14 at the time, but a pair of local producers recognized her talent and contacted S-Curve CEO Steve Greenberg, who flew her to New York City for an audition. Stone impressed Greenberg with her rendition of Donna Summer's "On the Radio," and a record deal was inked between both parties. With her parents' permission, she dropped out of school, changed her last name, and primed herself for a career in entertainment.
R&B/soul pioneer Betty Wright joined Stone for her first recording, becoming an instant mentor to the singer while also serving as her co-producer and backup vocalist. Little Beaver, Timmy Thomas, Angie Stone, and the Roots also assisted Stone during those studio sessions, creating songs that would soon comprise the track list for her 2003 debut album, The Soul Sessions. A set of soul classics by the likes of Laura Lee, Bettye Swann, Betty Wright, and Aretha Franklin, The Soul Sessions was crafted in just four days, hurried along by an eager label that couldn't wait to tell the world about its neo-soul starlet. The album was ultimately a success, selling over 500,000 copies in America and nearly doubling that figure in the U.K., where it became one of the best-selling records of 2004. The Soul Sessions also introduced Stone to the MTV generation with "Fell in Love with a Boy," a reworked version of the White Stripes' modern rock hit "Fell in Love with a Girl."
Stone's second album, Mind, Body & Soul, focused more heavily on original content than its predecessor. Of its 14 tracks, 12 were either written or co-written by Stone, who became the youngest female to top the U.K. charts upon the albums release in 2004. Mind, Body & Soul eventually reached platinum status in multiple countries and brought Stone both commercial success and critical acclaim, as well as three Grammy nominations and two BRIT Awards. After performances at London's Live 8, Bonnaroo 2005, and Superbowl XL, the singer relocated to the Bahamas to record her next album, Introducing Joss Stone, which found her experimenting with more modern R&B sounds. Produced by Raphael Saadiq and released in March 2007, the album didnt fare quite as well as Stone's two previous releases, although it still sold more than one million copies worldwide.
Following two North American tours and an appearance at the 2007 Grammy Awards, Stone launched a highly publicized battle with her record label, offering to forfeit two million pounds in order to terminate her contract with EMI. The label fought back, demanding that she deliver the master tapes to her next album, and the resulting feud prolonged the release of Stone's fourth record, Colour Me Free! Eventually released in late 2009 by EMI (who had refused to relinquish Stone from her four-album deal), the album revisited the soulful sounds of her early work, representing a marked change from the R&B modernity of Introducing Joss Stone. Although well received by critics, it became the lowest-selling album of her career and failed to produce a successful single. Meanwhile, her acting career took off with a successful stint on The Tudors, where she portrayed Anne of Cleves for two seasons.
After making cameos on albums by Jeff Beck, Tower of Power, and Ringo Starr, Stone returned to her own music as a free agent, having satisfied her commitment to EMI with the release of Colour Me Free! She celebrated her independence by launching her own label, Stone'd Records, and reaching out to Dave Stewart, who agreed to co-write and co-produce her next album. The two began collaborating in 2009 and temporarily relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where they banged out 2011's LP1 in six short days.
Stone's association with Stewart led to her participation in the 2011 supergroup SuperHeavy, also featuring Mick Jagger and Damian Marley. SuperHeavy's eponymous debut materialized in the fall of 2011, and not long afterward, she delved into The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2, a collection of classic soul covers that mirrored her 2003 debut in content and spirit. The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 appeared in the summer of 2012.
Jocelyn Eve Stoker (born 11 April 1987), better known by her stage name Joss Stone, is a British soul singer, songwriter and actress. Stone rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, which made the 2004 Mercury Prize shortlist. Her second album, the similarly multi-platinum Mind Body & Soul, topped the UK Albums Chart for one week and spawned the top ten hit "You Had Me", Stone's most successful single on the UK Singles Chart to date. Both the album and single received one nomination at the 2005 Grammy Awards, while Stone herself was nominated for Best New Artist, and in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2004 was ranked fifth as a predicted breakthrough act of 2004. She became the youngest British female singer whose debut album topped the UK Albums Chart. Stone's third album, Introducing Joss Stone, released in March 2007, achieved gold record status by the RIAA and yielded the second-ever highest debut for a British female solo artist on the Billboard 200, and became Stone's first Top 5 album in the United States and first non-Top 10 album in the United Kingdom.
Stone released her fourth album, Colour Me Free!, on 20 October 2009, which reached the Top 10 on Billboard. Stone released her fifth album, LP1, on 22 July 2011, which reached the Top 10 on Billboard. Throughout her career, Stone has sold 13 million albums, establishing herself as one of the best-selling artists of her time, best-selling soul artists of the 2000s and best-selling British artists of her time. Her first three albums have sold over 2,722,000 copies in the United States, while her first two albums have sold over 2,000,000 copies in United Kingdom. Stone has won two BRIT Awards and one Grammy Award. She also made her film acting debut in 2006 with the fantasy adventure film Eragon, and made her television debut portraying Anne of Cleves in the Showtime series The Tudors in 2009. Stone was the youngest woman on the 2006 Sunday Times Rich List—an annual list of the UK's wealthiest people—with £6 million. In 2012, her fortune is estimated to be £10 million, making her the fifth richest British musician under 30. The Soul Sessions Vol. 2, a sequel to her debut album, was released on 23 July 2012.
Stone was born at Buckland Hospital in Dover, Kent and spent her teenage years in Ashill, a small village near Cullompton in Devon. She is the third of four children born to Wendy (née Skillin) and Richard Stoker. Her father owns a fruit and nut import/export business; her mother worked as Stone's manager until October 2004. Stone made her first public appearance at the Uffculme Comprehensive School—which she attended—in Uffculme, Devon, with a cover version of Jackie Wilson's 1957 song "Reet Petite". Stone blames her dyslexia for the fact that she left school at age sixteen with only three GCSE qualifications. "It wasn't that I was stupid. I'm just a little bit dyslexic and I wasn't very academic. I'm more artistic", she says.
Stone grew up listening to a wide variety of music including 1960s and 1970s American R&B and soul music performed by such artists as Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin. As a result, she developed a soulful style of singing like her idols. "My first CD that I owned was Aretha Franklin: Greatest Hits. And I saw the advert on TV and it was just like little clips of her songs. I had no idea who she was—I was only like 10 so. I said, 'Oh yeah, that looks really good', so I wrote it down and I said to my mum, 'Can I have that for Christmas?' So she told my friend Dennis, who always gets me good music anyway, and he got that for me. So that was one of my first albums that I loved." She would later tell MTV News: "I kind of clicked into soul music more than anything else because of the vocals. You've got to have good vocals to sing soul music and I always liked it ever since I was little."
Early years 
In 2001, at the age of thirteen, Stone auditioned for the BBC Television talent show Star for a Night in London singing Franklin's 1968 Goffin-King hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and Whitney Houston's 1998 "It's Not Right but It's Okay". After passing her audition, she sang Donna Summer's 1979 "On the Radio" for the broadcast, and eventually won the contest. She also appeared on and won Steps to the Stars (a TV programme hosted by H & Claire of the group Steps). Stone then performed on a charity show, where she drew the attention of the Boilerhouse Boys, composed of London-based producers Andy Dean and Ben Wolfe, who contacted S-Curve Records founder and chief executive officer Steve Greenberg in December 2001 telling him that "they had just heard the greatest singer they'd ever heard from their country." In early 2002, Greenberg flew Stone to New York for an audition, in which she sang to backing tracks of classic soul songs: Otis Redding's 1968 "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", Gladys Knight & the Pips' 1973 "Midnight Train to Georgia", and Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"; Greenberg instantly signed her to his label. After being signed by S-Curve Records, her U.S. market album was released by the label S-Curve Records and in the international market her album was released by the label EMI Music. Stone flew to Miami and Philadelphia to start work on her debut album, The Soul Sessions, released on 16 September 2003. She collaborated with people with solid credentials in the Miami soul scene such as Betty Wright, Benny Latimore, Timmy Thomas and Little Beaver as well as contemporary acts Angie Stone and the Roots. The album, produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini and Betty Wright, consists of little-known soul tracks by Franklin, Laura Lee, Bettye Swann and others. Released in late 2003, it reached the top five on the UK Albums Chart as well as the top forty of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The lead single, "Fell in Love with a Boy", a reworking of the White Stripes' 2001 "Fell in Love with a Girl", reached the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart, as did the second single, a cover version of Sugar Billy's 1974 song "Super Duper Love (Are You Diggin' on Me)". The album eventually went triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry in mid-April 2005 and gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in late March 2004.
After achieving critical acclaim with The Soul Sessions, Stone chose new material, and recorded her second album, Mind Body & Soul, which was released on 28 September 2004, produced by the same team as her first album. She called the album her real debut. It debuted at number one in the UK, breaking the record for the youngest female ever to top the UK Albums Chart, and just missed the top ten of the U.S. Billboard 200 after peaking at number 11. The lead single, "You Had Me", became her biggest hit to date when it rose to number nine in the UK. Follow-up singles "Right to Be Wrong" and "Spoiled" both made the top 40, and "Don't Cha Wanna Ride", the top 20. "Spoiled" landed just outside the top 50 of U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, peaking at number 54. In early September 2005, Mind, Body & Soul was certified triple platinum by the BPI and platinum by the RIAA. In 2004, Stone began dating Beau Dozier, with whom she co-wrote the song "Spoiled". Dozier is the son of Motown producer Lamont Dozier, who is best known as part of Holland-Dozier-Holland. The two split up in November 2005.
Stone joined Band Aid 20 on 14 November 2004 in benefit of Sudan's troubled Darfur region. The group, consisting of such luminaries as Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin and U2 lead singer Bono, re-recorded the 1984 song "Do They Know It's Christmas?", written by Band Aid organisers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Stone, born two years after the release of the original single, was not initially aware of who Bob Geldof was. The media gleefully reported that she repeatedly referred to him as Bob Gandalf. Despite some criticism, the single became the UK's biggest-selling single of 2004 as well as the 2004 Christmas number-one single. At the 2005 BRIT Awards, Stone won for British Female Solo Artist and British Urban Act—entering the Guinness World Records as the youngest BRIT Award solo winner at age seventeen—, and was nominated for British Breakthrough Act. She also received a nomination for Best UK Act of the Year at the 2005 MOBO Awards, as well as three nominations for the 2005 Grammy Awards—Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "You Had Me", and Best Pop Vocal Album for Mind Body & Soul—, where she sang with rock performer Melissa Etheridge, in tribute to blues-rock singer Janis Joplin. Their performance of "Cry Baby/Piece of My Heart" was released as a single, and through the aid of strong digital download sales, became Stone's first single to enter the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, when it debuted and peaked at number 32 the week of 2 April 2005. That same year, she was voted the World's Sexiest Vegetarian by peta2, alongside Chris Martin.
In March 2005, Stone was named the spokesperson for the Gap clothing company, replacing the actress Sarah Jessica Parker. She appeared in a television advertisement for that store chain singing a cover of Ray Charles's 1958 song "Night Time Is the Right Time" (retitled "The Right Time"). Stone also appeared in one of Gap's Fall 2005 "Favorites" commercials, singing the Beach Boys' 1966 song "God Only Knows". By that time, rumours circulated about her being dropped from the campaign because she was living with then-25-year-old songwriter and producer Beau Dozier (son of Motown producer and composer Lamont Dozier) in Los Angeles while she was only 17. However, Gap later denied the rumours, stating that they were very happy with Stone and telling BBC Radio 1 that the claims were "absolute tosh" and "a complete fabrication". On 11 April 2005, Stone performed "Spoiled", Rufus' 1974 song "Tell Me Something Good" with John Legend, Otis Redding's 1966 song "Try a Little Tenderness" with Donna Summer, and 1977's "Hot Legs" with Rod Stewart at "Save the Music: A Concert to Benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation", in benefit of VH1's Save the Music Foundation. Three months later, on 2 July 2005, Stone performed "Super Duper Love", "I Had a Dream", and "Some Kind of Wonderful" at the Live 8 concert at Hyde Park, London.
Film debut and Introducing Joss Stone 
Stone performed a medley of "It's a Man's World" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" with funk legend James Brown on BBC One's chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 1 July 2005. Stone collaborated with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and blues singer-guitarist Jonny Lang on a cover of U2's 1988 song "When Love Comes to Town" for Hancock's 2005 album Possibilities. That same year, Stone was featured along with Sean Paul on Santana's "Cry Baby Cry", and worked with Patti LaBelle on a remake of the latter's 1985 song "Stir It Up" for the soundtrack to the Disney animated film Chicken Little. She also collaborated with Lemar in 2006 on his third studio album, The Truth About Love, on the track "Anniversary". On 5 February 2006, Stone joined Stevie Wonder, India.Arie, and John Legend during the Super Bowl XL pre-game ceremonies to perform a medley of Wonder's hits. Three days later, on 8 February, on the night of the 2006 Grammy Awards, she helped perform a medley of Sly & the Family Stone's hits alongside Legend, Ciara, Maroon 5, will.i.am, Robert Randolph, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Stone made her film debut in the fantasy adventure film Eragon (based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Christopher Paolini), directed by Stefen Fangmeier and released on 15 December 2006, playing the fortune teller Angela. At the 2007 Grammy Awards, Stone shared the award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for her collaboration with John Legend and Van Hunt on their 2005 cover of Sly & the Family Stone's 1971 chart-topper "Family Affair".
Stone caused controversy at the 2007 BRIT Awards ceremony on 14 February 2007 while presenting the award for British Male Solo Artist (won by James Morrison). Speaking in a fake American accent, she circled the podium and gave a speech about Robbie Williams, who had been the target of earlier jokes made by host Russell Brand. Williams had been reported as going into rehabilitation that same week. As her speech continued, she made remarks about Brand, implying that he was heading for rehabilitation himself (while singing a passage of Amy Winehouse's hit "Rehab"). In response to the British media's reaction, Stone responded, "At the end of the day, I don't give a fuck if people have a problem with my accent. That's all I can say about it. The words I say do not change. If the way that it sounds is skew-wiff and you don't like it, don't listen. I'm not being a cruel person by sounding a different way. And I can't help it. I've been [in America working] since I was, like, 14." Stone, a vegetarian since birth—having been brought up as one by her parents — was photographed by Justin Borucki posing with a chicken in an advert for PETA in March 2007, whose tagline states, "I am Joss Stone and I am a vegetarian".
Stone began work on her third studio album, Introducing Joss Stone, at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, in May 2006. Released on 12 March 2007, the album was coordinated by A&R Chris Anokute, produced by Raphael Saadiq, and included collaborations with Lauryn Hill, Common, and Joi. Virgin Records describes the album as "an electrifying mix of warm vintage soul, 1970s-style R&B, Motown girl-group harmonies, and hip-hop grooves". Stone herself describes it as "truly me. That's why I'm calling it Introducing Joss Stone. These are my words, and this is who I am as an artist." She also revealed on The Tavis Smiley Show that her break-up with Beau Dozier was a source of inspiration while writing Introducing Joss Stone. The album debuted and peaked at number twelve on the UK Albums Chart, not managing to match the success of Stone's two previous albums. It nevertheless debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 selling 118,000 copies in its first week, becoming the highest debut for a British solo female artist on the U.S. chart, surpassing the record previously held by Amy Winehouse with Back to Black (which in turn would later be outdone by Leona Lewis, whose album Spirit debuted at number one the week of 26 April 2008).
"Tell Me 'Bout It", the album's lead single, debuted and peaked at number twenty-eight on the UK Singles Chart—where it stayed for three weeks only—, and peaked at number eighty-three on the U.S Billboard Hot 100. The second single, "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now", a collaboration with rapper Common, failed to chart inside the UK top seventy-five, but made the top sixty-five of the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Stone and Common turned the single's music video into a Product Red, reverting 100% of the gains from copies of the video purchased from iTunes to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Stone is the first Product Red artist to do so. "Baby Baby Baby" was released digitally in December 2007 and physically in January 2008 as the third single. In support of the album, Stone embarked on a North American tour which began on 27 April at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut and ended on 13 June at the Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia, visiting sixteen cities in total including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Vancouver, Chicago, Toronto, New York and Boston. Two months later, she went on a North American late-summer tour which kicked off on 27 August at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and ended on 29 September at the Crossroads in Kansas City, Missouri, covering twelve cities—this time including Mexico City.
2009–2010: Colour Me Free! and Departure from EMI 
Stone was photographed by Canadian singer-guitarist and photographer Bryan Adams for Phonak's Hear the World initiative, whose main goal is to raise global awareness for the topic of hearing and hearing loss. "Being able to hear means that you can enjoy all the sounds of the world", she said. On 7 July 2007, Stone performed at the South African leg of the Live Earth concerts at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg, to promote awareness of global warming. She sang the Introducing Joss Stone tracks "Girl They Won't Believe It", "Headturner", "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now", "Music", and "Tell Me 'bout It", as well as Mind, Body & Soul's "Right to Be Wrong" and "Gimme Shelter", the latter with Angélique Kidjo. Stone covered Nat King Cole's 1965 classic "L-O-V-E" for an advertising campaign for Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle fragrance. On 29 November 2007, Stone joined Jeff Beck on a duet of the Impressions's 1965 song "People Get Ready" as part of his series of concerts at London's Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, documented on the DVD Performing This Week: Live at Ronnie Scott's. In order to raise the awareness of AIDS, Annie Lennox joined forces with twenty-three female acts (including Stone) and recorded the song "Sing", which was released on World AIDS Day on 1 December 2007, when Lennox performed at one of Nelson Mandela's 46664 concerts at Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium. In mid-December 2007, Stone was named the new Flake girl to star in a series of television adverts for the Cadbury Schweppes product in the spring of 2008. According to the company, she is the first non-model to take the role.
In March 2008, Stone signed up for the role of a lesbian named Stephanie in the British romantic comedy Snappers. In addition to acting, she produced the film's soundtrack. The film, also starring Chloe Howman, Caroline Quentin and Bruce Jones, premiered at the English Riviera Comedy Film Festival in September 2008. Stone made her television debut portraying Henry VIII's fourth wife Anne of Cleves in the third season of Showtime's series The Tudors. She reprised the role in the show's final season in 2010, appearing in two episodes.
Stone launched a legal battle in a bid to leave her record label, EMI, and free her of her current three-album deal with the record label in April 2008. Stone performed at the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on 26 April 2008. She also performed "Right to Be Wrong" at the LA PRIDE 2008—produced by Christopher Street West, a non-profit organisation—in West Hollywood, California, on 7 June 2008. On 26 October 2008, Stone sang the British national anthem, God Save the Queen, before the NFL match between the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints, held at Wembley Stadium, London. On 7 December 2008, Stone performed the Who's 1965 song "My Generation" on CBS's Kennedy Center Honors TV special at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., honouring Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. In 2010, Stone also appeared on Ringo Starr's album, Y Not on the song "Who's Your Daddy" in which she sang and co-wrote with the ex-Beatle; appeared on Jeff Beck's album, Emotion and Commotion on the songs "I Put A Spell On You" and "There's No Other Me". In late 2010, Stone's voice and likeness were used for the "Bond girl" character of Nicole Hunter, a jewellery designer and MI6 agent, in the video game James Bond 007: Blood Stone. In addition to portraying the character, she also performed the game's theme song, "I'll Take It All", which was co-written and performed with Dave Stewart.
Stone's fourth studio album was written and recorded in about a week in Devon in early 2008. "I kind of woke up one morning and wanted to make an album", she says. "It's very, very raw. It's a bunch of musicians, writers and myself, and we're just jamming, basically." In promotion of the album, entitled Colour Me Free!, Stone played concerts throughout the United Kingdom in February and March. Originally scheduled for release in April 2009, Colour Me Free! was finally released on 20 October 2009, after EMI delayed the album's release. Joss revealed that her record company also fought her about the original cover of her new album, calling it "offensive". It was changed to simple text and no picture of the singer on the American edition, the original cover was used on the other editions worldwide. In late August 2010, it was reported that Stone had left EMI and formed her own independent record label, Stone'd Records. EMI announced in late December that they would be releasing a greatest hits album, The Best of Joss Stone 2003–2009. The compilation was released on 30 September 2011. In 2010, She collaborated with Puerto Rican recording artist Ricky Martin for "The Best Thing About Me Is You", and peaked at number 74 on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 and which topped the Hot Latin Songs and Latin Pop Songs chart, this was Stone's first number one on all two charts, which also made her the first Briton of non-Hispanic origin to reach No. 1 on the Hot Latin Tracks and Latin Pop Songs chart.
2011–present: LP1, SuperHeavy and The Soul Sessions Vol 2 
On 14 June 2011, police arrested two men in Cullompton, Devon, near Stone's home, for plotting to rob and murder her. After a trial at Exeter Crown Court for conspiracy to rob, murder and commit grievous bodily harm against her, they were found guilty and convicted on 3 April 2013.
Stone partnered with Surfdog Records to release LP1 on 26 July 2011, through her own label Stone'd Records. The album was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee in six days, where Stone co-wrote and co-produced the album with Eurythmics co-founder, David Stewart The lead single, "Somehow", and was released on 24 June 2011. Stone also joined the supergroup SuperHeavy which was formed by Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, together with Dave Stewart, Damian Marley (the youngest son of Bob Marley) and the Indian musician and producer A.R. Rahman. The album was recorded at Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles and it was released in 20 September 2011 by A&M Records. The debut single, "Miracle Worker", was released on 19 July 2011. In July 2012, Stone mentioned to newspaper La Vanguardia she will work on a reggae album which will be recorded and produced by herself and Damian Marley, who previously worked in SuperHeavy.
Released in July 2012, "The Soul Sessions Vol 2" saw Stone return to her original label, S-Curve Records, who released the album jointly with the artist's Stone'd Records, and features production from Steve Greenberg (producer of the first "Soul Sessions"). The album finds Stone largely covering lesser-known soul songs from the 1970s and '80s by acts including the Chi-Lites, the Honey Cone, the Dells, Sylvia, Labi Siffre and Linda Lewis.
Performance style 
Stone possesses the vocal range of a contralto. She is also known for her barefoot performances.