Joan Armatrading is more proud of her history degree than her music.
The ‘Love and Affection’ hitmaker loves writing songs and will continue to write new songs until the day she dies, but she insists the greatest achievement of her life is graduating with a BA Honors degree, which she studied for five years through the Open University and completed in 2001.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, she said: “I love writing songs. . . And I’ll only stop when I’m dead!
“It must have been when I got my honors degree in history.”
When asked what she’s most proud of, she said: ‘I had to really work for it. When songs come to mind . . . no problem, no anguish.
“I can write for five minutes or two days and stop when I want. I feel very lucky to have received that gift.
“But as I graduated, I had to learn how to formulate answers and figure out the right words to use.”
He also holds six honorary degrees, doctorates or fellowships from various universities.
Joan’s 50-year music career was marked by the release of a new live album today (18.11.22).
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 worldwide during lockdown last year for one night, and was followed by the documentary about her life and music, “Me Myself I”.
Joan said: “Fifty years is a long time but for me it has flown by and I still get the same thrill of writing songs as when I started.
“This live album is a great way to look back and also update my story by including songs from the latest album. I’m really 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 best-known songs, including ‘Drop the Pilot’, ‘The Weakness in Me’, ‘Me Myself I’ and ‘Willow’.
Songs from his latest Top 10 studio album ‘Consequences’ also had their live debut, such as ‘Natural Rhythm’, ‘Consequences’, ‘Already There’, ‘Better Life’, ‘Glorious Madness’ and ‘To Anyone 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 to join her parents in Birmingham from St Kitts at the age of seven, Joan taught herself to play piano and guitar before becoming the first British singer-songwriter to achieve international success.
He has produced and played all instruments on his records since 2003.
Her admirers range from Bob Dylan to Arlo Parks and she is the first UK female artist to debut at number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts and the first UK female artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the Blues category.
He has an Ivor Novello Academy Fellowship Award, Lifetime Achievement from the Radio 2 Folk Awards and an MPG Outstanding Contribution Award to UK Music.
Awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth in 2001, she received the CBE in 2020.