Howard performing with Alabama Shakes on January 25, 2012
|Also known as||Alabama Shakes|
|Born||October 2, 1988|
Athens, Alabama, United States
|Genres||Americana, blues rock, garage rock, roots rock, soul|
|Associated acts||Alabama Shakes, Bermuda Triangle Band, Thunderbitch|
Howard was born in Athens, Alabama to a European American mother and an African American father. The family house was in a junk yard, and once burned down due to a lightning strike. She learned to write poetry and play the piano from her older sister Jaime, who died from retinoblastoma in 1998; Howard got the same affliction but survived with partial blindness in one eye. Her father left the family soon after.
She began playing the guitar at age 13, and later attended East Limestone High School, where she met future Alabama Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell. She worked for the United States Postal Service until becoming a full-time musician as lead singer of Alabama Shakes.
Brittany Howard is best known as the lead singer and guitarist for the American rock band Alabama Shakes. The band formed under the name "The Shakes" when Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell began playing covers and original songs together with drummer Steve Johnson. Guitarist Heath Fogg later rounded out the lineup, and the band began playing shows at bars in Alabama and recording their debut album, Boys & Girls. They went on to sign a record deal with ATO Records, and released Boys & Girls in 2012 which received critical acclaim and multiple Grammy Award nominations.
In April 2015, Alabama Shakes released their second album, Sound & Color. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and received favorable reviews from the music press. The band went on to perform on multiple late night shows, including Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Howard was featured in the musical medley alongside Mavis Staples, Stephen Colbert, Ben Folds, and more in the series premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. At Lollapalooza in 2015, Howard was invited on stage to perform a duet of "Get Back" with Paul McCartney. Howard also performed at the ceremony for Eddie Murphy's Mark Twain Prize. In 2015, Howard was named the recipient of Billboard's Women in Music "Powerhouse" Award.
Howard is also the lead singer of the rock band Thunderbitch, formed in Nashville in 2012 with members of Clear Plastic Masks and ATO Records labelmates Fly Golden Eagle. The band surprise-released a self-titled album in September 2015. Although the band rarely makes live appearances, they did play a rare set at ATO Records' CMJ Music Marathon showcase in October 2015.
Brittany Howard is also a singer in the band Bermuda Triangle with Jesse Lafser and Becca Mancari, which was formed in Nashville in 2017. Their debut live performance was on July 12, 2017 at the Basement East in Nashville. The trio released their first single on September 6, 2017, titled "Rosey", which was first released on Jesse Lafser's 2015 album "Raised On The Plains". Although originally believed to be a one time performance, the trio performed a five show tour through the Southern states of America in October 2017. This small tour included shows in Carrboro, NC, Asheville, NC, Birmingham AL, Atlanta GA, and Knoxville, TN.
Howard is married to singer-songwriter and frequent collaborator Jesse Lafser.
- Jaime (2019)
With Alabama Shakes
- Thunderbitch (2015)
- "Darkness and Light" (2016, John Legend)
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