Brittany Howard

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Brittany Howard
Alabama Shakes 03.jpg
Howard performing with Alabama Shakes on January 25, 2012
Background information
Also known asAlabama Shakes
Born (1988-10-02) October 2, 1988 (age 31)
Athens, Alabama, United States
GenresAmericana, blues rock, garage rock, roots rock, soul
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2009 (2009)–present
Associated actsAlabama Shakes, Bermuda Triangle Band, Thunderbitch[1]

Brittany Howard (born October 2, 1988)[2][3] is an American musician, best known as lead vocalist and guitarist of American rock bands Alabama Shakes and Thunderbitch.[4]

Early life[edit]

Howard was born in Athens, Alabama[5] to a European American mother and an African American father.[6] The family house was in a junk yard, and once burned down due to a lightning strike.[7] 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.[8]

She began playing the guitar at age 13,[9] and later attended East Limestone High School, where she met future Alabama Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell.[9] She worked for the United States Postal Service until becoming a full-time musician as lead singer of Alabama Shakes.[10]


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.[10]

In April 2015, Alabama Shakes released their second album, Sound & Color. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200,[11] and received favorable reviews from the music press.[12] 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.[13] At Lollapalooza in 2015, Howard was invited on stage to perform a duet of "Get Back" with Paul McCartney.[14] Howard also performed at the ceremony for Eddie Murphy's Mark Twain Prize.[15] In 2015, Howard was named the recipient of Billboard's Women in Music "Powerhouse" Award.[16]

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.[17] Although the band rarely makes live appearances, they did play a rare set at ATO Records' CMJ Music Marathon showcase in October 2015.[18]

Brittany Howard is also a singer in the band Bermuda Triangle with Jesse Lafser and Becca Mancari, which was formed in Nashville in 2017.[19] Their debut live performance was on July 12, 2017 at the Basement East in Nashville.[20] 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".[19] 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.[21] This small tour included shows in Carrboro, NC, Asheville, NC, Birmingham AL, Atlanta GA, and Knoxville, TN.[21]

In June 2019, Brittany Howard announced a debut solo album, Jaime which was released on September 20, 2019, as well as a tour across North America and Europe. [22]

Personal Life[edit]

Howard is married to singer-songwriter and frequent collaborator Jesse Lafser.[23]



With Alabama Shakes[edit]

With Thunderbitch[edit]

  • Thunderbitch (2015)

Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Montgomery, James (December 18, 2012). "Alabama Shakes: Brittany Howard Robbed at Gunpoint". MTV. Viacom International. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "Celebrity birthdays Oct. 2". DelawareOnline. October 1, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  3. ^ "Alabama Shakes - American rock band". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Pareles, Jon (September 3, 2015). "Review: 'Thunderbitch' Features Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Hermes, Will (February 28, 2013). "Alabama Shakes' Unlikely Triumph". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Cane, Clay (June 25, 2013). "Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes: "I Don't Think About Color"". BET. Viacom International. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard On Small-Town Life, Big-Time Music". NPR. January 28, 2016.
  8. ^ Jupp, Emily (July 3, 2015). "Alabama Shakes interview: 'I didn't think I wanted to do this any more'". The Independent.
  9. ^ a b "Brittany Howard - Singer". Biography. A&E. March 11, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Rhodes, Joe (March 18, 2015). "Alabama Shakes's Soul-Stirring, Shape-Shifting New Sound". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  11. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 29, 2015). "Alabama Shakes Scores Its First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  12. ^ "Reviews for Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes". Metacritic. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  13. ^ Breihan, Tom (September 9, 2015). "Watch The Surprise All-Star Musical Finale Of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Premiere". Stereogum. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  14. ^ Minsker, Evan (August 1, 2015). "Paul McCartney Performs "Get Back" With Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard, "FourFiveSeconds" at Lollapalooza". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "Tracy Morgan Joins Lineup for Eddie Murphy Mark Twain Prize Ceremony". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. October 5, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  16. ^ "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Named Billboard's 2015 Women in Music 'Powerhouse' Artist". Billboard. October 22, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  17. ^ Blistein, Jon (September 1, 2015). "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Releases New LP as Thunderbitch". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  18. ^ "Brittany Howard's Thunderbitch played ATO's CMJ showcase w/ Margaret Glaspy, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Joseph (pics)". October 20, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  19. ^ a b Powers, Ann (September 6, 2017). "Songs We Love: Bermuda Triangle, 'Rosey'". NPR. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  20. ^ Gold, Adam (July 13, 2017). "Watch Brittany Howard Side Project Bermuda Triangle Make Live Debut". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  21. ^ a b Stickler, Jon (September 7, 2017). "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Shares Debut Single Of New Band Bermuda Triangle". Stereoboard. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  22. ^ "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Announces Debut Solo Album, Shares New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  23. ^ Johnson, Ellen (September 27, 2019). "Brittany Howard Becomes Herself on Jaime". Paste. Retrieved September 27, 2019.