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Norah Jones avoids Indian tag

American jazz musician and daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar, Jones, prefers not to consider herself as Indian.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2007 14:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

The best-selling American popular jazz musician and daughter of sitarist Ravi Shankar, Norah Jones, prefers not to consider herself as Indian.

Jones, being interviewed on Sunday on the US television programme 60 minutes, was asked by the host, "Do you consider yourself part Indian?" Jones, who has just released her third album Not Too Late, answered, "I grew up in Texas with a white mother. I feel very Texan, actually, and New York – New Yorker."

Shankar and her mother were never married, despite a relationship that Jones described as "complicated" in the interview. Shankar left her mother and did not see his daughter for most of her early childhood.

Born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, she officially dropped the first and last parts of the name when she turned sixteen. "I saw him sporadically until I was nine and then I didn’t see him again or talk to him until I was eighteen," Jones said.

Even then, she was the one who went out and sought out Shankar who at that point was living in California with his daughter, Anoushka, and his second wife.

Critics have said that the song Seven Years in her first album, which has the lyric a little girl with nothing wrong/and she's all alone, is a reference to Shankar’s non-presence in her life. Jones has denied this.

Jones and her mother largely kept the fact that Shankar was her biological father to themselves during her childhood.

Though Jones knew who her father was, she said in the interview, "You know, when you have a father who’s pretty well known but you don’t see him, the last thing you want to do is start talking about him all the time to people."

When asked if she was angry or had wanted an apology from Shankar when she got older, Jones said, "Yeah. I might have. I might have wanted that."

Jones will start a four-week tour of North America to promote her new album on April 13. Not Too Late, which has 13 songs and was released at the end of January, will be the first album in which Jones has written or co-written every number.

Jones will also make her film debut this summer when shooting begins for My Blueberry Nights, a romantic comedy directed by Wong Kar and starring Jones, Jude Law and Natalie Portman. She made a single cameo appearance in an earlier film.

First Published: Feb 14, 2007 14:37 IST