5 things you didn't know about Joss Stone
From her first big break to her barefoot performances, here are some interesting facts about Britain's top soul singer.
At only 29 years of age, soul singer Joss Stone has already had a career worthy of a lifetime. Since bursting onto the music scene at age 16, the British phenom has released seven albums, found success in acting in television and film, and made a name for herself along with such greats as Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder.
She's also about to launch a new world tour, with stops in Israel, Norway, Switzerland and more. In celebration of Stone's return to the stage, here are some interesting facts about the performer you may not have heard.
Her big break came after winning a BBC singing competition
In 2001, at the age of 13, Joss Stone competed in the BBC Television talent show "Star for a Night." She eventually went on to win the competition with American singer Donna Summer's 1979 hit "On the Radio." In an interview years later, she revealed that the competition was stunningly the first time she'd ever given a public performance.
"It was very embarrassing really," she told Rolling Stone Australia in 2004. "I just did it for a laugh. I'm not really very good at school so I thought I might as well do something with my life. It was very scary. I didn't really know anything live performance which is kind of embarrassing."
She still lives in the same house she grew up in
Despite riches that have elevated her into one of the wealthiest British musicians under 30, Stone still lives in the rural country farmhouse she grew up in. Located in Devon, a county in southwest England, the property was purchased by Stone after her parents split up. It's since become her ultimate retreat away from the limelight.
"The countryside just makes me feel better," she told the UK Telegraph. "I guess you love wherever your home happens to be, but for me it is the countryside where I grew up, where there is a forest just up the road and the smell is so clean and fresh. Well sometimes it can smell like cowpats, but I just feel much more healthy when I am there. The days go by so fast and I sleep so much better. It is so quiet."
She performs barefoot because she loses balance easily
Unlike many other artists, Joss Stone famously prefers not to use shoes. Her barefoot preference has become a big part of her act, but it's not just because shoes make her uncomfortable.
"Honestly, I don’t like wearing them because I just don’t want to fall over," she told The Sun. "That’s pretty much it. When I’m singing and in the song, especially when I’m really into it and really telling the story, I lose control of whatever’s happening with my body, so I can easily fall over. It’s happened. And I definitely don’t want to be doing that too often.”
She made her TV debut as Anne of Cleves in "The Tudors"
In addition to her successful music career, Stone has also found success as an actress. Her most notable performance to date came as Anne of Cleves on Showtime's hit historical drama "The Tudors." In an interview with IGN, Stone says she was so eager to join the show in any role that she completely overlooked the fact that Anne of Cleves had a German accent.
"The whole thing was a little bit different and a little bit worrying, because I'm not used to doing it," she shared. "I'm not confident. I guess you get more confident as you go, but I can't stand here and tell you I know how to act. That would be a big, fat lie. I have no idea! I really don't! and I don't really know how to sing!"
She's a life-long vegetarian and friend of animals
Joss Stone at an animal shelter in Bahrain in 2015. (Photo: Joss Stone/Facebook)
Since bursting on to the music scene, Stone has made animal advocacy a part of her charity outreach. In addition to participating in various campaigns for animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Stone has also campaigned for a vegetarian lifestyle and also owns a number of rescue dogs.
"I have never eaten meat in my life, and I’m 5-foot-10 and not exactly wasting away," she said. "A wise man once said, ‘Animals are my friends, and I’m not in the habit of eating my friends.’ That is exactly how I feel.”
Now that you've learned a bunch about Ms. Stone, take a look at the music video for her newest song, which she'll be perfoming on tour this summer:
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