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Happy Birthday, India.Arie!

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Happy Birthday, India.Arie! The soulful singer-songwriter is 42 years old today (Oct. 3).

India.Arie is a four-time Grammy Award winner who came up from Denver, Colo. Both of her parents had a taste of fame: Ralph Simpson played for the ABA and NBA and Joyce Simpson was a Motown singer.

The “Ready for Love” singer started taking music seriously really later than most. She was a student in Savannah College of Art and Design when she started investing in songwriting and guitar. A Universal/Motown music scout discovered her in 1999 and she signed to the label soon after.

That music scout ended up keeping his/her job. Acoustic Soul, India.Arie’s debut album, went double platinum. Voyage to India and Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship went platinum and gold, respectively. India.Arie’s music was also a wealth of positivity, too, like “Video,” which is an ode to self-image.

In June, Arie released her latest project, the EP SongVersation: Medicine, which is a continuation of Songversation, which dropped in 2013. And she began teaching The SongVersation Practice classes at Berklee College in Boston.

“With The SongVersation Practice, it was a natural evolution of me finding who I am, and how I evolved and as a writer, I wanted to detail it and share it with other people,” she told The BoomBox. “I was at Martha’s Vineyard, I met the head of Berklee and he said ‘Would you ever come to Berklee? Is there something you want to do?’ I think he asked me thinking I’d have to think about it. I said ‘I have something,’ and he loved the idea.”

Watch India.Arie’s “Just Do You” Video

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