There are few voices in music as unmistakable as Aaron Neville's. That VOICE - the lush vibrato, the intensely masculine falsetto - assures the man from Louisiana a place in musical history.
Music was his family heritage, and music was the glue that held the Neville family together in the housing projects of New Orleans in the early 1940s when he was born and growing up. Music was what his family did together and separately, and eventually, Aaron and his brothers made it their livelihoods. Brother Charles played sax with B.B. King, and brother Art was a founder and keyboardist of The Meters. Aaron recorded for small record labels in New Orleans and formed formed the group Soul Machine with younger brother Cyril.
Trying to break into the big time can be discouraging, and in Aaron's case, it was devastating. He served time for car theft and burglary, and he became addicted to heroin. It was music, family, and faith that saved him then and later in life when he battled depression and drugs. That's when he began wearing his trademark jewelry - St. Jude medals dangling from his ear and around his neck. St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes, and Aaron Neville still believes he was lost at several points in his life. Most of his childhood friends died young or are in jail, which are fates he almost shared.
In 1966, it looked like the bad times were over. Aaron recorded what was destined to be one of the biggest pop hits of all time, 'Tell It Like It Is', but sadly, this was followed by a decade of disappointment due to extreme mismanagement. He worked as a longshoreman, a ditch digger, and he battled his demons. In 1977, his brothers stepped in and the four performed as The Neville Brothers, doing what comes naturally - making exquisite vocal and instrumental harmonies. They recorded several albums, most notably FIYO ON THE BAYOU in '81. Aaron's second mega-hit was the '89 'Don't Know Much' with vocalist Linda Ronstadt, part of her classic album CRY LIKE A RAINBOW - HOWL LIKE THE WIND album. With his brothers, he recorded YELLOW MOON that same year, followed by WARM YOUR HEART in '90. Aaron continued to perform and record on his own and with his brothers throughout the '90's and into the new Milleneum.
Aaron Neville is a 4-time Grammy winner: in '89 as Best Pop Duo with Linda Ronstadt and with his brothers as Best Pop Instrumental, in '90 as Best Pop Duo with Ronstadt again for 'All My Life', and in '94 as Best Country Collaboration with Tricia Yearwood in 'I Fall to Pieces.'
Ticket holders to Aaron's concerts are treated to the variety of musical styles for which he became famous - R&B, pop, soul, funk, the gospel of his recent albums, DEVOTION & BELIEVE, and the jazz standards of '04's NATURE BOY. Returning to the music he grew up with keeps Aaron Neville on the road to peace and harmony in his career and in his life.
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