Stone was born in Dover, Kent and spent her teenage years in Ashill, Devon. She is the third of four children born to Richard and Wendy Stoker: Daniel, Lucy, and Harry. She made her first public appearance at the Uffculme Comprehensive School — which she attended —, in Uffculme, Devon, with a cover of Jackie Wilson's 1957 "Reet Petite".
Stone grew up listening to a wide variety of music including American R&B and soul music performed by such artists as Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin; as a result, she developed a soulful style of singing like her idols. In 2001, at the age of fourteen, she appeared on the BBC Television's talent show Star for a Night singing Donna Summer's 1979 "On the Radio". She told MTV News, "I kind of clicked into soul music more than anything else because of the vocals. You've got to have good vocals to sing soul music and I always liked it ever since I was little".
In 2002, she decided to back her ability by flying out from England for an audition in New York City with S-Curve CEO Steve Greenberg. She also signed a global music publishing deal with BMG Music Publishing in the UK. Since then, she has performed with such artists as Blondie and Gladys Knight.
The Soul Sessions Main article: The Soul Sessions
The Soul Sessions (2003)After being signed by S-Curve Records, Stone flew to Miami, Florida to start working on her debut album, The Soul Sessions, released on 16 September 2003. She collaborated with people with solid credentials in the Miami soul scene such as Betty Wright, Benny Latimore, Timmy Thomas, and Little Beaver. She also worked with contemporary acts Angie Stone and The Roots.
The album consists of little-known soul tracks by Wright, Franklin, Laura Lee, and Bettye Swann. Released in late 2003, it reached the top five in the UK Albums Chart, and also made the top forty of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The lead single, "Fell in Love with a Boy", which was a reworking of The White Stripes' 2001 "Fell in Love with a Girl", reached the top twenty of the UK Singles Chart, as did the second single, a cover version of Sugar Billy's 1974 "Super Duper Love".
It was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2004.
Mind, Body & Soul Main article: Mind, Body & Soul
Mind, Body & Soul (2004)After achieving critical acclaim with The Soul Sessions, Stone recorded her second album — this time made mostly of songs co-written by her —, Mind, Body & Soul, released on 28 September 2004. It proved to be an even bigger success than her first album, as it debuted at number one in the UK (breaking the record for the youngest female ever to top the UK Albums Chart, a record previously held by Avril Lavigne) and just missed the top ten of the U.S. Billboard 200, after peaking at number eleven. The lead single, "You Had Me", became her first top ten hit in the UK. Follow-up singles "Right to Be Wrong" and "Spoiled" both made the top forty, and "Don't Cha Wanna Ride" the top twenty. "Spoiled" landed just outside the top fifty of U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, peaking at number fifty-four. The fifth single is "Less Is More" in Latin America and Australia and "Security" in Europe, both released as airplay only.
Introducing Joss Stone
Introducing Joss Stone (2007)Main article: Introducing Joss Stone
Stone began working on her third studio album, Introducing Joss Stone, in Barbados, in May 2006. It was released on 12 March 2007 in the UK via Virgin Records, involving production by Raphael Saadiq and collaborations with Lauryn Hill, Novel, and Common. Virgin describes it as "an electrifying mix of warm vintage soul, '70s-style R&B, Motown girl-group harmonies, and hip-hop grooves". Stone herself describes it as "truly me. That's why I'm calling it Introducing Joss Stone. These are my words, and this is who I am as an artist". She also revealed on The Tavis Smiley Show that her break-up with Beau Dozier was a source of inspiration while writing Introducing Joss Stone. The album debuted at number twelve on the UK Albums Chart. "Tell Me 'Bout It", the lead single, debuted and peaked at number twenty-eight on the UK Singles Chart — where it stayed for three weeks only — and peaked at number eighty-three on the U.S Billboard Hot 100. It also debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 selling 118,000 copies in its first week, becoming the highest debut for a British solo female artist on the U.S. charts, surpassing the record previously held by Amy Winehouse with Back to Black. The album has sold 60,000 copies in the UK since it's release, giving it silver status on the charts.
2007 BRIT Awards
Stone caused controversy at the 2007 BRIT Awards ceremony, on 14 February, when presenting the award for "British Male Solo Artist" (won by James Morrison). Speaking with a faux American accent and walking around the podium, she gave a speech in which she asked the audience to send "big love" to Robbie Williams, who had been the butt of earlier jokes made by host Russell Brand. Williams had been reported as going into rehab that same week. As her speech continued, she made remarks about Brand, implying that he was heading for rehab himself (while singing a passage of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab"). Brand stated that he was "a bit worried about that poor cow" at the close of the show.
The BRIT Awards appearance was the beginning of a string of incidents that the UK press reported as examples of Stone's increasingly erratic behaviour.
Known for her barefoot performances and neo-hippie fashions, Stone became an icon of sorts for stylishly earthy young women. To promote her 2007 album, however, she changed her style to a harder-edged, purple-haired look.
Stone was named the spokesperson for the megastore Gap, replacing Sarah Jessica Parker. However, she was reportedly dropped because she was living with then-twenty-five-year-old songwriter Beau Dozier (son of record producer Lamont Dozier) in Los Angeles, California while she was only seventeen.This, however, is untrue because the GAP hired Beau Dozier to produce both GAP commercials for Joss Stone, "The Right Time" and "God Only Knows", and they hired him AFTER that gossip appeared, proving that it was untrue and that when they finally did DROP Joss Stone's contract, it was because of poor sales that she could not bring the consumers into the stores like Madonna, Missy Elliot and Sarah Jessica Parker did before her. Joss Stone is just not a big enough celebrity to draw customers in the US.
On 14 November 2004, Stone joined Band Aid 20 to benefit Sudan's troubled Darfur region. The group, consisting of such luminaries as Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin and U2 lead singer Bono, re-recorded the 1984 song "Do They Know It's Christmas?", written by Band Aid organisers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Stone, born two years after the release of the original single, wasn't initially aware of who Bob Geldof was. The media gleefully reported that she repeatedly referred to him as Bob Gandalf. Despite some criticism, the single became the UK's biggest seller of 2004 as well as the Christmas number one.
On 9 February 2005, Stone was nominated for three BRIT Awards, of which she won two — "British Female Solo Artist" and "British Urban Act". She performed "Angels" with Robbie Williams during the ceremony. She also received three nominations for the 2005 Grammy Awards — "Best New Artist", "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" for "You Had Me", and "Best Pop Vocal Album" for Mind, Body & Soul —, where she sang barefoot on stage with rock performer Melissa Etheridge, in tribute to the late blues-rock singer Janis Joplin. Their performance of "Cry Baby/Piece of My Heart" was released as a single, and, through the aid of strong digital downloads, became Stone's first single to enter the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, when it debuted and peaked at number thirty-two.
In July 2005, she lent her vocal talents to the Fantastic Four soundtrack, singing the title song "What Ever Happened to the Heroes", written by Pink, billymann, and Christopher Rojas. The single was of course produced by Beau Dozier shortly before their break-up in October of 2005.
On 2 July 2005, Stone performed at the Live 8 concert at Hyde Park, London, and performed "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" with funk legend James Brown on the British chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. On 5 February 2006, she joined Stevie Wonder, India.Arie, and John Legend at the Super Bowl XL pre-game show in performing a medley of Wonder's hits. Three days later, on 8 February, she helped perform a medley of hits by the reclusive singer Sly Stone, the frontman of Sly & the Family Stone, on the night of the 2006 Grammy Awards.
Stone collaborated with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and blues singer-guitarist Jonny Lang on a cover of U2's 1988 song "When Love Comes to Town", from Hancock's 2005 album Possibilities. She has also recently collaborated with Lemar on his latest album The Truth About Love, on the track "Anniversary".
Stone made her film debut in the fantasy epic Eragon, based on the 2003 novel of the same name, released on 15 December 2006. In the film, Stone plays the witch Angela.
At the 2007 Grammy Awards, Stone shared a win of the award for "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" for her collaboration with Sly & the Family Stone, John Legend, and Van Hunt on "Family Affair".
Stone was named the World's Best Celebrity Dog Owner in 2005 in an online poll conducted by readers of The New York Dog Magazine and The Hollywood Dog Magazine. She owns two female dogs: Missy (named after rapper Missy Elliott), a Rottweiler, and Dusty (named after Dusty Springfield, one of her major influences), a Poodle. She was also voted the World's Sexiest Vegetarian in 2005 by PETA, alongside Chris Martin.
Canadian singer-guitarist and photographer Bryan Adams recently photographed Stone for the Hear the World magazine, a quarterly culture and lifestyle publication dedicated to the topic of hearing.
Joss was #78 on Maxim's Hot 100 in 2007.
Joss has dated several high profile music industry insiders since her break-up with Beau Dozier in October 2005. She has been photographed and seen with Lemar, Robbie Williams, Gavin DeGraw, DJ NYCE, John Mayer, Raphael Saadiq (her current squeeze) and Novel. The Dallas Austin you-tube video was embarrassing to Joss Stone, but bares some truth. She also has had to formally apologize to Christina Milian for her verbal outbursts in GIANT Magazine.