Ani DiFranco (playborn Angela Maria DiFranco on September 23, 1970) is an American Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist, poet, and songwriter. She has released more than 20 albums, and is a feminist icon.DiFranco was born in Buffalo, New York, to Elizabeth and Dante, who met while they attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She started playing Beatles covers at local bars and busking with her guitar teacher, Michael Meldrum,at the age of nine. In 1989, DiFranco started her own record company, Righteous Records (renamed Righteous Babe Records in 1994).
Prior to the renaming of Righteous Records to Righteous Babe Records, DiFranco worked with manager Dale Anderson, a writer for the Buffalo News, who started another record label called Hot Wings Records after the two parted ways. Hot Wings released the work of Buffalo area female musical performers with styles similar to that of DiFranco. Early releases of her CDs produced prior to 1994 are labeled with the original Righteous Records label. Her self-titled debut album was issued on the label in the winter of 1990. Later, she relocated to New York City, where she took poetry classes at The New School and toured vigorously.DiFranco identifies herself as bisexual, and has written songs about love and sex with women and men. She addressed the controversy about her sexuality with the song "In or Out". In 1998, she married sound engineer Andrew Gilchrist in a Unitarian Universalist service in Canada, overseen by renowned folk singer Utah Phillips. Numerous media sources reported that her fans felt betrayed by her union with a man.DiFranco and Gilchrist divorced five years later.
Ownership of Righteous Babe Records allows DiFranco a great deal of artistic freedom. For example, on her 2004 album Educated Guess, DiFranco played all of the instruments, provided all of the vocals, and recorded the album by herself at her home on an analog 8-track reel to reel. She was also involved in much of the artwork and design for the packaging. The only other person involved in the record's musical production was Greg Calbi, who mastered it.
References to her independence from major labels appear occasionally in DiFranco's songs, including "The Million You Never Made" (Not A Pretty Girl), which discusses the act of turning down a lucrative contract, "The Next Big Thing" (Not So Soft), which describes an imagined meeting with a label head-hunter who evaluates the singer based on her looks, and "Napoleon" (Dilate), which sympathizes sarcastically with an unnamed friend who did sign with a label.
DiFranco has occasionally joined with Prince in discussing publicly the problems associated with major record companies. Righteous Babe Records employs a number of people in her hometown of Buffalo. In a 1997 open letter to Ms. magazine she expressed displeasure that what she considers a way to ensure her own artistic freedom was seen by others solely in terms of its financial success.
Ani DiFranco Performance
Ani DiFranco On The Stage
Ani DiFranco so Sporty
Ani DiFranco New Hair Color
Ani DiFranco Unique Style
Ani DiFranco with Her Coat
Ani DiFranco Funny Expression
Ani DiFranco with Her Tattoo