Aaron Neville possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music, a soulful and sweet sound that has been captivating audiences for more than 50 years.
Neville's roots are in New Orleans and R&B culture, but his repertoire also reflects his affinity for jazz, blues, funk, soul, country, and gospel. Concertgoers can hear all of these and more in his shows - he's known to throw doo-wop and reggae into the mix, too. Whether he performs with the energy of a full band behind him as The Aaron Neville Quintet, or in the more intimate, spontaneous atmosphere he creates with the Aaron Neville Duo, the multiple Grammy winner has a reputation as a warm, charismatic performer.
Aaron Neville's background
Attuned to music from childhood, Aaron Neville grew up listening to Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Hank Williams and the Sons of the Pioneers. At 15, he backed Dr. John on a recording, and in 1960 he cut a single with producer/writer Allen Toussaint. His follow-up, "Tell It Like It Is," was a No. 2 pop hit and reached No. 1 on the R&B charts six years later.
Despite that success, Neville didn't carve a career in music until the late '70s, when he and his siblings - Cyril, Charles and Art - formed their own unit, touring and recording as The Neville Brothers. Their album Yellow Moon, produced by Daniel Lanois, was one of the most critically acclaimed recordings of the late '80s. In 2012, The Neville Brothers played a farewell show at the Hollywood Bowl, but reunited in 2015 for a proper send-off in New Orleans, performing at an all-star jam during Jazz Fest.
In addition to performing with The Neville Brothers, Aaron pursued his solo career. "Don't Know Much," a duet with Linda Ronstadt, reached No. 2 on the pop charts in 1989, and his own version of "Everybody Plays the Fool" was No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts in '91. He's collaborated with several artists, including Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples and the Mt. Zion Mass Choir.
Aaron Neville's recent albums
Aaron Neville's album My True Story, released in 2013, was produced by Don Was and Keith Richards. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Benmont Tench backed Neville on the collection of doo-wop tunes; Richards selected the title song as one he'd want with him if he was stranded on a desert island.