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Joan Elizabeth Osborne (born July 8, 1962) is an American singer-songwriter and interpreter of music, having recorded and performed in various popular American musical genres including pop, soul, R&B, blues and country.[1] She is best known for her recording of the Eric Bazilian song "One of Us". She has toured with Motown sidemen the Funk Brothersand was featured in the documentary film about them, Standing in the Shadows of Motown.


Originally from Anchorage, Kentucky, an affluent suburb of Louisville, Osborne moved to New York City in the late 1980s, where she formed her own record label, Womanly Hips, to release a few independent recordings. She signed with Mercury Records, and released her first full-length album, Soul Show: Live at Delta 88, in 1991. Her second (and first major label) album was Relish (1995), which became a hit on the strength of the single "One of Us". Apart from this song, the rest of the album was steeped in countryblues and folk music. "Right Hand Man" and "St. Teresa" became minor hits following the success of "One of Us". Osborne is bisexual.[2] Her song "After Jane," on the album Pretty Little Stranger, touches on this as it is about a relationship between herself and a woman.

In 2001, Osborne appeared on Austin City Limits, singing material mainly from Righteous Love. In a brief interview segment at the end of the episode, Osborne reflects on her gladness to have gotten out of the limelight of her mid-90's stardom. She was featured in the 2002 documentary film, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, and toured with Motownsidemen the Funk Brothers. She and her band accompanied the Dixie Chicks for a national tour in the summer of 2003, during which time she also joined veteran San Francisco jam-rockers The Dead as a vocalist, and released her fourth album, titled How Sweet It Is, a collection of classic rock and soul covers.

During 2005 and 2006, Osborne performed on numerous occasions with Phil Lesh and Friends. Her vocals were featured prominently on the album Live at the Warfield.

In February 2007, she appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. In May 2007, she issued Breakfast in Bed produced by Tor Hyams, a return to the soul music that she had covered on How Sweet It IsBreakfast in Bed also featured the two songs ("Heatwave" and "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted") that she had covered for the film Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

Osborne sang lead vocals on the cover of "Spoonful" on Vivian Campbell's solo album Two Sides of If. She also provided some vocals for "Wayfaring Stranger" on Spearhead's 1997 album Chocolate Supa Highway. She covered Dolly Parton's "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" on the 2003 tribute album Just Because I'm a Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton. She is featured on the Holmes Brothers 2007 collection State of Grace performing "Those Memories of You", an old Alan O'Bryant bluegrass tune. Her album, Little Wild One, was released in September 2008. Osborne performs as a guest vocalist on Sgt. Pepper Live, the 2009 album and DVD by Cheap Trick. In 2010, she was awarded the Woman of Achievement Award from Women's Project Theater.[3] She performed with The Waybacks at Merlefest, 2011, during the Hillside Album hour, featuring The Allman BrothersEat a Peach.

Her album Bring It On Home was released on March 27, 2012.[4] It is a collection of vintage blues and soul covers, and it received a 2013 Grammy Awards nomination for Best Blues Album. In September 2012, Osborne was featured in a campaign called ″30 Songs / 30 Days″ to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's book.[5]

Osborne is currently a member of Trigger Hippy, along with Steve GormanTom BukovacJackie Greene, and Nick Govrik. Trigger Hippy released their debut album on September 30, 2014.[6]

Personal life[]

Joan Osborne has a daughter, born in December 2004.[7][8]


Studio albums[]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

(sales threshold)



US Country


[ US

Indie] [11]















  • Release date: March 21, 1995
  • Label: Blue Gorilla Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette
9 12 5 14 13 6 18 5
Righteous Love 90
How Sweet It Is
  • Release date: September 17, 2002
  • Label: Compendia Records
  • Formats: CD
Pretty Little Stranger 58 34
Breakfast in Bed
  • Release date: 2007
  • Label: Time Life Music
  • Formats: CD, music download
Little Wild One
  • Release date: September 9, 2008
  • Label: Saguaro Road Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
Bring It On Home
  • Release date: March 26, 2012
  • Label: Saguaro Road Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
Love and Hate
  • Release date: April 8, 2014
  • Label: Membran
  • Formats: CD, music download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released to that country

Live albums[]

Title Album details
Soul Show: Live at Delta 88
  • Release date: 1991
  • Label: Womanly Hips Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette
Early Recordings
  • Release date: November 5, 1996
  • Label: Mercury Records
  • Formats: CD, cassette

Compilation albums[]

Title Album details
One of Us
  • Release date: June 28, 2005
  • Label: Artemis Records
  • Formats: CD, music download

Holiday albums[]

Title Album details
Christmas Means Love
  • Release date: 2005
  • Label: Time Life Music
  • Formats: CD, music download


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications

(sales threshold)





US Adult


US Pop


US Mod














1995 "One of Us" 4 20 16 2 7 12 1 1 5 11 6 Relish
1996 "St. Teresa" 43 69 42 38 33
"Right Hand Man"
1997 "Ladder"
2007 "I've Got to Use My Imagination"[A] Breakfast in Bed
2008 "Sweeter Than the Rest" Little Wild One
2012 "Shake Your Hips" Bring It On Home
2014 "Thirsty for My Tears"[34] Template:Love And Hate
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released to that country
  • ^ "I've Got to Use My Imagination" peaked at number 27 on the U.S. Billboard Jazz Songs chart.