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Sapphic Trailblazer: Brittany Howard

Sapphic Trailblazers
Brittany Howard: The Sapphic Trailblazer Shaking Up the Music Industry

Welcome to our latest blog post, where we explore the inspiring life of Brittany Howard – the sapphic trailblazer who has captured hearts and minds with her soulful voice and powerful presence.

Join us as we delve into her early life, cultural influences, career achievements, and her importance as a role model for the LGBTQ community. Plus, we’ll reveal three lesser-known facts about this incredible artist.

Let’s get started!

From Humble Beginnings: Brittany Howard’s Early Life and Cultural Influences

Born on October 2, 1988, in Athens, Alabama, Brittany Howard was one of two daughters. Her father is African American and her mother is white. Their family home was in a junkyard. Jaime, her older sister, taught Brittany to play the piano and write poetry.

Tragically, in 1998, her older sister Jaime passed away from a rare form of eye cancer. Brittany had the same disease, but only lost sight in one eye. After Jaime’s death, her parents separated.

Howard started playing guitar when she was 13 and became captivated by albums by Elvis Presley and Dionne Warwick. In high school, she started listening to seventies rock, including Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. She stated in an interview, “I’d be in the back of this Buick and be like ‘What’s this? This is really cool’ and my friends told me it was Pink Floyd and I was like ‘Whoa’, it blew my mind. I started getting into all the classic rock stuff, like Yes, Cream, all that stuff.”

When she graduated from high school, she worked at a Post Office before making it in music.

Breaking Boundaries: Career Achievements and LGBTQ Advocacy

Brittany Howard skyrocketed to fame as the lead singer and guitarist of the Grammy-winning band, Alabama Shakes. Their debut album, Boys & Girls, released in 2012, garnered critical acclaim and commercial success. However, it was their sophomore effort, Sound & Color, that truly solidified their status as a groundbreaking force in the music industry.

At the age of 25, Howard came out as a lesbian.

As an openly queer woman, Howard has used her platform to advocate for LGBTQ rights and representation. She has been vocal about her experiences navigating the music industry as a queer, biracial woman from the south and has inspired countless others with her resilience and authenticity.

In 2019, Howard released her debut solo album, Jaime, dedicated to her late sister. The album is a celebration of her identity and experiences, tackling themes such as race, sexuality, and self-discovery. Songs like “Georgia” and “Stay High” showcase her vulnerability and serve as a testament to her importance within the LGBTQ community. According to Pitchfork, the album is “The exceptional solo debut from the Alabama Shakes singer-songwriter is a thrilling opus that pushes the boundaries of voice, sound, and soul to new extremes.”

Jaime received 7 Grammy nominations, winning Best Rock Song for “Stay High.”

Three Interesting Facts About Brittany Howard

  • Howard’s home in the junk yard was struck by lighting and burned down.
  • She is a member of two other bands – Bermuda Triangle and Thunderbitch – showcasing her diverse musical talents.
  • Howard married Jesse Lafser, her bandmate in the Bermuda Triangle Band.

The Lasting Impact of Brittany Howard’s Legacy

Brittany Howard’s legacy extends far beyond her musical accomplishments. As a trailblazer for the LGBTQ community, she has paved the way for future generations to embrace their authentic selves and follow their dreams. Through her artistry and activism, Howard has proven that it is possible to break boundaries and create meaningful change – all while staying true to who you are.

She is a symbol of hope, resilience, and authenticity for the LGBTQ community and beyond. So, let’s celebrate her life, her achievements, and her unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for everyone.

Find out more about Brittany Howard in this Wikipedia article.

Brittany Howard: Staying High

Brittany Howard: Jaime

Join us each day in June for a new story of a sapphic trailblazer as IHS celebrates Pride month!

Sapphic Trailblazers: Tales of sapphics through the ages

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