2017 Grammy nominee, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, 7x Blues Music Award winner, 26x nominee, and 2015 Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year Janiva Magness
Love Wins Again, is yet another evolutionary step for the soulful, elegant, award-winning singer-songwriter Janiva Magness, released in 2016 on Fathead Records through Blue Élan Records. After great chart success the album came in as a 2017 Grammy nominee for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Love Wins Again debuted on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, on Billboard’s Blues Chart, reached #1 on the Blues radio chart spending more than four months in the Top 10, and two months on the Americana radio chart. Its 11 core songs are built on a sonically sophisticated architecture that’s in full service of Magness’ remarkably flexible and generous voice—which can flow smoothly as champagne or churn up gravel on command. The album’s title is a mantra that resonates throughout: the concept of love as a physical, psychic and spiritual force that has the strength to conquer negativity, sadness and personal demons.
Love Wins Again was released on Fathead in cooperation with Blue Élan Records, a new artist-friendly label headed by Kirk Pasich, who first met Magness via their mutual interest in working on behalf of at-risk youth. Magness is an alumnus of the foster care system and is a spokesperson for Casey Family Programs National Foster Care Month as well as an Ambassador for both the Foster Care Alumni of America and the Child Welfare League of America.
Magness explores her own turbulent youth, her rise to stardom and more in her just-finished, yet-untitled memoir—a book that took three years to write and has already inspired an in-the-works musical. Having lost both parents to suicide as a young girl, traversed through 12 foster homes and given up a child for adoption at age 17 left Magness in the deepest despair. But ultimately, inspired by the encouragement of her final foster mother and a galvanizing performance by the legendary bluesman Otis Rush, she found stability and salvation in music.
Love Wins Again marks Magness’ fifth collaboration with producer Dave Darling, whose credits include Glen Campbell, Brian Setzer, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, and Stray Cats, include four Grammy nominated albums that he produced, and whose instincts compel Magness to tap her deepest creative powers and lead her songs to unpredictable places. He has become her key songwriting foil and is the primary architect of the album’s gorgeous textural sound, which blends acoustic and electric instruments, flourishes of Latin percussion, horns and an enlightened approach to the studio to create perfect settings for her vocal prowess. And there’s more than range and craft to Magness’ voice. Her singing rings with sincerity. Since launching her career with 1992’s More Than Live, she has grown to become an accomplished storyteller and diviner of the heart, allowing songs like the title track, “Doorway” and “Say You Will” to reveal life’s potent truths.
Original, from 2014, marked her debut as a songwriter and raised the creative bar for her collaborations with Darling. It entered the Billboard blues chart, where her releases routinely appear, at number five and topped the blues radio charts. Original also scored her seventh Blues Music Award, for Contemporary Blues Female Artist. In addition, the album received a Best Song nomination for “Let Me Breathe,” co-written with Darling. Altogether, Magness has been nominated for 25 Blues Music Awards and follows the legendary Koko Taylor as the second woman to win the highly coveted B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award.
Original also revived her own label, Fathead Records, after a six-year stint with the internationally respected blues imprint Alligator Records. “It was really time to get out on my own again and take full control of my music,” Magness says. That change also reflected her rising status in the Americana music scene—where Original climbed into the Top 20 on the radio chart—alongside such similarly tough, soulful and literate artist as Mavis Staples, Sharon Jones, and Bettye LaVette.
Today Janiva Magness is one of the most beloved figures in the Americana, blues and roots music world. She’s reached a larger and more diverse audience with each succeeding album and developed a reputation as a live entertainer that’s made her a staple of the international festival circuit.