21 Bonnie Raitt Quotes That Are as True Now as They Were Then

Bonnie Raitt, born on November 8, 1949, is a renowned, tremendously talented American Blues Rock singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Dating back to 1971, Raitt released her self-titled debut album. This album was followed up by a series of critically acclaimed roots-influenced albums. These albums beautifully integrated various elements found in the blues, rock, folk, and country genres. Raitt is also recognized as an avid session player as well as collaborator. She’s joined forces with legends like John Prine, Warren Zevon, Little Feat, Jackson Browne, and the Pointer Sisters.

1. On her fans

A woman with long, red hair plays an electric guitar while smiling. She is wearing a black pinstripe blazer and sits on a stool against a gold, patterned backdrop. Another person in an orange outfit and hat is partially visible nearby. The mood appears lively and relaxed.
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“I think my fans will follow me into our combined old age. Real musicians and real fans stay together for a long, long time.”

2. On letting emotions ride

A woman with long, curly red hair and a black outfit sings against a yellow, floral-patterned backdrop. She appears to be performing with a lively expression.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“I would rather feel things in extreme than not at all.”

3. On Bob Dylan

A musician with long, wavy hair plays an electric guitar on stage. They are wearing a dark blazer and standing in front of a gold curtain. Another band member is seated behind a drum set. The headstock of another instrument is visible on the left.
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“My love was Bob Dylan, but as I got older I realized a good ballad was a good ballad.”

4. On modern music distribution

A woman with curly reddish-brown hair, wearing gold hoop earrings and a dark-colored top, is looking forward against a black background.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“Distribution has really changed. You can make a record with a laptop in the morning and have it up on YouTube in the afternoon and be a star overnight.”

5. On her friends

A person with curly red hair wearing a blue blouse is standing by a window, looking contemplative. The background is dark, and they are partially illuminated by the natural light coming through the window.
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“I’m certain that it was an incredible gift for me to not only be friends with some of the greatest blues people who’ve ever lived, but to learn how they played, how they sang, how they lived their lives, ran their marriages, and talked to their kids.”

6. On touring with Taj Mahal

A person with curly, reddish-brown hair is looking slightly past the camera. They are wearing large hoop earrings and a dark-colored top. The background is black.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“We did a two month tour with Taj Mahal that was really healing and cathartic and a good distraction after my brother passed away. Then I knew I wanted to take a year off, and it was really nice to have that chance to fall apart.”

7. On influencing other people

A person with long hair is performing on stage, playing an acoustic guitar and singing into a microphone. They are wearing a colorful blouse, and the background is dark with some lights visible in the distance.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“It is still a surprise when people tell me that I’ve had an influence on them, particularly when it’s someone I really respect.”

8. On the gift of aging

A person with long, wavy hair plays an acoustic guitar and sings into a microphone on stage. The background is dark with blurred lights in the distance, creating a moody and intimate atmosphere. The person is focused and immersed in their performance.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“In blues, classical and jazz, you get more revered with age.”

9. On satellite radio

A person with long, curly hair is seen in a close-up shot with their eyes closed and head tilted slightly downward. They appear to be in a moment of deep thought or emotion. The background is blurred, focusing attention on the individual.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“The world I live in is benefiting from things like satellite radio. Jazz and blues fests are everywhere now, and Americana is going strong on college radio. What I’m hearing is an appreciation of real music.”

10. On the blues guitar

A person with long red hair is singing or speaking. They are holding their hands near their chin and looking forward. The background appears soft and blurred, focusing attention on the face and expression.
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“Pat Benator might need a rock band, but I can just sit with a blues guitar for an hour and a half and do folks songs and great contemporary ballads, and not many people can pull that off.”

11. On songwriting

A person with curly red hair streaked with white is shown in a close-up shot. They are wearing a dark-colored top and dangling earrings. The background is blurred, featuring a dark brown, tufted sofa or chair and wooden decor.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“Not being a natural songwriter, for me the appreciation of a great song and the writers came early on growing up in a musical family. My dad got to sing songs by some of the greatest writers of all time, Rodgers and Hammerstein.”

12. On growing up with fame

A person with long, wavy red hair is standing against what appears to be a wall. They are looking slightly past the camera with a calm, contemplative expression. The background is mostly clear and sky-like, suggesting a peaceful outdoor setting.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“Since I was 20 years old, I’ve been a kind of corporation. I’d wake up in the morning and my job was to be Bonnie Raitt in capital letters.”

13. On Elvis

A woman with long, curly hair stands inside a rustic building near a weathered window with tattered curtains. Through the window, a rocky coastline and a house atop a cliff are visible, along with a lone figure walking along the shore.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“Elvis might have compromised his musical style a bit towards the end, but that doesn’t mean that artists from the rock and roll/folk-roots culture, of which he was not really a part, shouldn’t get better as they get older, like the great jazz or blues artists.”

14. On being a pop star

A woman with curly, reddish-brown hair sings passionately. She is wearing a dark-colored outfit and sits against the backdrop of a cloudy sky. The image conveys a sense of emotion and intensity.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“I’m not that beautiful, and I don’t want to be a pop star.”

15. On her childhood hobbies

A person with long, wavy red hair is standing beside a partially open window, looking towards the camera. The background shows a blurred outdoor scene with soft natural lighting. The person is wearing a dark jacket over a patterned shirt.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“Playing guitar was one of my childhood hobbies, and I had played a little at school and at camp. My parents would drag me out to perform for my family, like all parents do, but it was a hobby, nothing more.”

16. On gathering new experiences

A person with long, curly reddish hair is shown in close-up. They are wearing dangling earrings and have a slight smile. The background is softly lit, giving a warm tone to the image.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“I’ve been lucky enough that I can gather all sorts of experiences and find inspiration by traveling around and spending time with people I admire.”

17. On the value of a long life

A woman with wavy red hair stands against a wall at dusk, singing passionately. She wears a dark jacket over a green shirt. In the background, a silhouette of a person walking on a beach is visible against the twilight sky.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“There’s nothing like living a long time to create a depth and soulfulness in your music.”

18. On the consolidation of the music business

A woman with curly hair sits on a couch, smiling softly. She is wearing an intricately embroidered jacket. The background is plain, and another person's arm is visible in the frame, suggesting a casual, relaxed setting.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“The consolidation of the music business has made it difficult to encourage styles like the blues, all of which deserve to be celebrated as part of our most treasured national resources.”

19. On being honest in music

A person with red curly hair, wearing a dark patterned suit, is holding a Grammy award and speaking into a microphone. The background features the Grammy Awards logos and CBS and Paramount+ branding.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“I think it’s our job to write about what we’re going through at the moment, and being 41, I’m not going to write about the same things I wrote about at 20. I don’t think artists should be farmed out to pasture just because they’re in rock and roll.”

20. On the piano

Black and white photo of a seated older woman with long, wavy hair. She is wearing a dark jacket with elaborate embroidered patterns. She is looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression, and the background appears to be a plain wall.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“I tend to be freer on the piano. I never took guitar lessons, so my reach exceeds my grasp. What I hear in my head I don’t always know how to play. But I love to play over something else. I’m not a self-starter. I get kind of bored with the same three folk chords that I know.”

21. On her loved ones

A woman with red hair, wearing a dark blue textured outfit, holds a Grammy award in one hand and speaks into a microphone in the other. She is standing in front of a backdrop featuring Grammy logos, CBS, Paramount+, and other branding.
TheBonnieRaitt/Via YouTube.com

“I do feel my loved ones that have passed on. I feel them looking over my shoulder. So yeah, that’s pretty profound, when you’re not expecting it, you didn’t particularly believe in it, and then it just sort of happens too often to ignore.”

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