Brittany Howard
Howard performing with Alabama Shakes in London, 2016
Background information
Born (1988-10-02) October 2, 1988 (age 32)
Athens, Alabama, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • drums
  • bass
Years active2009 (2009)–present
LabelsATO Records
Associated acts

Brittany Howard (born October 2, 1988[4][5]) is an American musician, singer, and songwriter known for being the lead vocalist, guitarist, and main songwriter of rock bands Alabama Shakes, Thunderbitch and Bermuda Triangle.[6] Her work with Alabama Shakes has garnered her nine Grammy Award nominations including Best New Artist and Album of the Year for Sound & Color. They eventually won four awards including Best Alternative Music Album.

In 2018, Alabama Shakes announced they were going on hiatus. In this time, Howard released her debut studio album as a solo artist, Jaime, in 2019. The work received critical acclaim and got her seven Grammy nominations, winning Best Rock Song for "Stay High".

Early life

Howard was born in Athens, Alabama,[7] one of two daughters born to Christi (née Carter) and K. J. Howard.[8] Her mother is white, of English and Irish ancestry, while her father is African American.[9] The family's home was in a junk yard, and once burned down due to a lightning strike.[10] She learned to write poetry and play the piano from her older sister Jaime, who died from retinoblastoma in 1998; Howard got the same affliction but survived with partial blindness in one eye. Her parents separated soon after.[11] She began playing the guitar at age 13,[12] and was enamored with albums by Dionne Warwick and Elvis Presley, which she listened to repeatedly, and was inspired to write song lyrics.[8]

Howard attended East Limestone High School, where she met future Alabama Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell.[12] In high school, Howard began listening to 1970s rock music, such as Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. "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."[8]

After high school, Howard worked for the United States Postal Service until becoming a full-time musician as lead singer of Alabama Shakes.[13]


Howard performing with Alabama Shakes in 2014
Howard performing with Alabama Shakes in 2014

Brittany Howard is best known as the lead singer and guitarist for the American rock band Alabama Shakes. The band formed under the name "The Shakes" when Howard and bassist Zac Cockrell began playing covers and original songs together with drummer Steve Johnson. Guitarist Heath Fogg later rounded out the lineup, and the band began playing shows at bars in Alabama and recording their debut album, Boys & Girls. They went on to sign a record deal with ATO Records, and released Boys & Girls in 2012 which received critical acclaim and multiple Grammy Award nominations.[13]

In April 2015, Alabama Shakes released their second album, Sound & Color. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200,[14] and received favorable reviews from the music press.[15] The band went on to perform on multiple late night shows, including Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Howard was featured in the musical medley alongside Mavis Staples, Stephen Colbert, Ben Folds, and more in the series premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.[16] At Lollapalooza in 2015, Howard was invited on stage to perform a duet of "Get Back" with Paul McCartney.[17] Howard also performed at the ceremony for Eddie Murphy's Mark Twain Prize.[18] In 2015, Howard was named the recipient of Billboard's Women in Music "Powerhouse" Award.[19]

Brittany Howard and Paul McCartney at Lollapalooza 2015
Brittany Howard and Paul McCartney at Lollapalooza 2015

Howard is also the lead singer of the rock band Thunderbitch, formed in Nashville in 2012 with members of Clear Plastic Masks and ATO Records labelmates Fly Golden Eagle. The band surprise-released a self-titled album in September 2015.[20] Although the band rarely makes live appearances, they did play a rare set at ATO Records' CMJ Music Marathon showcase in October 2015.[21]

Brittany Howard is also a singer in the band Bermuda Triangle with Jesse Lafser and Becca Mancari, which was formed in Nashville in 2017.[22] Their debut live performance was on July 12, 2017 at the Basement East in Nashville.[23] The trio released their first single on September 6, 2017, titled "Rosey", which was first released on Jesse Lafser's 2015 album "Raised On The Plains".[22] Although originally believed to be a one time performance, the trio performed a five show tour through the Southern states of America in October 2017.[24] This small tour included shows in Carrboro and Asheville, North Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and Knoxville, Tennessee.[24]

In June 2019, Brittany Howard announced a debut solo album, Jaime which was released on September 20, 2019, as well as a tour across North America and Europe.[25] Jaime was received with universal acclaim, with Pitchfork noting "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."[26] On July 16, 2019, Howard released the music video to the single Stay High, featuring actor Terry Crews lip-syncing to the track.[27] On April 15, 2020, Howard released a cover of a Funkadelic's 1971 song "You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks" and a new rendition of her song "Stay High".[28] Stay High was recommended as an appropriate musical remedy to get people through bad lockdown and quarantine feelings.[29]


Howard has named a number of artists as influential, including Led Zeppelin,[30] Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Prince, Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie, Mavis Staples, Tom Waits, Björk, Gil Scott-Heron, Freddie Mercury, and Tina Turner.[31]

Personal life

Howard came out as a lesbian at age 25.[32] In 2018, Howard married Jesse Lafser, her bandmate in the Bermuda Triangle Band.[33]

Awards and nominations

A2IM Libera Awards

The A2IM Libera Awards is an annual music awards show created by the American Association of Independent Music.[34][35]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020 Jaime Album of the Year Nominated
2021 "You'll Never Walk Alone"
(Johnnie Walker's #KeepItMoving Campaign)
Best Sync Usage Pending

GLAAD Media Award

The GLAAD Media Awards are an annual award created by GLAAD to celebrate LGBTQ+ representation in media.[36]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020 Jaime Outstanding Music Artist Nominated

Grammy Awards

Apart from the Grammy Award nominations for the Alabama Shakes, Howard has been nominated seven times for her solo work.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2020 "History Repeats" Best Rock Song Nominated
Best Rock Performance Nominated
2021[37] "Stay High" Nominated
Best Rock Song Won
Jaime Best Alternative Music Album Nominated
"Goat Head" Best R&B Performance Nominated
"Short and Sweet" Best American Roots Performance Nominated

Note: At the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards the album Jaime was also nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, but the nomination goes to the engineer and mastering engineer Shawn Everett.

Rober Awards Music Prize

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2019 Herself Best Female Artist Nominated [38]
Best R&B Nominated
Jaime Album of the Year Nominated

UK Music Video Awards

The UK Music Video Awards is an annual celebration of creativity, technical excellence and innovation in music video and moving image for music.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2019 "Stay High" Best Rock Video - International Nominated [39]


Brittany Howard discography
Studio albums1

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected information
Title Details Peak chart positions


Jaime 13 2 59 29 34 182 76 13 98 36

Remix albums

Title Details
Jaime (Reimagined)
  • Released: July 23, 2021
  • Label: ATO
  • Formats: LP, digital download, streaming

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart positions


Spotify Singles
  • Released: April 15, 2020[52]
  • Label: ATO
  • Formats: streaming
Live at Sound Emporium
  • Released: August 29, 2020[53]
  • Label: ATO
  • Formats: LP
51 20
Jaime (The Remixes)
  • Released: September 17, 2020[54]
  • Label: ATO
  • Formats: Digital download
Live from East West Studios
  • Released: May 7, 2021
  • Label: ATO
  • Formats: Digital download


As lead artist

Title Year Peak chart positions Album







"I Wonder"
(with Ruby Amanfu)
2012 Non-album single
"History Repeats" 2019 49 Jaime
"Stay High" 1 23 24 34 22 50 41
"He Loves Me" 2020 28
"You'll Never Walk Alone"[61] 12 [A] Non-album single
"Stay High again.."[63]
(with Joy Anonymous and Fred again..)
2021 Jaime (Reimagined)
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"
(Amazon Original)[64]
Non-album single
(Little Dragon Remix)
Jaime (Reimagined)
(BadBadNotGood Remix)
"Checks and Balances"
(from the Netflix series We the People) (with Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Robert Lopez, and Daveed Diggs)
Non-album single
"Stay High"
(Childish Gambino remix)
Jaime (Reimagined)

As featured artist

Title Year Album
(Thad Cockrell featuring Brittany Howard)
2020 If In Case You Feel the Same

Other charted songs

Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"It Makes No Difference"
(My Morning Jacket featuring Brittany Howard)
2012 11 Endless Highway - The Music of the Band

Other appearances

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"For You Alone" 2011 Matt Stephens Matt Stephens
"West on Train" 2013 Turk Tresize Soul Casino
"Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am" My Morning Jacket, Merrill Garbus Red Hot + Fela
"I Feel Free" 2015 N/A Joy (Music from the Motion Picture)
"Darkness and Light" 2016 John Legend Darkness and Light
"Higher" 2020 Thad Cockrell If In Case You Feel The Same

With Alabama Shakes

Main article: Alabama Shakes discography

With Thunderbitch


  1. ^ "You'll Never Walk Alone" did not enter the Hot Rock Songs chart, but peaked at number 11 on the Rock Digital Songs chart.[62]


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  2. ^ Savage, Mark (September 25, 2019). "Brittany Howard finds freedom after Alabama Shakes". BBC. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Montgomery, James (December 18, 2012). "Alabama Shakes: Brittany Howard Robbed at Gunpoint". MTV. Viacom International. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Celebrity birthdays Oct. 2". DelawareOnline. October 1, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "Alabama Shakes - American rock band". Retrieved October 20, 2018.
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  7. ^ Hermes, Will (February 28, 2013). "Alabama Shakes' Unlikely Triumph". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
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  9. ^ Cane, Clay (June 25, 2013). "Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes: "I Don't Think About Color"". BET. Viacom International. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard On Small-Town Life, Big-Time Music". NPR. January 28, 2016.
  11. ^ Jupp, Emily (July 3, 2015). "Alabama Shakes interview: 'I didn't think I wanted to do this any more'". The Independent.
  12. ^ a b "Brittany Howard - Singer". Biography. A&E. March 11, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Rhodes, Joe (March 18, 2015). "Alabama Shakes's Soul-Stirring, Shape-Shifting New Sound". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  14. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 29, 2015). "Alabama Shakes Scores Its First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "Reviews for Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes". Metacritic. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  16. ^ Breihan, Tom (September 9, 2015). "Watch The Surprise All-Star Musical Finale Of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Premiere". Stereogum. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  17. ^ Minsker, Evan (August 1, 2015). "Paul McCartney Performs "Get Back" With Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard, "FourFiveSeconds" at Lollapalooza". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  18. ^ "Tracy Morgan Joins Lineup for Eddie Murphy Mark Twain Prize Ceremony". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. October 5, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
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  20. ^ Blistein, Jon (September 1, 2015). "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Releases New LP as Thunderbitch". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "Brittany Howard's Thunderbitch played ATO's CMJ showcase w/ Margaret Glaspy, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Joseph (pics)". October 20, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  22. ^ a b Powers, Ann (September 6, 2017). "Songs We Love: Bermuda Triangle, 'Rosey'". NPR. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  23. ^ Gold, Adam (July 13, 2017). "Watch Brittany Howard Side Project Bermuda Triangle Make Live Debut". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Stickler, Jon (September 7, 2017). "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Shares Debut Single Of New Band Bermuda Triangle". Stereoboard. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  25. ^ "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Announces Debut Solo Album, Shares New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  26. ^ "Brittany Howard: Jaime". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  27. ^ "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard Shares Terry Crews-Starring Video for New Song: Watch". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  28. ^ Martoccio, Angie (April 15, 2020). "Hear Brittany Howard Cover Funkadelic's 'You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  29. ^ "KCRW Presents Lockdown Listening: Lady Blackbird". March 31, 2021. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  30. ^ Arnold, Chuck (September 19, 2019). "Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard rocks to a solo beat on new album". New York Post. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020.
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  32. ^ Smith, Patrick (September 21, 2019). "Brittany Howard: 'I didn't want to end up back in the trailer park'". The Independent. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020.
  33. ^ Maples, Jillian (September 17, 2019). "Brittany Howard on Her Solo Debut, Her Black Heroes, and Owning Her Greatness". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020.
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ Grein, Paul (March 22, 2021). "Phoebe Bridgers, Run the Jewels & Perfume Genius Among Top Nominees For 2021 Libera Awards". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  36. ^ "The Nominations for the 31st Annual GLAAD Awards". Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  37. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2021". The New York Times.
  38. ^ "The Rober Awards 2019 Music Poll | Rober Awards". Archived from the original on May 29, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  39. ^ "UK Music Video Awards 2019: all the nominations! | News | Promonews". Promonewstv.
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  51. ^ "Brittany Howard Chart History - Americana/Folk Albums". Billboard. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  52. ^ "Spotify Singles by Brittany Howard". Spotify. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  53. ^ "Live At Sound Emporium". Retrieved April 1, 2020.
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  56. ^ "Brittany Howard Chart History - Adult R&B Songs". Billboard. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  57. ^ "Brittany Howard Chart History - Alternative Digital Song Sales". Billboard. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
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  59. ^ "Brittany Howard Chart History - Mexico Ingles Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
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  61. ^ "You'll Never Walk Away - Single by Brittany Howard". Apple Music. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  62. ^ "Brittany Howard – Chart History: Rock Digital Song Sales". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  63. ^ "Stay High again.. - Single by Brittany Howard, Joy Anonymous, & Fred Again." Apple Music. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  64. ^ Yoo, Noah (March 8, 2021). "Brittany Howard Covers Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  65. ^ "Higher (feat. Brittany Howard) - Single by Thad Cockrell". Apple Music. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  66. ^ "Brittany Howard Chart History - Hot Singles Sales". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2021.