Over the course of a career that spans five decades, Jones has recorded in various musical styles including rock, R&B, blues, pop, soul, and jazz.
Her career began as many aspiring arts’ do—performing in bars and coffee houses in Los Angeles. In 1979, her debut album was released, Rickie Lee Jones, and the first single, “Chuck E.’s in Love” charted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her debut album earned four Grammy® nominations, and she won the coveted “Best New Artist” trophy.
Her 1981 follow-up album, Pirates, was a critical and commercial hit, earning a rare five star review from Rolling Stone (where she also graced the cover). The album peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200. In 1983, Jones moves to Paris to write her third album, The Magazine. She began to pursue jazz standards, recording “The Moon Is Made of Gold,” a song written by her father. She earned another Grammy® nomination for her appearance on Rob Wasserman’s Duets album in 1985.
In the 1990s and early 2001, she toured with Lyle Lovett and lent her musical catalog to movies and TV series, such as Jerry Maguire, Thirtysomething and House M.D. She retired from public view after the release of her album, Ghostyhead. In 2019, she released a new album, Kicks, including the single “Bad Company.”
Jones won two Grammy® Awards during her successful career and she’s not done yet. Additionally, she was listed at number 30 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Rock & Roll in 1999. Her album Pirates was number 49 on NPR’s list of the 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women.