More Jill Scott!
2000–2009: Words and Sounds albums (2000, 2004 and 2007)
Scott performing in Hamburg, Germany in 2000
Scott began her performing career as a spoken word artist, appearing at live poetry readings to perform her work. She was eventually discovered by Amir “Questlove” Thompson of the Roots. Questlove invited her to join the band in the studio. The collaboration resulted in a co-writing credit for Scott on the song, “You Got Me”. In 2000, Erykah Badu and the Roots won a Grammy for best rap performance by a duo or group for “You Got Me”, and Scott debuted as an artist during a Roots live show, singing as original artist/singer of the song. Subsequently, Scott collaborated with Eric Benet, Will Smith, and Common, and broadened her performing experience by touring Canada in a production of the Broadway musical Rent.
Scott was the first artist signed to Steve McKeever’s ‘Hidden Beach Recordings’ label. Her debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 was released in 2000. She experienced some notice and chart success with the single “A Long Walk”, eventually earning a Grammy nomination in early 2003 for Best Female Vocal Performance. Scott lost that award, but won a 2005 Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative R&B Performance for “Cross My Mind”. The live album, Experience: Jill Scott 826+, was released November 2001. Scott’s second full-length album, Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2, followed in 2004.
Scott continues to write poetry; a compilation volume of her poems, The Moments, The Minutes, The Hours, was published and released by St. Martin’s Press in April 2005.
In early 2007, Scott was featured on the George Benson & Al Jarreau collaboration single “God Bless The Child” (written by Billie Holiday), which earned Scott her second Grammy award, Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance, at the 2007 Grammy Awards ceremony. Scott shared the win with Benson & Jarreau. In 2006, Scott was prominently featured on hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco’s single “Daydreaming”, which won a 2008 Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and also appeared on a new Scott collection called Collaborations on January 30, 2007.
The Collaborations collection served as “an appetizer” for her next studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 released September 25, 2007. A clip of the title track was released on a bonus disc from Hidden Beach Records and included with Collaborations. The lead single “Hate on Me”, gained airplay in May 2007 with a video released in mid-July. In advance of the album’s release, Hidden Beach released a 17-minute album sampler through their forums. Interspersed between the dozen songs previewed on the sampler was a personal explanation from Jill for the inspiration behind some of her songs.
In 2008, Scott released her second live album, Live in Paris+, which consists of 8 songs recorded during her set list of the “Big Beautiful Tour” in Europe. The bonus DVD contains the same concert, plus some live cuts from The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. In the same year, “Whenever You’re Around”, a single from The Real Thing, which features George Duke, was a moderate hit on urban radio.
He Love Me