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Indigo Girls Biography


Home > Music > I > Indigo Girls > Biography


Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Years Active: 1985–present
Genres: Folk Rock


The Indigo Girls are an American folk rock duo, consisting of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. They met in elementary school and began performing together as high school students in Decatur, Georgia. They started appearing under the name “Indigo Girls” as students at Emory University, performing weekly at The Dugout, a bar in the Emory Village.

They released a self-produced, full-length album in 1987 and signed with a major record label in 1988. After releasing nine albums under major record labels from 1988 through 2007, they have now returned to self-producing albums under IG Recordings.

Living very separate lives outside of their performances and recordings, Ray has released solo albums and founded a not-for-profit record label while Saliers is a restaurateur and a published author. Both Saliers and Ray self-identify as lesbian and are active in political and environmental causes.

Their first major-label release, also titled “Indigo Girls,” charted at #22 on the album chart. Also on the self-titled release was their first hit "Closer to Fine" which charted at #52 on the pop chart and #26 on the modern rock chart. They even managed one week on the mainstream rock album-oriented rock chart at #48. In 1990, they won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. They were also nominated for Best New Artist.

Their second album, “Nomads Indians Saints,” went gold in December 1991 and contained the hit song "Hammer and a Nail", a #12 modern rock track; it was not as successful as their first, which was certified platinum at about the same time. The Indigo Girls followed it 1992's album “Rites of Passage,” featuring "Galileo", the duo's first top 10 modern rock track (#10). This was followed by “Swamp Ophelia” in 1994, going platinum in September 1996, and charting at #9 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

“Shaming of the Sun” appeared in 1997 followed by “Come on Now Social” in 1999. “Shaming of the Sun” debuted at #7 on the Billboard chart. Their first (and only) Hollywood Records album, Despite Our Differences, produced by Mitchell Froom, was released on September 19, 2006. “Poseidon and the Bitter Bug” was released on March 24, 2009, from IG Recordings, the Indigo Girls' label and reached #29 on the Billboard 200 chart.

On October 12, 2010 they released their first collection of Christmas music on the album "Holly Happy Days."