Adult Contemporary

Bonnie Raitt doesn’t think she “could have handled” the kind of success Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish & Ed Sheeran are having now

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Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Bonnie Raitt’s back with a new album, Just Like That…, her first release in more than six years. And while Bonnie’s big breakthrough didn’t come until she was 40, with her album Nick of Time, she now says that she’s glad it took years for her to have success.

Speaking to Variety, Bonnie, 72, admits, “I look at Taylor Swift and…Adele and Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran and people are handling incredible early success with the guidance and experience of people decades older, and I’m just so happy to see that. Because I don’t think I could have handled it.”

“I didn’t seek it and I wouldn’t have wanted a hit record,” she explains. “I actually turned down songs that would have made me a star…I just didn’t want to be that in that pressure. I was in it for the long run…planning to be doing this into my eighties or so.”

And that’s still her plan: As she tells Variety, her fellow musicians make her believe she’ll be able to do it.

“If you watched the Tony Bennett special with Lady Gaga, I stood up and gave him a standing ovation in my house. That’s how much I love that he still was able to do that show,” she notes. “And Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] — oh my God, what an inspiration. And Mavis [Staples, her current tour mate].”

“I  don’t see any sign of any of us retiring,” she adds. “I mean, Bruce Springsteen and Sting — people are at the top of their form right now, I think.”

Meanwhile, Bonnie’s back on tour for the first time since the pandemic, and she’s thrilled, saying, “I’ve never had more of a mission to go back out on the road to bring joy and relief to people.”

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