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Ani DiFranco (born on September 23, 1970) is an American Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist, and songwriter. She is a prolific artist, having released over twenty albums, and is widely celebrated as a feminist icon.
In 1989, DiFranco started her own record company, Righteous Records (renamed Righteous Babe Records in 1994). On July 21, 2006, DiFranco received the "Woman of Courage Award" at the National Organization for Women (NOW) Conference and Young Feminist Summit in Albany, New York. Past winners have included singer and actress Barbra Streisand and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. DiFranco is one of the first musicians to receive the award, given each year to a woman who has set herself apart by her contributions to the feminist movement.
Since 2003, DiFranco has been nominated four consecutive times for Best Recording Package at the Grammy Awards, one of which she won, in 2004, for Educated Guess. DiFranco's guitar playing is often characterized by a signature staccato style, rapid fingerpicking and many alternate tunings. She delivers many of her lines in a speaking style notable for its rhythmic variation. Her lyrics, which often include alliteration, metaphor, word play and a more or less gentle irony, have also received praise for their sophistication. Although DiFranco's music has been classified as both folk rock and alternative rock, she has reached across genres since her earliest albums.
DiFranco herself noted that "folk music is not an acoustic guitar — that's not where the heart of it is. I use the word 'folk' in reference to punk music and rap music. It's an attitude, it's an awareness of one's heritage, and it's a community. It's subcorporate music that gives voice to different communities and their struggle against authority."