Musicians have been central to Annie Leibovitz's long and
celebrated career. She became a professional photographer in 1970,
when she was a nineteen-year-old student at the San Francisco Art
Institute and submitted a portfolio to the editor of "Rolling Stone
magazine. By 1973 she was "Rolling Stone's chief photographer, and
over the next decade she created a legendary body of work.
"American Music includes portraits from Leibovitz's archives, among
them photographs of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, the
Grateful Dead, Michael Jackson, and Elvis Presley, but the bulk of
the work is new material created especially for the "American Music
project. Leibovitz traveled across the country, taking pictures in
juke joints and at iconic sites like Graceland. She photographed B.
B. King at the Club Ebony in his hometown of Indianola in the
Mississippi Delta, Willie Nelson at his recording studio in Texas,
Johnny Cash at the Carter Family compound in Hinds, Virginia, and
Aretha Franklin's childhood home in Memphis. The subjects of her
portraits include Bruce Springsteen, the Reverend AI Green, Beck,
Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, Eminem, Steve Earle, Ryan
Adams, Lucinda Williams, Philip Glass, Marvin Gaye, Anita O'Day,
Quincy Jones, Pete Seeger, Emmylou Harris, Chuck Berry, The Dixie
Chicks, and Dr. Dre. The musicians Patti Smith, Rosanne Cash, Lou
Reed, and Beck have contributed short essays to the book, and there
will be a commentary about the "American Music project by
Leibovitz, as well as short biographical sketches of all the
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