Ani DiFranco (pronounced /ˈɑːniː/) (born Angela Maria DiFranco on September 23, 1970) is an American Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist, and songwriter. She has released over twenty albums, and is a feminist icon.
DiFranco was born in Buffalo, New York, to Elizabeth, and an Italian-American father, Dante, who both attended and met at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She started playing Beatles covers at local bars and busking with her guitar teacher, Michael Meldrum, at the age of nine.
In 1989, DiFranco started her own record company, Righteous Records (renamed Righteous Babe Records in 1994). Prior to the renaming of Righteous Records to Righteous Babe Records, DiFranco worked with manager Dale Anderson, a writer for the Buffalo News, who started another record label called Hot Wings Records after the two parted ways. Hot Wings released the work of Buffalo area female musical performers with styles similar to that of DiFranco. Early releases of her CDs produced prior to 1994 are labeled with the original Righteous Records label. Her self-titled debut album was issued on the label in the winter of 1990. Later, she relocated to New York City, where she took poetry classes at The New School and toured vigorously.