Janis Ian

“A friend of mine once told me ‘For people like us, the meaning is the search for the meaning.’”

  • Name: Janis Ian
  • Born: April 7, 1951
  • From: Farmingdale, NJ, USA
  • Pronouns: She/her
  • Contribution/Impact: Janis Ian is an American singer-songwriter from the 1960s and 70s known best for her pop and folk songs such as “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve been thinking)” and “At Seventeen”. Her 1975 album Between the Lines hit number 1 on the billboard album chart.
  • Occupation: Singer, Songwriter, Author
  • Known For: “At Seventeen” (1975), “Society’s Child (1966)
  • Awards: Grammy Award in 1975 for “At Seventeen”, Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “Society’s Child”, Grammy Award in 2013 for Spoken Word Album
  • Interesting Facts: Ian is also a columnist and science fiction author.

Janis Ian, born Janis Fink, is an American folk and pop singer-songwriter, known for her hit songs “At Seventeen” and “Society’s Child”. She began playing and making music at the age of 12. Early on in her career, Janis met Bill Cosby, who attempted to blacklist her from the industry after interpreting her as a lesbian. While she was not out at the time, Ian would continue to face these types of hardships from the industry. The success of “Society’s Child” in 1966 would stigmatize Ian as a one-hit wonder until the song “At Seventeen” in 1975 would overtake its success. Ian would go on to win a Grammy for “At Seventeen” and be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001 for “Society’s Child”. In 1993, Ian would come out as a lesbian with her album Breaking Silence.


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