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Beth Hart: Soul Survivor

Beth Hart lived a life that's taken her to hell and back. In 2011, she told Classic Rock about her drugs battle

Halfway through our interview, Beth Hart starts to cry. We have wandered on to the topic of the recently deceased Amy Winehouse, and it proves too close to the bone for the 39-year-old singer. It’s an awkward moment, and unexpected, given Hart’s stage presence as the warrior princess with the tar-and-sawdust battle-cry.

“That’s the lady I put on,” she explains. “She’s the tough, strong, don’t-fuck-with-me girl. Who I really am is just the opposite: really sensitive. I think I created her so I could survive in this world.”

Hart is certainly a survivor. The ‘peg’ for our interview is Don’t Explain, _her soul-rock covers album with Joe Bonamassa. But her back story spirals from a strung-out childhood, redemption in 90s TV talent show _Star Search, a solo deal with Atlantic Records, and a run of soul-drenched albums driven by her dovetailing passions for Led Zeppelin and Etta James – and of course, Hart’s voice. “I never considered myself much of a singer,” she says, inexplicably. 

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