Irma Thomas (born February 18, 1941) is an American singer from New Orleans. She is known as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans”.
Thomas is a contemporary of Aretha Franklin and Etta James, but never experienced their level of commercial success. In 2007, she won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for After the Rain, her first Grammy in a career spanning over 50 years.
In 2011, Thomas performed twice at the Bluesfest music festival in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia. On April 24, she performed on the Crossroads stage, coming on after Mavis Staples; then on April 25, she headlined the Crossroads stage, coming on after Jethro Tull and Osibisa.
In 2013, Thomas was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the “Soul Blues Female Artist” category, which she duly won. She won the same award in 2014.
In 2018, Thomas received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance at the Americana Music Honors & Awards.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Irma Thomas among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.