Joss Stone was born in Dover, Kent, England, and spent her teenage years in Ashill, Devon. She grew up listening to a wide variety of music including R&B and soul music performed by such artists as Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin; as a result, she developed a soulful style of singing like her idols. At 14, she appeared on Star for a Night on BBC Television singing Franklin's 1967 "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." She told MTV News, "I kind of clicked into soul music more than anything else because of the vocals. You've got to have good vocals to sing soul music and I always liked it ever since I was little."
In 2002, she decided to back her ability by flying out from England for an audition in New York City with S-Curve CEO Steve Greenberg. She also signed a global music publishing deal with BMG Music Publishing in the UK.
At one point Joss sang backup for Britney Spears.
Since then, she has performed with such artists as Blondie and Gladys Knight. She was named as the spokesperson for the megastore Gap, although she was reportedly dropped because of rumours of her living with Beau Dozier (son of record producer, Lamont Dozier), while she was only 17 (Beau was born in 1979, thus 8 years older than Joss).