26th January 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Love and affection in Shetland for famous singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading

Click on image to enlarge.

The famous British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading is coming to Shetland to get “married” next month.

The 60-year-old who lives in Surrey is to be joined in a civil partnership with Maggie Butler, who is believed to be an artist.

The ceremony is due to take place at an unknown venue somewhere in the islands on Monday 2nd May, which coincidentally is the day of the Shetland Folk Festival’s final fling.

The couple’s special occasion is listed on the public notice board outside the Registrar and court house building on Lerwick’s Hillhead.

Armatrading, who has an MBE, was a pioneering female solo rock artist who started out in the early 1970s. She was hailed as Britain’s first truly successful black artist and is a renowned guitar player, mixing soul, pop, blues and even jazz styles.

Her hits have included Drop the Pilot, Me Myself I, All the Way from America and Love and Affection. Another song, The Weakness in Me, has been voted the top Lesbian love song in online polls.

Born in the island of St Kitts in the West Indies, Armatrading came to Britain and grew up in Birmingham from the age of seven.

In a music career spanning nearly 40 years she has released over 20 albums, nine of which went Top 20 in the UK. She has been nominated for three Grammy awards in America and two BRITS in the UK.

More recently she toured with Cyndi Lauper on her True Colors shows which are aimed at promoting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. Among others who have taken part are Erasure and Rufus Wainwright.

Currently Armatrading has a new DVD and double CD Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

She has many other talents besides music, being an academic and an occasional BBC radio presenter. She even ran her first marathon just a few weeks before her 58th birthday. The same year she received an honorary degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, which she added to various other degrees.

Little is known about her partner although a Maggie Butler designed the artwork for her 1979 live album Steppin’ Out.

About John Robertson

View other stories by »


  1. Emma Hamer

    Why, pray tell, is the word marriage in quotation marks? Are you suggesting or implying that this would not be a “real” marriage?

    • Tim Hanrahan

      The law allowing same sex marriage in the UK was not passed until July 2013, and did not come into effect until 13 March 2014.

  2. Joan Armatrading: !hat an inspiration!

  3. Rosa Steppanova

    Quite, Lara, how very nauseating. Luckily for all of us, this reporter has since left the Shetland Times.


Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.