Ani DiFranco (born Angela Maria DiFranco; September 23, 1970) is an American singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter, feminist icon and businesswoman from New York state. Although much of DiFranco's material is autobiographical, it is often also strongly political. Many of her songs are concerned with contemporary social issues such as racism, sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, reproductive rights, poverty, and war. DiFranco's guitar playing is often characterized by a signature staccato style, rapid finger picking and many alternate tunings. She delivers many of her lines in a speaking style notable for its rhythmic variation. Her lyrics, which often include alliteration, metaphor, word play and a more-or-less gentle irony, have also received praise for their sophistication. She has released 19 solo albums (not including collaborative albums or live albums), all of which were released on her own independent record label, Righteous Babe Records (which she formed in 1989 at the age of 19).DiFranco has been a critical success for much of her career, though not a commercial one by major label standards, with a career album average of 72 on Metacritic. Living in Clip, DiFranco's 1998 double live album, is the only one to achieve gold record status to date. DiFranco has been praised by the Buffalo News as the "Buffalo's leading lady of rock music".