Emmylou Harris is an American musician and songwriter renown for her chart topping albums and singles in a career spanning 4 decades. Born in 1947 to a military family, she studied music in her teens and was soon able to play the guitar. She left college to pursue music as a full time career which kicked off in the early 70s.
Her early career included a stint in a band which she formed with two other male singers. She then shifted to another band, playing the role of a back-up vocalist. She later left after one of the band members passed on to start her own solo act. She was soon approached by a major record label and released her debut album titled Pieces of the Sky in 1975.
The label convinced her to form another band and she enlisted two members who she worked with to release her sophomore effort christened Elite Hotel later in 1975. Unlike other country albums of that era which revolved around one song, this had many chart-topping hit singles. Its success is attributed to its cross-genre appeal which attracted both rock and country enthusiasts. She went on to release other albums which had astounding commercial success.
In the 80s, she released several chart-topping records, including The Trio which featured Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt. This particular album was her biggest commercial success, remaining on the number one spot for about 5 weeks. She also released an album featuring traditional gospel songs which featured another country performer. She teamed up with two acoustic performers to form another band after dissolving her first in 1991.
The 1990s saw her transition from conventional country to a new contemporary sub-genre, which also involved switching labels. Her music continued to top charts and she gained a new audience among alternative rock listeners. Most of her music from this era also contained self-penned songs.
Her music career soared to stratospheric levels of success. She has won at least a dozen Grammy awards. Apart from music, Emmylou Harris has also been involved in social activism and charity work.