SHAWN COLVIN FACTS:
Genre: Folk, Rock
Hometown: Carbondale, Illinois
Albums: Steady On (1989); Fat City (1992); Cover Girl (1994); Live '88 (1995); A Few Small Repairs (1996); Holiday Songs and Lullabies (1998); Whole New You (2001); Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection (2004); These Four Walls (2006); Live (2009);
Awards: 3 Grammy Awards
Hits: "Sunny Came Home"
Other: Played Christian singer, and would-be girlfriend of Ned Flanders, Rachel Jordan two times on The Simpsons.
Shawn Colvin had been toiling in relative obscurity for nearly 10 years before she became a household name in the 1990s with one of the biggest hits of the decades. Over the last 15 years she has continued to release new music and has even appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including a two-episode stint on The Simpsons.
Colvin got her start in the music industry in Austin, Texas, but moved to New York City in the early 1980s. It was there that she began to work with other artists, occasionally singing back up vocals on others songs, including the Suzanne Vega tune "Luka." Throughout the mid-to-late '80s she also performed with the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Cheryl Wheeler and Bruce Hornsby. However, Colvin was able to go her own way and released her debut album, Steady On, in 1989.
The record was a moderate success, and earned significant critical praise. Though it failed to gain traction commercially, it was nominated for and won Best Contemporary Folk Album at the Grammy's that year.
In 1992, Colvin released her follow up, Fat City. Much like its predecessor, it was not a large success with mainstream audiences, but unlike Steady On it did not generate much chatter among critics. In 1994 she released a record comprised entirely of cover songs, and although it was not very popular, it set the stage for what proved to be her breakthrough.
Colvin's 1996 album A Few Small Repairs, became one of the most popular records of 1997, thanks in large part to the song "Sonny Came Home." The song broke into the top 10 of the Billboard 100 chart, and earned Colvin a pair of Grammys for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
While she may have never been able to match the overwhelming success of "Sonny Came Home," Colvin has continued to be an active member of the folk music niche. In 2001, she released the album Whole New You which included a contribution from the iconic folk musician James Taylor.
Most recently she released a live album and continues to perform regularly. Though it has been more than a decade since her biggest hit, Colvin's legacy will likely be long lasting.