Lee Ann Womack
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Lee Ann Womack Biography
fter spending several years as a professional songwriter, Lee
Ann Womack became one of the breakout contemporary country stars of
1997 with her eponymous debut album.
Born and raised in Jacksonville, TX, Womack became infatuated with
music at an early age, which is appropriate for the daughter of a disc
jockey. Her father often took her to work, where she picked out records
to play on the air. Following high school graduation, she attended
South Plains Junior College in Levelland, TX. The school was one of the
first in the country to offer degrees in country and bluegrass music,
and Womack soon became a member of the college's band, Country Caravan.
She traveled throughout the South and California with Country Caravan
and stayed with the group until she left South Plains to study music
business at Belmont University in Nashville. That led to an internship
in MCA's A&R department.
By 1990, she had settled in Nashville, where she married and became a
mother. She continued to attend Belmont, as well as write songs. Soon,
she began singing on songwriting demos and performing her own showcase
concerts. Eventually, Womack was spotted by Tree Publishing at one of
her showcases. In 1995, the company signed her after listening to one
of her original demos. While she was a staff writer at Tree, she
co-wrote songs with Ed Hill, Bill Anderson, Sam Hogin, and Mark Wright.
Her songs were recorded by Anderson and Ricky Skaggs.
Within a year after signing to Tree, Lee Ann Womack signed to Decca
Records as a recording artist. Wright was hired as the producer for
Womack's debut album, which was comprised of both original material and
songs written by professional songwriters. Mark Chesnutt, Ricky Skaggs,
Sharon White, and Tony Brown all appeared on the record, which created
a buzz in the industry.
Lee Ann Womack's eponymous album was released in May of 1997, and
shortly after its release, it reached the Top Ten on the country chart.
I Hope You Dance followed in mid-2000. Something Worth Leaving Behind
appeared in mid-2002, and it was a sure fit for Womack to move into the
country mainstream for good. A Season for Romance was released before
the year's end, but Womack was itching for the stage. In early 2003,
Womack earned a small part on the CBS drama The District. She also
earned two Grammy nods: one for Best Female Country Vocal Performance
for Something Worth Leaving Behind and Best Vocal Collaboration
(Country) for her duet with Willie Nelson on Mendocino County Line.
~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
Written by Stephen Thomas Erlewine