A Short Biography of Emmylou Harris

Filed under: Emmylou Harris - 19 Mar 2012  | Spread the word !

Emmylou Harris is an American singer, songwriter and musician. So far, she has released many chart-topping albums and singles over the course of her career, and has won 12 Grammys and numerous other awards. In addition to her work as a solo artist and bandleader, both as an interpreter of other composers’ works and as a singer-songwriter, Emmylou Harris is a sought-after backing vocalist and duet partner. Most of her music is part of the folk and country genre.

During college, Emmylou Harris began to study music seriously, learning to play the songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on guitar. She left college in order to pursue her music career and moved to New York. While there, Emmylou Harris worked as a waitress to support herself while performing folk songs in Greenwich Village coffeehouses. Emmylou Harris married fellow songwriter Tom Slocum in 1969. In the following year, Emmylou Harris recorded her first album Gliding Bird.

Her debut album was successful and her career started to go upwards.  In 1981, Emmylou Harris reached the Top 40 on the Billboard pop chart with a cover of Mister Sandman, again Top 10 Country as well as Adult Contemporary, from her following album Evangeline. Aside from her booming musical career, Emmylou Harris is also a very involved activist. In 1997 and 1998, Emmylou Harris performed in Sarah McLachlan’s Lillith Fair. This event had the purpose of promoting feminism in music. Since 1999, Emmylou Harris has been organising an annual charity event, called Concerts for a Landmine Free World.

All proceeds from the tours support the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation efforts to assist innocent victims of conflicts around the world. Other important artists who have joined Emmylou Harris in her activist projects are Joan Baez, Sheryl Crow, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith and Bruce Cockburn. Just like other amazing music artists, Emmylou Harris has received many awards over the course of her long career so far, and is still gaining nominations for future shows.