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Singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams has won wide acclaim for such albums as 1998's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and 2011's Blessed.
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She went through three sets of producers to make Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998). The record earned raves for its tales of heartache set against a southern backdrop, and it brought Williams another Grammy win—this time for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Around this time, she toured with Van Morrison and longtime inspiration Bob Dylan.
In 2001, Williams bolstered her earlier success with Essence,
an album featuring appearances by Billy Bob Thornton and Ryan Adams. She continued to thrive with 2003's World Without Tears, which became her first Top 20 album. With 2007's West, Williams mined darker, more bluesy territory.
Williams has continued to chart her own path in the music world. Her 2008 album, Little Honey, had strong enough sales to make Billboard's Top 10. With her 2011 album, Blessed, the singer-songwriter reached a new point in her career. "I'm more confident about what I do and less afraid to take chances," she told EQ, adding that she had "stretched out to absorb other kinds of stories and material" for her songwriting. "I can't write about unrequited love forever," she continued. Love had apparently finally found Williams in 2009, when she married manager Tom Overby.
For Williams, her musical career has never been about earning gold records—it's been about her art. She has never been afraid to discard takes or even entire songs if they didn't feel right to her. It's her commitment to her own musical truth that seems to endear her critics and her devoted following. "Her songs come from the heart," music executive Bob Buziak told Billboard. "People feel it, embrace it and live vicariously through them, and that's the key."
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