Country pop singer SHELBY LYNNE won a Grammy for best new artist for her 1999 album I Am Shelby Lynne even though she had been in the music scene since 1987. She released a Dusty Springfield tribute album called Just a Little Lovin’ in 2008. Since then she has started her own independent record label, called Everso Records, and released two albums: Tears, Lies and Alibis and Merry Christmas.
Music was an important part of Shelby’s family – her father played the guitar and her mother was a singer. Lynne appeared on TNN’s country music show Nashville Now in 1987. She soon landed a recording contract with Epic Records. Her first recording for Epic was a duet with George Jones, “If I Could Bottle This Up”, which became a top-50 hit in 1988. Epic teamed Lynne with producer Billy Sherrill for her 1989 debut album Sunrise. The follow-up, 1990′s Tough All Over, took more of a mainstream country direction, and 1991′s Soft Talk found Lynne moving into slick country-pop. Critics generally regarded her as a promising talent, and she won the ACM’s Top New Female Vocalist in 1990.
However, she was tiring of the lack of control she was afforded over her image and musical direction and she split with Epic to work with more independent labels. In 1998 she moved to Palm Springs and worked with producer and songwriter Bill Bottrell. The result was the confessional and eclectic alternative country album I Am Shelby Lynne.
Island Def Jam released the album in England during the fall of 1999 and then in the U.S. the following year, to wide critical acclaim. At the 43rd Grammy Awards, held on February 21, 2001, she won the award for Best New Artist. “Thirteen years and six albums to get here,” said Lynne during her acceptance speech. Her 2001 follow-up album Love, Shelby was produced by Glen Ballard and featured a slicker, more pop-influenced sound. One of the songs, “Killin’ Kind” appeared on the soundtrack of the film Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Following a dispute with Lost Highway, Lynne started Everso Records. “I plan on taking advantage of my freedom and working hard and putting out a lot of records,” she has said about the venture. The first release was her album Tears, Lies and Alibis in 2010. She followed up later that year with the holiday album Merry Christmas, featuring such classics as “Christmas Time Is Here” and “O Holy Night”, as well as two original songs.