Kathy Mattea life and biography

Kathy Mattea picture, image, poster

Kathy Mattea biography

Date of birth : 1959-06-21
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Cross Lane, West Virginia, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-02-25
Credited as : Country music singer, bluegrass vocalist, 455 Rocket

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Kathleen Alice Mattea is an American country music and bluegrass performer who often brings folk, Celtic and traditional country sounds to her music.

Kathy Mattea was born in Cross Lane, W.V., on June 21, 1959. She received classical voice training starting in junior high but also took up guitar when she discovered folk music. In 1976, while in college at West Virginia University, she joined the bluegrass band Pennsboro and two years later dropped out of school to move to Nashville with her boyfriend.

She worked odd jobs and waited tables while honing her songwriting, and in 1983, she landed a deal with Mercury on the strength of her demo tape. Her self-titled debut was released in 1984, and the follow-up From My Heart appeared the following year. None of the singles from either record managed to breach the Top 20. However, her third effort, 1986's folky Walk the Way the Wind Blows, proved to be her critical and commercial breakthrough. Her cover of Nanci Griffith's "Love at the Five and Dime" was her first Top 5 hit, and the record produced three other Top 10 hits. Her 1987 album Untasted Honey offered two No. 1 country hits, "Goin' Gone" and her signature hit, "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses." The latter won the 1988 CMA for single of the year.

Mattea's 1989 album Willow in the Wind brought two more No. 1 hits, "Come From the Heart" and "Burnin' Old Memories," as well as "She Came From Fort Worth." She won a Grammy for another of the album's tracks, "Where've You Been," and also captured the CMA's female vocalist trophies in 1989 and 1990.

Watch the music video of Kathy Mattea "455 Rocket" here:

Seeking to keep her music fresh by returning to its roots, Mattea made several trips to Scotland in the early '90s, studying the links between country music and traditional Scottish folk. Her own music kept getting rootsier and more eclectic, as 1991's ambitious Time Passes By featured Emmylou Harris, the Roches and Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean. The album's title track and "A Few Good Things Remain" both hit the Top 10. She subsequently had throat surgery but recovered fully to record 1992's Lonesome Standard Time. She attempted a more commercial sound for 1993's Walking Away a Winner, whose title track reached the Top 5. The same year, she also issued the gospel-oriented Christmas record Good News, which won a Grammy.

After a hiatus, Mattea returned in 1997 with Love Travels, which balanced her folk and mainstream country leanings, and she won a CMA award for her video, "455 Rocket." In 2000, she released The Innocent Years, then moved to the Narada label for the eclectic 2002 album Roses and the 2003 Christmas album Joy for Christmas Day.

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