Kathy Mattea

Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980s and 1990s as an artist at ease with both country tradition and free-ranging innovation. In 1990, the West Virginia native won the first of her two Grammy Awards, earning the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award for her moving “Where’ve You Been,” co-written by husband Jon Vezner. She is among the most successful women in the genre’s history, yet her creative spirit has led her to explore musical territory extending well beyond its confines. Her recent recordings have intertwined Celtic, gospel, and bluegrass influences with the folk and acoustic music that have always served as her artistic anchor.

An early spokesperson and advocate for AIDS awareness and research, Kathy’s long history of activism has led her to bring public attention to several current environmental issues, including climate change and some mining practices in her native Appalachia. The work and the music joined together to produce 2008's Grammy-nominated CD, “COAL”, featuring songs from the coal country and culture of “her place and her people”. Her latest release, "Calling Me Home " on Sugar Hill Records, is a deeper, more personal exploration of the music of Appalachia.

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