American singer-songwriter Lucinda Gayl Williams (January 26, 1953 —) inhabits a particular realm of contemporary popular music that straddles the genres of folk, country, blues and rock, placing her in the company of Steve Earle, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Sometimes she's categorized as alt-country alongside acts like Neko Case, Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt. Regardless of how you file her records, she's been called "an American classic" and resides on numerous "Greatest" lists for country, rock, and songwriting. Winner of numerous Grammy and other music awards and a member of several Halls of Fame, Time magazine called her "America's best songwriter" in 2022.

Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Williams started writing music at age six and was playing guitar by age twelve. Her parents divorced during her early teens, and her father gained custody of her and her siblings. Despite dropping out of high school by age 17 to perform music, she was accepted into the University of Arkansas. In her early twenties she started developing her own sound with its distinctive blend of musical genres, and moved to Jackson, Mississippi to record her first album. The first couple of LPs went nowhere, and she relocated to L.A. for a while before settling in Nashville. It was there that she began to establish a name for herself and a following.

To say that Williams has been successful in her career would be an understatement. She suffered a stroke in November 2020 at her home in Nashville, but recovered in time for her summer 2021 tour. She released her sixteenth studio album in 2023 and shows no signs of slowing down. Nearly fifty years on, she's virtually an institution as an embodiment of the oftentimes dark and gritty side of Americana, one that withstands all adversities and grows stronger for them.


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