Emmylou Harris is an American musician and songwriter who possessed one of the most unique voices in country, pop, rock, and folk music. Her expressive and distinctive songs have secured her a place in American pop history.
Emmylou Harris’s career as a musician has been growing for over forty years, and during this time Lou has worked with famous musicians such as Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt. Her passion for music, coupled with hard work, has earned her numerous awards and brought her music to the top of the country charts.
Who Is Emmylou Harris? – Bio, Age
Emily Lou was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 2, 1947, to a military family. Her father was a highly decorated Marine Corps officer who spent ten months as a prisoner of war in Korea in 1952, while her mother was a wartime military officer.
Emily Lou’s childhood years were spent in North Carolina and Woodbridge, both in the city of Virginia, where she graduated from high school. She then received a scholarship to study theater at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. There she also began to study music seriously and subsequently learned to play the songs of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on the guitar.
However, Emily Lou dropped out of college and moved to New York City to pursue her musical ambitions to the fullest. She worked as a waitress to feed herself while performing folk music in the coffee houses of Greenwich Village.
After becoming something of a star, Emily Lou put her musical career on hold for a short time after her marriage to give herself some time to get used to married life. The break lasted longer than many fans expected, but later returned to her passion when the said marriage broke up and they divorced. While performing the songs of Gerry Mule and Tom Guidera in a certain bar, she met the renowned “Flying Burrito Brothers”, who introduced her to her former bandleader Gram Parsons. This meeting was exactly what Emmylou needed, as Parsons was looking for a singer to work with on his debut solo album, GP. They toured together and made an album – Grievous Angel- which was released posthumously in 1974 after Parsons died on September 19, 1973.
Parsons’ death eventually prompted Lou to move to Los Angeles after she signed with Reprise Record after forming her own vocal group, which she called “Angel Band”. She worked with her second husband, producer Brian Ahern, to produce what would later become her ten most important albums. Her first major debut album Pieces of the sky was released in 1975, and the album featured a diverse fusion of covers from The Beatles to Merle Haggard.
Harris’ second award-winning album Elite Hotel was recorded with a newly formed band called “Hot Band”. They released five more albums; Luxury Liner, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, Profile: The Best of Emmylou Harris, and Blue Kentucky Girl in the 1970s. The latter earned her a second Grammy award.
Her third husband, Paul Kennerly, worked with her to release a semi-autobiographical album entitled “The Ballad of Sally” and two other solo albums – Thirteen and The Angel Band. She also recorded a trio with other country stars such as Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt in 1987, which became the best-selling album of all time in Lou’s entire singing career.
In 1995 she released her experimental album “Wrecking Ball” which became a huge hit and earned her a Grammy. In 2000 she released more albums and her last single was released in 2013.
In total, she has successfully released 26 studio albums, three live albums, 11 compilation albums, three video albums, and 70 singles. Harris has won 13 Grammy awards and three CMA awards.
Her Husband and Daughter
EmmyLou Harris met and married songwriter Tom Slocum in 1969 at a gig in Greenwich Village. She recorded her first album, Gliding Bird, in 1970. Harris and Slocum’s marriage soon broke up when she found out that she was pregnant because of Slocum, whereupon her record label collapsed because of the marriage requirement. She moved back to her parent’s farm outside Washington, DC to raise her newborn daughter, who she named Haille.
In 1977 Emmylou married her producer Brian Ahern at his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their union produced a daughter Megan, and the two were divorced in 1984. She soon found love in singer and songwriter Paul Kennerly and they married in 1985; divorced in 1993.
Height and Other Facts
Harris is 1.65 cm (5.ft.5 ins) tall and weighs 58 kg.
She received an honorary doctorate in music from the Berklee School of Music in 2009.
She is a vegetarian and a registered member of PETA.
She is an animal lover who named her rescue center – Bonaparte Retreat – in Nashville after her dog died in 2002.
Emmylou is a strong advocate for women’s rights. She has performed many times at the Lilith Fair, which is an all-female concert.
She is a fervent supporter of the LGBT community and believes in equal rights.
She did not start as a country singer; she originally started her career in folk music.
Although she received her first Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1976, she was not accepted into the Grand Ole Opry until 1992.