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Mary Chapin Carpenter Biography

Home > Music > C > Carpenter, Mary Chapin > Biography

Born: 1958/02/21
Birth Place: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
Years Active: 1987–present
Genres: Folk, Country, Rock

Mary Chapin Carpenter was born February 21, 1958 in Princeton, New Jersey and is a folk, and country music artist. Carpenter got her start singing in clubs in Washington D.C before she was discovered and signed to Columbia Records in 1980. Carpenter's debut album, “Hometown Girl,” appeared in 1987 and was marketed as country music. Despite the album not being a huge commercial success, Carpenter developed a small loyal following. 1989 saw Carpenter's second offering, “State of the Heart,” followed by “Shooting Straight in the Dark” in 1990, which yielded the Grammy Award winning single, “Down at the Twist and Shout.” In addition, both albums produced a number of top twenty hit singles on the Billboard Country Singles chart. Suddenly Carpenter was gaining attention.

Carpenter's break came in 1992 with her album, “Come On Come On,” which yielded seven charting singles and was certified platinum, selling more than four million copies. The success of the album catapulted Carpenter into the spotlight, she had arrived in both folk and country music circles, but was also able to garner fans from the pop and easy-listening world. Carpenter followed up her new found success with “Stones in the Road” (1994) and “A Place in the World” (1996), which were not as successful as “Com On Come On,” but spawned a number of hit singles. 2000 saw a change in Carpenter's musical direction; becoming less commercial and more socially and politically focused. Carpenter's critically acclaimed album, “The Calling” was released in 2007 on Rounder Records and contained a strong political theme. “The Age of Miracles” followed in 2010.

Carpenter's contribution to music has earned her five Grammy, four of which were for 'Best Female Country Vocal Performance' from 1992 to 1995.