Alison Krauss was born in Decatur, Illinois. Her parents were originally from Columbus, Mississippi. Krauss was raised in Champaign, Illinois, where she started studying classical violin at 5 years of age. She switched to bluegrass shortly. At age eight, she started entering local talent contests. By ten years old, she had her own band, “Union Station”.
When she was 13, she won the Walnut Valley Festival Fiddle Championship. She was named the Most Promising Fiddler in the Midwest. When she was 16, she released her debut album “Too Late to Cry” with Rounder Records. Union Station was her backup band.
In 1989, Krauss released her first group album with Union Station, called “Two Highways”. Her contract with Rounder required her to alternate with solo, then Union Station album. In 1990, she released the solo album “I’ve Got That Old Feeling”, which rose to the Billboard Charts peaking in the top seventy-five on the country music chart A single called “Steel Rails” from that album, won her first Grammy Award. The single “I’ve Got That Old Feeling” was the first of her country music videos.
In 1992, Krauss and Union Station released their second album called “Every Time You Say Goodbye”. This won her second Grammy for “Best Bluegrass Album of the year. She joined the Grand Ole Opry at age 21. Krauss also collaborated with the Cox Family in 1994 on a bluegrass album called “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”. In late 1994, Krauss recorded with the band Shenandoah on a single called “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart”. This brought her to the country music Top Ten for the first time.
Her first double platinum was “Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection”. This was a collection of her favorite works by other artists. “When You Say Nothing at All” from that album, reached the top five on the Billboard country chart. The album peaked in the top fifteen on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, and sold 2 million copies.
In 1997, Krauss released “So Long So Wrong” with Union Station. This album won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. One song from this album was on the second season premiere episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. The song was “That Kind of Love.”
The next album was with Union Station, called “New Favorite”, and was released in 2001. The album won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. The single “The Lucky One” also won a Grammy. Following “New favorite” was a live album, in 2002. It was recorded during a live performance at The Louisville Palace.
Alison Krauss and Union Station released a gold certified album in 2004. It was called “Lonely Runs Both Ways”. Alison also performed a duet with Brad Paisley on his album “Mud on the Tires”. The single “Whiskey Lullaby” was quite ranked in the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100, and the top 5 of the Hot Country Songs. It also won the Country Music Association Award for Best Musical Event, and Best Music Video of the Year.
“Raising Sand” was recorded in 2007. This album was ultimately certified platinum by RIAA. This album also received 5 Grammys, including Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album, and Record of the Year. Krauss also worked with Robert Plant and recorded a Crossroads special in October 2007 for Country Music Television.
Krauss has made many appearances on other records with lead vocals, harmony, vocals, or fiddle playing. She contributed to numerous motion picture soundtracks as well, such as the soundtrack “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Kraus released “A Hundred Miles Or More” in 2007. This was a collection of duets with artists like John Waite, James Taylor, Brad Paisley, and fiddle player Natalie MacMaster. The album was very successful, but received with lukewarm reception from critics. On August 11 of that year, Great American Country network aired a one-hour special called “Alison Krauss: A Hundred Miles or More” based on the album, and featuring many of the album’s duets.
In 2004, Alison Krauss was chosen by Hollywood shoe designer Stuart Weitzman to wear a pair of $2 million sandals with clear glass stiletto heels and two straps adorned with 565 Kwiat diamonds set in platinum. Weitzman also outfitted Krauss with a Palm Treo 600 Smartphone bejeweled with 3,000 clear-and-topaz-colored Swarovski crystals. Krauss returned the shoes, but kept the phone.
Krauss has a record of twenty six Grammy Awards over the course of her career both as solo artist, and as a group with Union Station. This is more than any other female artist and is the third most won by any artist overall. Krauss was also presented a special musical achievement honor in 2005. She also won 14 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, 8 Country Music Association Awards, 2 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 1 Canadian Country Music Award. She is ranked 12th in the Country Music Television’s “40 Greatest Women of Country Music” in 2002.