Shelby Lynne (born Shelby Lynne Moorer, October 22, 1968, Quantico, Virginia) is an American country music singer, songwriter and actress. She won a Grammy Award in 2001 for Best New Artist.
Shelby Lynne grew up in Frankville, Alabama. Her father was a local bandleader and her mother a harmony-singing teacher, and as children, she and her younger sister Allison Moorer — later a country recording artist in her own right — sometimes joined their parents on-stage to sing along. When Lynne was 17, while the family was living in the small town of St. Stephens, Alabama, Lynne's father, an abusive alcoholic, shot and killed her mother and then himself.
The sisters briefly lived with an aunt until Lynne turned 18, whereupon she married a friend from home. The marriage lasted only a year. Lynne began supporting herself and her sister by playing music in local clubs and eventually the two moved to Nashville. Lynne appeared on TNN's Nashville Now in 1987, and soon landed a recording contract with Epic Records.
Lynne's first recording for Epic was a duet with George Jones, "If I Could Bottle This Up", which became a top-50 hit in 1988. Epic teamed Lynne with producer Billy Sherrill for her 1989 debut album Sunrise. The follow-up, 1990's Tough All Over, took more of a mainstream country direction, and 1991's Soft Talk found Lynne moving into slick country-pop.
Lynne placed several songs on the country charts during this period, but none managed to break into the top 20. Critics generally regarded her as a promising talent, and she won the ACM's Top New Female Vocalist in 1990.
However, she was tiring of the lack of control she was afforded over her image and musical direction. She split from Epic and signed with the smaller Morgan Creek label, debuting with 1993's Temptation, an exercise in Bob Wills-style Western swing and big band jazz. The label folded not long after, and she moved on to Magnatone for 1995's Restless, which marked a return to contemporary-style country. Afterward, Lynne disappeared from recording for several years.
Lynne moved to Palm Springs in 1998 and released the confessional and eclectic Rhythm and Blues album I Am Shelby Lynne in 1999 (released in US in 2000) to wide critical acclaim; on the strength of the album Lynne won a Grammy award for "Best New Artist", despite the fact that she had been recording and releasing records for more than ten years (which she referred to in her acceptance speech).
Her 2001 follow up album, Love, Shelby featured a slicker, more pop-influenced sound. This album was a moderate commercial success but received mixed reviews. In 2003, Lynne released the critically-acclaimed Identity Crisis produced, engineered, and mixed by Bruce Robb (producer) in association with Bruce Robb Productions. Though not a commercial success, many magazines rated the album among the best of 2003. 2005's Suit Yourself has also been well received by critics. Lynne's most recent album - Just a Little Lovin', released on January 29, 2008 — is a tribute to singer Dusty Springfield, which has garnered favorable press as well.
Not long after the September 11 attacks, Lynne was a part of the high-profile gathering of artists at Radio City Music Hall in New York City who paid tribute to John Lennon, an event broadcast in October 2001 on The WB as Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music. In the concert, Lynne performed Lennon's song "Mother".
In 2002 she sang a duet with Raul Malo (The Mavericks) On his first solo-album called Today. The song is titled "Takes Two To Tango".
Shelby guests on three songs on her sister Allison Moorer's live album 'Show', released in 2003.
In 2004, Lynne was featured in a duet version of alternative rock band Live's song "Run Away." This rendition can be found on the band's greatest hits compilation Awake: The Best of Live.
Lynne portrayed Carrie Cash in the 2005 Johnny Cash biographical film, Walk the Line. Two years later in 2007, Lynne appeared in an episode of the Showtime original series Head Case with Alexandra Wentworth. Also in 2007, she performed background vocals on Marc Cohn's fourth album, Join the Parade, and contributed to "Forever Cool," a 2007 album from Capitol/EMI featuring contemporary artists in duets with the late Dean Martin. Alongside Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Lynne performed a duet of one of Martin's best known tunes, "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You".
In addition to work on her own most recent album, Lynne wrote "She Knows Where She Goes", one of the songs featured on Allison Moorer's 2008 album, Mockingbird. The album overall focuses on the works of various female singer-songwriters, including Lynne, June Carter Cash, Gillian Welch and others.
Shelby Lynne has neither confirmed or denied rumors that she is a lesbian. She told The New York Times in a 2007 interview "I've done everything on every corner of the universe but I'm not going to make an announcement about it".
When Lynne was questioned about her sexual orientation in a January 2008 interview with The Advocate she said "its not anybody's business who I sleep with or who I f---! I don't give a s--t what the magazine is. People are going to come up with whatever they want to come up with on their own; I don't have to make announcements"