Shawn Colvin

Shawn Colvin capped a triumphant 1998 -- in which her hit

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music/Colvin,_Shawn/Sunny_Came_Home.ram">"Sunny Came Home"

(RealAudio excerpt) won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year --

by releasing an LP of seasonal favorites and songs. Aptly titled Holiday Songs and

Lullabies, the album is for her newborn daughter, Caledonia.

Colvin also spent a good deal of the year singing live at charity events, such as the Don

Henley-organized Stormy Weather, an April benefit for Massachusett's Walden Woods.

Colvin performed pop and jazz standards with the likes of legendary singer/songwriter

Joni Mitchell and singer Natalie Cole.

Colvin was born 41 years ago today in Vermillion, S.D. She was one of four children

(her brother Geoffrey is an editor at Fortune magazine), and she taught herself to

play guitar as a child. Colvin loved folk, but also played rock and country as she gigged

around the United States in her youth.

Colvin eventually became a fixture of New York City's Greenwich Village folk scene in

the '80s. There, she met fellow folkie Suzanne Vega at the Bottom Line club. Vega,

impressed with Colvin's music at the time, such as "I Don't

Know Why," helped Colvin secure a contract with Columbia Records. Colvin also sang

on the Vega hit "Luka," and the pair toured Europe together.

With her new recording contract sealed, Colvin began writing songs with boyfriend John

Leventhal. Her first LP, 1989's Steady On, won the Grammy for Best

Contemporary Folk Recording. Colvin's second album, 1992's Fat City, came

amid an estrangement with Leventhal. This album was produced by Larry Klein --

Mitchell's then husband -- and Mitchell herself made an appearance. It also featured

Richard Thompson, with whom Colvin toured. Colvin later married Thompson's tour

manager Simon Tassano.

Cover Girl (1994) featured Colvin's takes on tunes by Bob Dylan, Sting, Tom

Waits and others. Two years later, she issued A Few Small Repairs, which proved

to be a sleeper hit. The CD, reuniting Colvin professionally with Leventhal, spawned the

hit "Sunny Came Home," which dominated the '98 Grammy Awards. (During one of

Colvin's acceptance speeches, Ol' Dirty Bastard of the Wu Tang Clan jumped up

onstage to protest the Clan not winning a Grammy.)

Colvin continued to keep a high profile last year. When Mitchell declined to show up for

her own induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Colvin paid tribute to her by

singing "Free Man In Paris." At a Santa Barbara, Calif., benefit for the City of Hope

National Medical Center, she performed with artists such as Sheryl Crow and Stevie

Nicks. She also covered Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" on Legacy: A Tribute to

Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

Other birthdays: Rod Stewart, 54; Aynsley Dunbar (Jefferson Starship), 53; Donald

Fagen (Steely Dan), 51; Pat Benatar, 46; Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets), 40; Aerle Teree

(Arrested Development), 26; and Chris Smith (Kris Kross), 20.