Lucinda Gayle Williams (born January 26, 1953) is an American singer-songwriter and a solo guitarist. She recorded her first two albums: Ramblin' on My Mind (1979) and Happy Woman Blues (1980), in a traditional country and blues style that received critical praise but little public or radio attention. In 1988, she released her third album, Lucinda Williams, to widespread critical acclaim. Widely regarded as "an Americana classic", the album also features "Passionate Kisses", a song later recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter for her 1992 album Come On Come On, which garnered Williams her first Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994. Known for working slowly, Williams released her fourth album; Sweet Old World, four years later in 1992. Sweet Old World was met with further critical acclaim, and was voted the 11th best album of 1992 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of prominent music critics. Robert Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it 6th on his own year-end list, later writing that the album, as well as Lucinda Williams, were "gorgeous, flawless, brilliant".Williams' commercial breakthrough came in 1998 with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, an album presenting a broader scope of songs that fused rock, blues, country and Americana into a distinctive style that remained consistent and commercial in sound. Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which includes the singles "Right in Time" and the Grammy nominated "Can't Let Go", became Williams' greatest commercial success to date. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA the following year, and earned her a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, while being universally acclaimed by critics. Williams' follow-up album, Essence, appeared in 2001, to further critical acclaim and commercial success, becoming her first Top 40 album on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 28. Featuring a more downbeat musical tone, with spare, intimate arrangements, Essence earned Williams three Grammy nominations in 2002: Best Contemporary Folk Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the title track, and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the single "Get Right with God", which she won.One of the most celebrated singer-songwriters of her generation, Williams has released a string of albums since that have earned her further critical acclaim and commercial success, including World Without Tears (2003), West (2007), Little Honey (2008), Blessed (2011), Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014), The Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016), and Good Souls Better Angels (2020). Among her various accolades, she has won three Grammy Awards, from 17 nominations, and has received two Americana Awards (one competitive, one honorary), from 11 nominations. Williams ranked No. 97 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Rock & Roll in 1999, and was named "America's best songwriter" by Time magazine in 2002. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked her the 79th greatest songwriter of all time. In 2017, she received the Berklee College of Music Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree, and ranked No. 91 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time. In 2020, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road ranked No. 97, and Lucinda Williams ranked No. 426, on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. She was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in 2021. That same year, "Passionate Kisses" ranked No. 437 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.