Hanson began her own musical career in 2002 with a self-titled debut album being issued on Capitol Records. She co-produced the album with Greg Droman and wrote most of the songs on it. The album produced three hit singles on the BillboardHot Country Songs chart, including the Top 20 hit "Beautiful Goodbye", followed by "This Far Gone" at number 42 and "Half a Heart Tattoo" at number 40. She switched to Universal South Records in 2007, releasing her second studio album (entitled Thankful) in early 2008. It produced the singles "Joyride" and "'73 (Everything Changes)", the former of which also reached number 42 on the country charts.