Joy Williams (singer)

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For the other people, see Joy Williams (disambiguation).
Joy Williams
Williams onstage smiling
Williams performing, 2011
Background information
Birth name Joy Elizabeth Williams
Born (1982-11-14) November 14, 1982 (age 31)
Genres Pop, Folk rock, Contemporary Christian
Instruments Vocals, piano, concertina
Years active 2000–present
Labels Reunion, Sensibility Music
Associated acts The Civil Wars
Website www.myspace.com/joywilliamsmusic

Joy Williams is an American singer-songwriter. The winner of four Grammy awards, Williams has released four solo albums and four EPs since the release of her self-titled debut in 2001. She performed with John Paul White as The Civil Wars from 2009 until 2012, when the duo announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus.[1][2][3]They announced on their website in 2014 that the hiatus was permanent.[4]

Biography[edit]

Williams was raised in a Christian home in Santa Cruz, California, where her parents worked in ministry. She attended high school in San Jose and graduated as the class valedictorian in 2001.[5]

In addition to singing in church, Williams began writing faith-based pop songs while living in Santa Cruz. At 17, she was signed by Reunion Records, a subsidiary of Sony/BMG based in Brentwood, Tennessee. Williams moved to Nashville in 2001, in part to be closer to the label’s headquarters.[6]

Williams achieved significant success between 2001 and 2005. She was nominated for 11 Dove Awards, and the three records she released on Reunion cumulatively sold more than 300,000 albums. In 2005 she left the label, noting that her perspective had changed considerably since she started recording for Reunion at 17. “My worldview shifted like tectonic plates from 17 to mid-twenties, and over time, I just started to feel less and less comfortable with the type of music I was making. I wanted to write things that moved me and not feel like I had any parameters telling me what to do or not to do," she said in a 2014 interview. [7]

After leaving Reunion, Williams spent time in Europe, and worked briefly at Paste Magazine and at a Nashville boutique. She resumed her career in music in 2006 after she signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell music, and in 2008 she and her husband/manager Nate Yetton founded Sensibility Music, intending it to serve as an outlet for Williams to release solo material. That same year, soon after she began to seek licensing opportunities for her music in film, television, and commercials, Oscar Meyer selected her song “It Doesn’t Get Better Than This” for a 2008 marketing campaign.[8] Williams subsequently released three EPs through Sensibility Music. Her catalogue includes the songs “Charmed Life,” “Speaking A Dead Language” and “Sunny Day,” which were featured on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.[6][9]

In 2008, Williams attended a writing camp in Nashville, where she met John Paul White. They formed the folk rock duo The Civil Wars in 2009, and released their breakthrough album Barton Hollow independently through Sensibility Recordings in 2011. The album was widely praised by critics,[10] and went on to sell more than 650,000 copies in the US.[11] White and Williams, who won four Grammy Awards as The Civil Wars, announced a hiatus in November 2012, prior to the release of their 2013 self-titled album.[12]

In 2013, Williams collaborated with Chris Cornell on the song "Misery Chain" for the 12 Years A Slave soundtrack. They performed the song together on Late Night with David Letterman at the end of the year.[13] She also collaborated with Matt Berninger from The National on “Hush,” the theme song for TURN, which airs on AMC.[14][15] Williams announced that she had begun work on a new solo album in April, 2014. [16]

It was announced on August 5, 2014, that the Civil Wars were officially breaking up.

Personal life[edit]

Williams and Yetton live in Nashville and have one child, a son, Miles, born in 2012. [17]

Discography[edit]

Solo[edit]

The Civil Wars[edit]

External links[edit]

Joy Williams at MySpace
2014 Interview from The Fire Theft Project

References[edit]

  1. ^ McKinley, James C. (October 25, 2011). "Their Year of Living Almost Famously". New York Times. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Hoby, Hermione (March 3, 2012). "The Civil Wars: 'I feel we pull from each other's world'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Kittle, Ashleigh. "Joy Williams Biography". allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Lopez, Korina (August 5, 2014). "The Civil Wars are Officially Over". USA Today. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Sanzgiri, Shona. "A little country, a little Santa Cruz: Former resident Joy Williams enjoys musical success with Civil Wars" The Santa Cruz Sentinel. 2012-03-13
  6. ^ a b Gold, Adam (November 10, 2011). "How The Civil Wars fought for artistic independence and broadsided Music Row". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Uhelski, Jaan. "The Surrender of Joy Williams". thefiretheftproject.com. The Fire Theft Project. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Clifford, Stephanie (January 14, 2010). "Oscar Mayer Counts on the Joy, Not the Jingles". New York Times. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Clarendon, Dan. "Grey's Anatomy Music:". wetpaint.com. Wet Paint. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Barton Hollow - The Civil Wars". metacritic.com. Metacrtic. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Barton Hollow Sales". riaa.com. RIAA. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Mansfield, Brian (June 30, 2011). "On the Verge: The Civil Wars". USA Today. 
  13. ^ Leahy, Andrew (December 20, 2013). "Chris Cornell and The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams Team Up For “Misery Chain”". americansongwriter.com. American Songwriter. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Breihan, Tom (April 14, 2014). "Joy Williams & Matt Berninger – “Hush”". stereogum.com. Stereogum. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Gordon, Jeremy. "The National's Matt Berninger and Civil Wars' Joy Williams Sing Theme for AMC's "Turn"". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  16. ^ Nicholson, Jessica. "The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams Prepping Solo Album". musicrow.com. Music Row. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Loinaz, Alexis (July 2, 2012). "The Civil Wars' Joy Williams Welcomes a Baby Boy—So What's His Name?". eonline.com. Eonline. Retrieved 2 August 2014.