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100 REASONS: Decatur is the birthplace of Alison Krauss

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Before she was a prodigy, Alison Krauss briefly lived in Decatur.

Before she was a child prodigy, before she was blazing a trail for the national popularity of a music genre, and before she became the Grammys' most-awarded female artist in history, Alison Krauss was born in Decatur.

The woman who helped bring Americana music into the mainstream didn't spend much time here, with her family moving to Champaign a couple of years after her birth. She began taking classical music at age 5, and switched to bluegrass music. At age 8, she placed fourth in a competition at the Champaign County Fair, competed at the Illinois State Fair when she was 10, and the next year won the Illinois State Fiddle Championship at age 11 and being named Most Promising Fiddler in the Midwest by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America.

She signed her first recording contract when she was 14. When she was 18, she earned her first Grammt nomination, 1989's "Two Highways." She became a member of the Grand Ole Opry when she was 22. She was featured on Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack work on "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Cold Mountain."

She's topped the country charts with albums three times, and charted in the top 10 an additional nine times. Grammy Album of the Year “Raising Sand” (2007), featuring Krauss and former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, reached the top of the Billboard album chart, but stopped at No. 2 on the country chart.

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She been nominated for 42 Grammy Awards, winning 27. She is tied with Quincy Jones as the most awarded living recipient. Classical conductor Georg Solti, who holds the record for most wins with 31. She is the most awarded singer and the most awarded female artist in Grammy history.


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