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One of the most celebrated country-folk performers, Iris Dement was born in rural Paragould, AR. At the age of three, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music; during her teenaged years, she was first exposed to country, folk, and R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell.
Dement first began composing songs at the age of 25. Dement did not make her recording debut until 1992, when her independent label offering, Infamous Angel, won almost universal acclaim thanks to her pure, evocative vocal style and spare, heartfelt songcraft. Despite a lack of support from radio, the record's word-of-mouth praise earned her a deal with Warner Bros., which reissued it in 1993 and its follow-up My Life. After 2005’s Lifeline, she returns with new album Sing the Delta Oct. 2.