Shawn Colvin was one of the premier names in the female singer-songwriter movement of the late 1980's. Unfortunately, she debuted at right about the same time that movement began to lose steam on the charts.
You may have heard "Diamond In the Rough," from her 1989 debut album Steady On, and her singles "Round of Blues" and "I Don't Know Why" from her 1992 follow-up LP Fat City, on the piped-in music system in your local supermarket, but none of these singles actually charted, and these LPs didn't do much better on the Billboard album charts.
The South Dakota-born Ms. Colvin still became a favorite among the folk-rock crowd, and in 1997 her persistence paid of when she reached number seven on the Billboard singles chart with "Sunny Came Home," about a young woman who burns down her house to escape her past, from her LP A Few Small Repairs. She won the 1998 Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. When she was about to receive one of those awards, however, a rapper (not Kanye West) interrupted her to make a self-promotional statement.
Ms. Colvin was unfazed, having gone on to make more records. Recent songs of hers include "Fill Me Up" and "All Fall Down." She has recently been working with Steve Earle.
Fun fact: Shawn Colvin sang backing vocals on Suzanne Vega's 1987 surprise hit "Luka." Ms. Vega returned the favor by singing backing vocals on "Diamond In the Rough."