Also Credited As:Audrey Faith Perry
|September 21, 1967|
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Hill was born in Jackson, Mississippi and grew up in nearby Star, the kind of small rural town where people are born, get married and go to football games. She was already showing off her talents at the age of 3 when she began singing for her family. At 7, she made her first public appearance at a 4-H luncheon and from then on took every opportunity to perform. At 17, she joined a band and played rodeos and parties, but no clubs because her mom wouldn't allow it. Though she was in college for a short time, the lure of stardom was too great and at 19, Hill went looking for fame in Nashville. Hill was immediately overwhelmed-growing up in a small town did not prepare her for the trials and tribulations of the Big City.
The young singer/songwriter spent her early Nashville years hiding her talents, at least from those with whom she worked. Hill spent her days as a receptionist at a music publishing firm run by former country balladeer Gary Morris. Ironically, it was at work that Hill was discovered: a writer overheard her singing to herself and convinced Hill to record a demo of one of his songs. From there, Hill sang harmony for Gary Burr at the world-renowned Bluebird Café, who in turn produced her own demo. Warner Bros soon signed the burgeoning talent to a contract. Though young, Hill was smart and lucky enough to get what she wanted from the deal.
Hill released her first album Take Me As I Am in 1993. The first single, Wild One, spent four weeks atop the country charts in the number one position. Hill's second single, a cover of Janis Joplin's Piece Of My Heart, also went to No. 1, with the album itself eventually selling over 2 million copies. However, Hill held off on recording her second album, 1995's It Matters To Me, because of surgery on her vocal chords. The title track from that album became her fourth number one country single, and a slew of Top Ten hits helped the album sell over 3 million copies. In 1996, Hill teamed up with country singer Tim McGraw on the Spontaneous Combustion Tour. Though Hill was betrothed to producer Scott Hendricks, she broke off the engagement to marry McGraw. Their first child was born soon after, and their first duet, It's Your Love, spent six weeks atop the country charts.
Subsequent albums merely added to her success, though with each one Hill found herself blending pop and country genres. In 1998, Faith went quadruple-platinum, and the single The Kiss, became the singer's first platinum hit. Hill's crossover to the mainstream culminated in an appearance on "Divas Live" (VH1, 1999), a benefit concert for music education that starred top female performers Whitney Houston, Cher, Tina Turner, Elton John and others. Hill followed Faith with 1999's Breathe, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and won her a Grammy Award for Country Album in 2000. In 2002, Hill muddied the genre waters even further with Cry, a lavishly produced album augmented by orchestral arrangements, distorted guitars and thick synthesizer lines. Not nearly as successful as her previous release, Cry managed to keep Hill a top star.
As an artist, one is never satisfied with the pursuit of one form of expression. Hill was no exception when she decided to pursue acting. In 1997, Hill guest-starred in an episode of "Promised Land" (CBS, 1996-99), a spin-off of the popular series, "Touched By an Angel" (CBS, 1994-2003). She also had a starring role as Sarah Sunderson in the remake of "The Stepford Wives" (2004), co-starring Matthew Broderick, Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken. Hill's film career continued when she became attached to star in "Even Steven", a romantic comedy set to be filmed at a future date.