Lacy J. Dalton (born Jill Lynne Byrem on October 13, 1946 in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania), is an American country singer and songwriter with a career that has spanned many decades and touched the hearts of millions of music fans. In March 2017 Lacy J. Dalton was inducted into the North American Country Music Association International Hall of Fame, and in 2022 she was awarded a Lifetime Career Achievement Award from the Josie Music Awards, the largest independent music awards show in the country.
She’s one of the most instantly recognizable voices in music – the woman People Magazine called “Country’s Bonnie Raitt.” From the first time Lacy J. Dalton caught the public’s ear, that soulful delivery, full of texture and grit, has been a mainstay of Country Music. When you sit to listen to a Lacy J. Dalton album, you find yourself pulled in by the very power and heart of this vocalist, because she’s not merely performing a ten-song set, she’s bringing each and every tune to life. It’s as if they were all written especially for her.
Prior to recording with Harbor Records in 1978 as Jill Croston, she like many before her, held many jobs to survive and support her family. As a truck stop waitress and singer, she would wait tables and then take the stage to sing a few songs. In June 1979, Lacy J. Dalton was signed by Columbia Records and quickly rose to national prominence with Crazy Blue Eyes, which she wrote with her longest friend, Mary McFadden, and which raced to #7 on the Billboard Country Charts. Her hard work and dedication paid off in 1979 when she was awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female Vocalist of the Year.
Lacy’s success was powered not just by the artist’s recordings, but by a stage show that truly electrified audiences. She quickly became one of the few women who could successfully open a show for the likes of Hank Williams, Jr., Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard or Charlie Daniels. Not only could she do it, but she left audiences across the country hollering for more. Her signature song 16th Avenue, became the Anthem for Nashville songwriters. Her other hit records are legendary million-airplay cuts and include Crazy Blue Eyes, Takin’ It Easy, Everybody Makes Mistakes, Hillbilly Girl with the Blues, Hard Times, and the worldwide hit Black Coffee.
In addition to her Top New Female Vocalist award, she also brought home numerous Grammy nominations and 3 prestigious, back-to-back (1979, 1980, 1981) Bay Area Music Awards for Best Country-Folk Recordings. Lacy appeared on those shows with the likes of Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane.
to read her full biography.