One of the most acclaimed female country singers of the late '80s and '90s, Suzy Bogguss was able to balance country tradition with a contemporary mainstream sensibility, thereby satisfying both audiences and critics. Bogguss was born in Aledo, IL, in 1956, and began singing in her church choir at age five. Encouraged by her parents, she learned piano and drums as a child, and took up guitar as a teenager. While studying art at Illinois State University, she performed in local coffeehouses and clubs, and after graduating in 1980, she hit the road, playing wherever she could find a gig around the Midwest, Northeast, and even parts of Canada. She moved to Nashville in 1985 and worked as a demo singer while playing in clubs by night; she later took a job singing at the Dollywood theme park and sold tapes of her own music, one of which got her signed to Liberty/Capitol when a label executive heard it. Bogguss released her first singles in 1987, and her debut album, Somewhere Between, appeared the following year. It received hugely positive reviews for blending country's past and present, and featured covers of Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" and Merle Haggard's "Somewhere Between," and also produced a decent-sized hit in "Cross My Broken Heart." The 1990 follow-up, Moment of Truth, took Bogguss in a more polished direction, but failed to break her to a wider audience.