"Kelly Willis" is a country music singer-songwriter noted for her clear, unadorned vocal style and her model-like beauty. Willis’ music has been described as contemporary country and new traditionalist.
Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, USA on October 1, 1968, Willis was the youngest of three children. While her father was a U.S. Army colonel, Willis’ mother had a strong interest in music and sang and acted in amateur musicals. Willis began singing when she was nine as a way to comfort herself after her parents divorced. After the divorce, Willis and her siblings lived with her dad and moved around the country to accommodate her father’s military job. She spent her middle school years in North Carolina and her high school years in Annandale, Virginia.
Willis joined her first band in high school. Her boyfriend, drummer Mas Palermo, introduced Willis to his rockabilly band. The band took her on as the lead vocalist and soon rechristened the band Kelly Willis & the Fireballs. After Willis’ high school graduation, the band decided to move to Austin, Texas to participate in the vibrant Austin music scene. After a few months in Austin, however, the band broke up. Wi...