Allison Moorer was born into a musical family and raised in the small southern Alabama town of Frankville; when Moorer's father shot her mother and then turned the gun on himself, older sister Shelby Lynne -- soon to become a country singer herself -- took charge of raising Allison. After attending the University of South Alabama, Moorer moved to Nashville, hoping to get her start as a studio backing vocalist. She struck up a songwriting partnership with musician and future husband Butch Primm, and soon signed a publishing deal. Performances of Walter Hyatt's "Tell Me Baby" at benefit shows for the late singer's family landed Moorer a contract with MCA Nashville. Moorer's big break came when "A Soft Place to Fall," a track she had co-written with Gwil Owen, was tapped for inclusion on the soundtrack of The Horse Whisperer; it garnered rave reviews, as well as an appearance in the film itself for Moorer, and set the stage for the singer's 1998 debut album, Alabama Song. She returned with another solo effort in 2000 with The Hardest Part. Two years later, Moorer had a new deal with Universal South and released a third album, Miss Fortune later that summer.