Elektra had believed in her from the outset and hoped the album might sell 200,000 copies-a highly credible performance for a debut of basically acoustic songs.
Instead, it went on to sell more that 10 million copies and win three Grammy awards.
But she had also earned huge respect as one of the most committed artists of her generation.
The songs on her debut had dealt with such issues as violence against women, institutionalized racism and living on welfare.
For her, the awards and accolades have always been second to the integrity of her songwriting and the emotional honesty of her voice.
But I think it also meant I had no time to feel the pressure.” Her spontaneous performances, seen by millions on television around the world, was a sensation and the reaction was instant.
She won so many hearts that the following week the album soared to the top of the charts in both Britain and the United States.
Born and raised by her mother in Cleveland, Ohio, she began writing poetry and short stories at an early age.
Tracy’s first instrument was a ukulele that her mother bought her at three years old because she recognized that she loved music, and was later stolen by the girl across the street from them.