Morna Anne Murray was born in the coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. After expressing an early interest in music, she studied piano for six years. By age fifteen, she began taking voice lessons. Every Saturday morning, she took a bus ride from Springhill to Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, for singing lessons.
Following high school, Murray attended Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax for one year. She later studied Physical Education at University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. After receiving her degree, Murray taught physical education at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island for one year.
Then everything changed.
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Murray's debut album was on the Canadian Arc label, titled What About Me. The lead single was written by Scott McKenzie, and was a sizable Canadian radio hit. After a year with Arc, Murray switched to Capitol Records in 1969 to record her second album, This Way Is My Way, which was released in the fall of the same year. This album featured the single that launched her career, "Snowbird," which became a #1 hit in Canada. "Snowbird" became a surprise hit on the U.S. charts as well, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970. It was also the first of eight #1 Adult Contemporary hits for Murray.
The song led to Murray being awarded the first Gold record ever given to a Canadian artist in the United States. As one of the most successful female artists at that time, Murray became in demand for several television appearances in Canada and the United States, eventually becoming a regular on the hit U.S. TV series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
After the success of "Snowbird," Murray had a number of subsequent singles that charted both pop and country simultaneously. During the 1970s and early 1980s, her hits included Kenny Loggins' "Danny's Song" in 1972,"A Love Song," "He Thinks I Still Care" and her Top 10 cover of The Beatles' "You Won't See Me" in 1974. In 1978, she recorded her all-time career-peaking #1 Hot 100 hit "You Needed Me."
Murray's last Hot 100 charting pop hit was "Now and Forever (You and Me)" from 1986; it also was her last #1 on both American and Canadian country charts.
Her last charting single in the U.S. was 1991's "Everyday," which appeared in Billboard's Country Singles chart, and her last charting single in Canada was 2000's "What a Wonderful World."
Murray emerged from a string of personal adversities in 1999 with her best-selling album in 20 years, What a Wonderful World, which was certified Platinum, and her 2002 CD Country Croonin’ was certified Gold by the RIAA.
Her daughter, singer/songwriter Dawn Langstroth, is has recorded with her mother a number of times, including the duet "Let There Be Love" in 1999 for Murray's What A Wonderful World album. Anne and Dawn were featured in a mother-daughter duet of "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do."
Murray's 2007/2008 Anne Murray Duets: Legends & Friends CD was the second-highest debuting album on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. It was Murray's highest-charting album in the U.S. since What a Wonderful World was released in 1999. The CD also debuted on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart at #8 and Top Internet Albums chart at #3 for the same week.
-----Murray has received four Grammy Awards, 24 Juno Awards (she holds the record for the most Junos awarded to an artist), three American Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards and three Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
She has been inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Juno Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. She is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Walkway of Stars in Nashville, and has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles and on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.
Murray was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach #1 on the U.S. charts, and also the first to earn a Gold record for one of her signature songs, "Snowbird." She is often cited as the woman who paved the way for other Canadian international success stories such as Céline Dion, Sarah McLachlan and Shania Twain. She is also the first woman and the first Canadian to win "Album of the Year" at the Country Music Association Awards for her 1984 album A Little Good News.
Murray was ranked #24 in Country Music Television's 40 Greatest Women of Country Music in 2002.
Murray is a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest honour that can be awarded to a Canadian civilian. She was a recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia in its inaugural year.
In 2009, Anne Murray published her autobiography, All of Me, written with Michael Posner.