Alison Maria Krauss (born July 23, 1971) is an American bluegrass-country singer, songwriter and fiddler. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station (AKUS), and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.
As a group, AKUS have been called "American favourites," "world-beaters," and "the tightest band around." While they have been successful as a group, many reviews note Krauss still "remains the undisputed star and rock-solid foundation" and have described her as the "band's focus" with an "angelic" voice that "flows like honey". Her work has been compared to that of The Cox Family, Bill Monroe, and Del McCoury, and has in turn been credited with influencing various "Newgrass" artists including Nickel Creek, for which she acted as record producer on two of their albums. In addition to her work with Nickel Creek, she has acted as producer to the Cox Family, Reba McEntire and Alan Jackson. Adam Sweeting of The Guardian has said Krauss and Union Station are "superb when they stick to hoedowns and hillbilly music, but much less convincing when they lurch towards the middle of the road," and Blender magazine has said the "flavorless repertoire [Krauss] sings... steers her toward Lite FM". In addition, Q magazine and The Onion AV Club have said their newer releases are "pretty much the usual," and that although Krauss is generally "adventurous," these recent releases contain nothing to "alienate the masses".