Iris DeMent (born 5 January 1961 in Paragould, Arkansas, USA) is a Grammy-nominated American country/folk singer and songwriter. As well as recording a series of successful solo albums, DeMent has sung duets with artists such as Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris and has featured on the albums of many other performers. In October 2012, she released "Sing the Delta", her first album of original songs in 16 years.
DeMent was the fourteenth and last child of Pat DeMent and the sixth child of his second wife, Flora Mae. She was born near the town of Paragould, Arkansas but grew up in California, where she was exposed to and influenced by country and gospel music.
DeMent songs are about everyday experiences. Her first album, Infamous Angel, was released in 1992 and explored themes like religious scepticism, living in a small town, where "nothing good ever lasts", and forgiving human frailty. In her second album, My Life, released in 1994, she continued the personal and introspective approach. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Contemporary Folk Album" category. Her third album, The Way I Should, released in 1996, tackled fiercely political topics like sexual abuse, religion, government policy, and Vietnam. After an eight year absence, she released Lifeline, a country-gospel collection of 12 covers and one original composition, in 2004.
In October 2012, DeMent released "Sing the Delta", her first album of original songs in 16 years.