Hailing from the rural community of Hahira, Georgia, Lizz Wright discovered music in church, where her father was a minister and her mother a gospel singer. The young girl refined her vocal talents by singing in school choirs and later by studying music at Georgia State University and New York's New School. In 2002, after a brief stint with gospel vocal quartet In the Spirit, she joined the cast of a Billy Holiday tribute tour. The next year the singer-songwriter released Salt, an R&B and jazz-tinged first solo effort, followed by Dreaming Wide Awake in 2005, and The Orchard in 2008. In 2009, she joined the Sing the Truth tour, with Dianne Reeves and Angélique Kidjo, before going back to her gospel roots in 2010 for the release of Fellowship.