For all her down-home appeal, Annie Sims didn't get the attention of the American music industry until she had made a name for herself in Europe. Both a classically trained pianist and a country singer, Sims was inspired by artists like James Taylor, Carole King, and Carly Simon and heavily influenced by country singers like Trisha Yearwood and Suzy Bogguss. She was born and raised in East Tennessee. She started singing at the age of three, entertaining her extended family at reunions and small get-togethers. A few years later, at age six, she started taking piano lessons. Sims was a good student; she continued to take piano lessons up until she was admitted to the University of Tennessee, where she eventually majored in vocal music education.
Becoming a music teacher wasn't what interested Sims, however. She made a living after graduation playing at various piano bars in Tennessee, and soon after that she got a gig playing and singing on cruise lines. The cruise ship gig paid off -- she was discovered by an international booking agent and ended up touring northern Europe and Ireland. After touring for four years, she married composer Greg Sims, who would later produce her albums. The couple moved to Orlando, FL, where Sims got a gig performing at Walt Disney World. It was at this time that she recorded her first album, a modest collection of songs marketed as a souvenir for tourists who enjoyed her act.
Soon after this, Sims and her husband traveled to Nashville, where she recorded her second album, Annie, sometime in 2002. Although it was produced in Tennessee, the record was limited to distribution in the U.K. Shortly after the album came out she toured for a month in England, Scotland, and Wales as the opening act for Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams. She was well recieved, so much so that she went on another U.K. tour with Gene Pitney one year later. It was during this time that Sims worked on some of the songs that would later appear on her third album. Released on Aspirion Records in 2004, Half the Moon featured six songs that she had written or co-written. The album was met with some success; Sims went on a tour of Europe soon after it was released, and she received a DisCovery Award for the album in 2006. ~ Margaret Reges