Berklee educated Diana Krall may be best known now for her string of jazz Grammy awards or her relationship with Elvis Costello, but jazz fans have known about this Canadian torch singer for years.

Casual listeners scooped up copies of 2002’s Live in Paris, making it one of that year’s hottest albums, but Krall was no overnight sensation. Since her first major release in 1993 (Steppin’ Out), the pianist’s albums regularly charted in the top 10 of Billboard’s jazz charts.

No one, least of all Krall, was ready for the popular explosion that followed years later. After a successful holiday EP, Krall toured with the 2000 edition of Lilith Fair and was suddenly the hottest recording artist you had never heard. To capitalize on her newfound success, Krall convinced Universal to release Live in Paris, a jazz album that did the
unthinkable and crossed over on to Billboard’s Hot 100, all without a hit single.

A 2004 release with new boyfriend Elvis Costello is expected soon, following Costello’s own toned down North, which has won critical praise and even topped the jazz charts — something the New Wave rocker most likely never expected.