Mary Chapin Carpenter: No Regrets


Mary Chapin Carpenter photo courtesy of

Dec. 24, 2008 — Mary Chapin Carpenter was one of the most heralded country artists of the 1990s: She won five Grammy Awards in a four-year period and managed to generate both hit records and critical acclaim.

It’s now been a surprising 14 years since she was last in the Top 10 on the singles charts. And just as surprising, if you don’t know Chapin, might be that she doesn’t really miss that level of attention.

"I think people tend to forget when that white-hot success comes, your life is not your own," she told The Richmond Times-Dispatch. "You're gone constantly. I was gone for 20 years, in a way. Your life is a constant whirl of movement."

Chapin still makes music — she released her first Christmas album this year and is at work on another project — but she has more control over how her creative efforts fit into her life at home with husband Timmy Smith.

"After 20 years, you start looking for something else to fill your tank," she said. "It just coincided with the time I met my current husband. All of a sudden, I didn't want to travel that much. I wanted to stay home. It worked out beautifully that way. I go out when I want to. I stay home when I want to. I couldn't be more blessed in that way."

Chapin has also found another way to challenge herself creatively. She’s begun writing a column for The Washington Times.