Cyndi Thomson grew up in Tifton, GA, the last of four sisters. Following in her older siblings' footsteps, Thomson started singing in church, and later in high school and at talent pageants. She moved to Atlanta to attend college, but soon felt drawn to Nashville, and decided to try and make it in Music City. Like any young Nashville hopeful, Thomson got a few small breaks here and there, but they came in between lots of heartache and struggle. She enrolled in Belmont University's music business program, waitressed, and did a bit of modeling until she was able to catch a real break. Eventually, the young singer met songwriter Tommy Lee James, and the two began writing songs together. A recording contract with Capitol Nashville followed, as did a management agreement with Simon Renshaw (Dixie Chicks). Thomson's debut, My World, appeared in July 2001, and the album went gold behind the number one single "What I Really Meant to Say."
However, in October 2002, Thomson announced that she was quitting the entertainment business. In a statement, Thomson cited overwhelming personal demands as reason for her departure. "The next step in my career would be to make a new album...with the many obligations that go along with it," she said. "I have now realized that I cannot commit to those obligations." Industry reaction was mixed. Capitol Nashville chief Mike Dungan said he "cried several times" when Thomson told him she was quitting, but he was also matter-of-fact, remarking "[she] was a big part of my business plan."