She also founded a record company, SBS Records.
Malone was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, by her mother and grandmother, both professional singers. Malone first began performing at age four in a church choir, and later learned to play saxophone, guitar, and drums, which she played in her first band at age twelve.
As an teenager, Malone began to write songs. While studying voice at Agnes Scott College, she began performing professionally in and around Atlanta. She left school upon receiving a recording contract from Clive Davis at Arista Records, for whom she recorded, with her band Drag the River, the album Relentless, produced by Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group. She later signed with Walter Yetnikoff at his Velvel Records label. In 1992 Malone started her own label, SBS Records, and continues to record and tour.
Over the course of her 20-year career, Malone has won numerous awards including Best Female Vocalist and Best Acoustic Guitarist (Creative Loafing), and Album of the Year (Atlanta Magazine). Her albums Sugar Foot and Debris, released on SBS Records, were both on the Grammy Award ballot for best Contemporary Blues and Best Americana Albums respectively. Her songs have appeared in the films Bam Bam and Celeste, All Over Me, and Shotgun Jesus and television programs True Blood, Dawson's Creek, Felicity, and Brooklyn South, and have been recorded by Indigo Girls (for which she received both gold and platinum records), Antigone Rising, and Vistoso Bosses. Malone appeared with The Harshed Mellows on a recording of the song "U.S. Blues" for the Grateful Dead tribute album Deadicated (Arista Records, 1991). She was also featured in a Georgia Tourism TV commercial with Elton John in 1994.The collectible card game Magic: The Gathering was named in part after Malone’s song “The Gathering” (Redemption Dream 1994/Daemon Records/HiFi Records). In 2010, Malone took part in a virtual concert performing to a screen displaying avatars, as part of Michael Nesmith's Video Ranch 3D project.
Malone has collaborated in the studio and on stage with such artists as Gregg Allman, Chuck Leavell, John Mayer, Sugarland members Jennifer Nettles, Kristen Hall, and Kristian Bush, Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Kevn Kinney, Drivin' N Cryin', Little Feat, Albert King, Charlie Musselwhite, Johnny Winter, Lurrie Bell, Lonnie Brooks, ZZ Top, Robert Cray, Keb Mo, Tinsley Ellis, Rory Block, Marcia Ball, Chris Whitley, Steve Earle, KT Tunstall, Shawn Colvin, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Joan Osborne, as well as Ellen DeGeneres.
Michelle Malone recorded and released Debris, on her own SBS Records label and distributed by Thirty Tigers in Nashville, Tennessee. It was produced and engineered by Nick Didia. Musicians on the CD include Peter Stroud (guitar), Phil Skipper (bass), Trish Land (percussion), Trina Meade (backing vocals), Tony Reyes (bass, backing vocals), Angela Kaset (piano) and Dave Anthony (drums). Touring extensively in support of "Debris," Michelle and her band (consisting of Alabama natives Ryan Keef, Katie Herron) performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Malone recorded and released Day 2 in 2012, produced with Shawn Mullins and Gerry Hansen, with contributing musicians Randall Bramblett, Chuck Leavell, Phil Skipper, Gerry Hansen and Tom Ryan. In January 2014, she released Acoustic Winter, produced and engineered by Gerry Hansen and Ben Holst.
In 2014, Malone toured in support of her Acoustic Winter and Day 2 CDs, as well as toured with Kristian Bush of Sugarland in support of his solo release Southern Gravity. Malone plays acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, and harmonica and sings backing vocals in Kristian Bush's band. She is currently on tour in support of her 13th studio album, Stronger Than You Think, released July 14, 2015 on her own SBS Records label.New Experience (Aluminum Jane Records • 1988)
Relentless (Arista Records • 1990) (with Drag the River)
For You Not Them (Sister Ruby Records • 1993)
A Swingin' Christmas in the Attic (SBS Records • 1993)
Redemption Dream (Hi-Fi Records / Daemon Records • 1994) (with Band de Soleil)
Bird On Fire (SBS Records • 1996) (with Band de Soleil)
Beneath the Devil Moon (Velvet Records • 1997)
Lucky to Be Live (Velvet Records • 1998)
Homegrown (SBS Records • 1999)
Strange Bird, Vol. 3 (SBS Records • 2000)
Hello Out There (SBS Records • 2001)
Stompin' Ground (SBS Records • 2003)
Sugarfoot (SBS Records • 2006)
Debris (SBS Records • 2009)
Moanin In The Attic Live (SBS Records • 2010)
Day 2 (SBS Records]] • 2012)
Acoustic Winter (SBS Records • 2014)
Stronger Than You Think (SBS Records • 2015)