Born 23 December 1978, Ozell grew up in Reno, Nevada, in a musical household and began her classical training at an early age. Her parents did not play or perform themselves, but they had a passion for music and took music education seriously, getting Ozell to learn the classical violin from the age of just four years old. She studied the instrument using the rigorous Suzuki method, which focuses on ear training. Ozell also started vocal training at the age of 11 years and soon after realised that music was the career path she wanted to pursue. At 12 years old, Sunny joined the Reno Opera Company as its sole child member and a year later started working with an opera coach. At university in Boulder, Colorado, she majored in English Literature and sang in blues bands and soul-funk bands in her spare time throughout college. After graduating, she started performing in clubs around New York and became a part of the city’s musical community with her blend of jazz, blues and American roots music, performing both original material and interpretations of works by other renowned blues, soul and country songwriters. She spent nearly a decade in New York, performing at some of the city's notable live haunts like Rockwood Music Hall and The Living Room, while writing lyrics and melodies. During that time, she began collaborating with a cadre of talent who would eventually form her band. In 2015, she released debut album Take It With Me, which mainly consists of Ozell’s own interpretations of the works from artists such as Howard Jones, Hank Williams, Randy Newman, T Bone Burnett, and Tom Waits. However, original song 'Git Gone' served as the album's lead single, which was penned by her studio collaborator and guitarist within her band, Aaron Lee Tasjan. Ozell cites the likes of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings as influences, for their "simplicity and their total lack of pretention", but also American jazz singer Cassandra Wilson, in particular her 1993 album Blue Light 'til Dawn. She is also inspired by soul music. Ozell is married to English actor Sir Patrick Stewart. They met in 2008 at Franny’s restaurant in New York where Ozell was working as a waitress while Stewart was performing in Macbeth at the nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music. On September 7 2013, the couple were married beside Lake Tahoe in Nevada with actor Ian McKellen officiating the wedding ceremony.