Born and raised near Buckhannon, West Virginia, I was encouraged to believe that love is the food for all who wish to grow, family is the foundation for all who aspire to be, and music is the medicine for all who desire to express their hearts. This is the philosophy that has driven me to pursue my dream to share my music with the world as a country music entertainer.
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When I was very young, I would spend countless, summer evenings by fire light, surrounded by my parents, my brother, aunts, uncles and cousins, singing to the sounds of guitars, banjos and mandolins. I will never forget how powerful the music was on those hot nights. It was almost like a bonding agent among my family members, strumming our hearts, stirring our emotions, and warming our souls. The more we sang together, the more we embraced each other. For this reason, I continue to rely on my family’s love and support to guide me as I write and perform, even though today we are separated by many miles.
By age five, I was also performing for the congregation at my church on Sunday mornings, and at age 13, I was singing with my cousin’s band at local festivals, weddings and other social events. The stage immediately befriended me and put me at ease, permitting me to develop my own style of writing and performing that would inevitably lead me to Nashville in search of my lifelong dream. Inspirations for my own style of songwriting include Patsy Cline, Alabama, Reba McIntire, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, and many others.
Prior to my move to Tennessee, I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Dance and Psychology from West Virginia University. While in college, I took voice lessons and acting classes, and I joined the Orchesis Dance Ensemble and Mountain State Jazz Ensemble. It was during this time that I really started writing my own music and choreographing dance routines for state fairs, festivals and talent shows where I was invited to perform.
Having experienced great success with my music at various state-sponsored events, I decided to record my first CD, entitled “All I Want,” in 2000, which was composed entirely of my own original songs. My first release, “Hero,” reached number one on Indie Tracker, and my follow-up single, “Caught Me Lookin’,” climbed to number one on Inside Country. My third release, “All I Want,” reached number three on Indie World charts. And most recently, “Chuga Choo Choo” reached number one on Indie World charts, as well, and continues to receive airplay. Then, on June 17, 2001, I was named “New Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Golden Music Awards in Nashville.
During this time, I also maintained my role as owner and operator of Kelly’s Academy of Dance in my hometown where I taught Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Tap. While I truly loved being a dance instructor, I realized that if I really intended to pursue a career as a country music singer, I would have to make a conscious decision to move, not only whole-heartedly, but also geographically, toward it. Only in Nashville could I immerse myself in the country music industry, which is where I intend to remain until I’ve achieved what I’ve come here to do. And with God’s will, my family’s love, and the support of my fans, I know I can do it!
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