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Country Music's "Single White Female" Comes to Town

By: Jena Maddalino

Date Posted: 1999-12-17

For Country music fans on the island, the place to be on Monday, January 17th, is Kadena's Marek Park. Chely Wright, an MCA Nashville recording artist will, on that day, perform at a free concert sponsored by the Kadena 18th Services Squadron. The concert will satart at 6:00 PM, and may be her only concert on Okinawa for a long time to come.

Known for her natural vocal talent, Chely Wright's music videos appear regularly on CMT. The Country music performer has achieved a great deal of success with her fourth album, with numerous hits including "Single White Female," "I Was," "Shut Up and Drive," and "The Love That We Lost."

Born on October 25th, 1970 in Kansas City, Missouri, Chely had her debut very early in life. At the young age of 11, Chely started singing with local bands. She eventually formed her own band, Country Line, and during the summer before her senior year in high school, she went to Branson, MO, where she landed a job in the Ozark Jubilee (a country show whose alumni included Brenda Lee and Red Foley).

Her early success inspired her to audition and obtain a job at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was soon able to develop her own style of singing. She performed at Opryland for four seasons portraying Loretta Lynn, Jean Shepard and other classic-country icons. Her specialty was the role of Minnie Pearl. While performing at Opryland she made the rounds on "Music Row", always looking for her shot at making it big.

Her big break came when she caught the attention of Harold Shedd, who signed her to Mercury/Polygram and her first album, Woman in the Moon, was released in 1994 on the Polydor label. The Country Music industry immediately recognized her talent and she was named Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music.

After the success of her first album, Chely released her second album, Right In The Middle of It. 1996 proved to be an important year for this new talent as she asked to be released from her original label at Mercury.

Within a little over a year, Chely signed with her dream label, MCA. She soon produced more hits, her first single from her 3rd album, Let Me In, and her first top-ten hit, "Shut Up and Drive," was soon followed by the hits, "Let Me in." and "I Already do."

In her most recent album, Single White Female (debut 5/26/99), Chely is joined by Trisha Yearwood, as her harmony partner on "Single White Female," and Vince Gill sings harmony on "It Was" and plays guitar on "The Love That We Lost."

The success of Single White female is the result of years of hard work and experience. The music from her latest release can be listened to on her official website, www.chely.com. (Real Player and Windows Media Player all give you good quality sound).

Chely Wright will also be signing autographs at the Kadena BX on Monday, January 17th at noon. The rain site for the concert will be the Kadena Rocker NCO Club. No video or audio recordings will be permitted.

For additional information contact the Schilling Community Center at 634-1387.

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