Laurel Wright, granddaughter of Ronald and Connie Ruth of Harrogate, Tenn., is a singer and songwriter from Maryville, Tenn.
“I started singing in church when I was four years old,” said Wright, who added that she was greatly influenced by her grandmother, who also sings and plays guitar.
Wright will be performing for her first time on television on Monday.
“I am a little nervous,” she said, “I’m usually never nervous, but I am very excited.”
Wright will be performing a song entitled “Have You Ever” which she wrote herself.
“’Have You Ever’ is my mammaw’s favorite,” said Wright. “The song is about my best friend and this guy she likes,” Wright added.
Wright not only wrote the lyrics to the song, but she also wrote the music, which she plays on guitar. Performing along with Wright will be her uncle Ricky Gourley on bass guitar, and her friend Jim Raines on acoustic guitar.
Wright stated that she got the invitation to be on STYLE by a friend of her mom’s who just happens to be a great friend of country music star Kenny Chesney. The friend listened to Wright play and said she had potential, then the next thing she knew she was scheduled to perform on STYLE.
Music is a family tradition for Wright. She grew up listening to her grandmother sing and play guitar, and her uncle Ricky plays bass guitar.
“My mammaw gave me my first guitar when I started to play. It was her guitar and it had been passed down to her from her mother,” she said.
Wright’s sister occasionally sings with her.
Along with the influence from her family, Wright has also been influenced by country music greats such as Patsy Cline and newcomer Taylor Swift. Wright said she sings mostly country and gospel music.
Wright is 12 years old and a student at Carpenter’s Middle School in Maryville, where she also plays varsity basketball.
“God has given me a gift and I am just glad that I can go out there and sing,” said Wright, who hopes to one day sing on the Grand Ol’ Opry stage.
The STYLE show airs on WBIR-TV at 4 p.m. in most areas.
Andrea Schneider is a Staff Writer for the Daily News. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.