February 28, 2012

People That Inspire Me #1: Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Kelly Clarkson

People That Inspire Me #1: Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Kelly Clarkson
How do I describe in just about a paragraph how these girls changed my life musically and otherwise? I'll try, but it's going to be difficult. I'll start with Kelly, since she was the first to hit the scene. I was only nine or ten years old when I first saw Kelly Clarkson on American Idol. In a way, I feel like I've grown up with her.  The minute she walked into the audition room and charmed the judges, I knew she was my favorite. Throughout the season, she blew everyone away with her soulful voice, and week after week, my mom and I were voting for her. Kelly was crowned our American Idol and I could not have been more proud! She had a HUGE part in why I fell in love with the show and why I wanted so badly to be a singer. She showed me that I could have an impact on people, just with my voice. In fact, for my talent show that year at school, I sang "A Moment Like This" and even tried to wear something that copied Kelly's winning moment. My family and our family friends loved her and were totally hooked to the show, so we got tickets to see the Idols Live tour in Anaheim. It was so much fun! That night, we waited by the buses and saw Kelly come out. She signed for a little while, but I couldn't make my way through the crowd to get to her. What you see is what you get with Kelly; she doesn't pretend to be anything she's not. She's not afraid to go against the norm in Hollywood, speak up for herself, go in public without makeup, or other things that make her who she is. She's another person I would sure love to go on a road trip with, because she seems like she would be up for just about anything and would get everyone else in the party spirit. I'm going to see her in March, when she comes to my hometown and it would be a dream come true to meet her. Seeing that her popularity hasn't really faded in the 10 years or so that she's been around just proves that she is here to stay in the music world. She'll be a legend in the years to come!

Carrie Underwood was the next American Idol to really change my life. She was another instant favorite from the moment she walked into the audition room. I thought she sang beautifully and there was no denying that she was beautiful as well. Week after week, her vocals got stronger and she was starting to come out of her shell more. She was from a small town in Oklahoma (which we thought was cool, because my friends' family lives there) and had big dreams. Carrie represented the "All-American girl" that was ready to spread her wings and fly; she wanted more to life and knew she was here for a greater purpose. I also loved her because we seemed to have a lot in common: we were both kinda shy/quiet, loved Jesus, we were both into Journalism, and of course, loved to sing. Just as soon as she won Idol, she was welcomed into the wonderful country music family! Carrie inspires me to have the courage to get up there on stage and do what she does night after night, because if you've ever talked to her, she's extremely quiet and so not like the person she is up there. She reminds me to believe in myself, why I want to do what I do, and that if you can touch one life for God's glory it makes it all worth it. I've seen Carrie over 20 times at Fan Club Parties, concerts, softball games, CMA Fest, and all sorts of other events and she just gets better and better as she goes. She has one of the biggest hearts and loves to give back, so she started her C.A.T. S foundation, which gives back to her community in Checotah, Oklahoma. There are a lot of sides to Carrie, that unless you've really been around her for any length of time you probably haven't seen. People are quick to judge things about her like she's had everything handed to her from the moment she got done with Idol, but she's one of the hardest workers out there. She's also quite hilarious, I think she'd be great on a sitcom or variety show someday in the future. I LOVE Carrie! I love what she represents and the music that she sings; she's not afraid to admit her faith in Christ and that she believes in God, and that is a HUGE deal for me and something that I want to achieve if I ever make it to the music world. I'm so proud of her, and will always support her. Being part of her fan club, she considers us to be her "friends" and I'm so glad I've been able to be part of this journey with her. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have some of the coolest people from the fan club either! I have made so many lasting friendships because of her

Taylor Swift. I could leave it at that and have everything pretty much summed up in those two words, because she has been the talk of the music world for quite some time now. I had remembered hearing the song, "Tim McGraw" at the movie theaters with my parents (in 2005?) and just thinking it was strange that someone had written a song about Tim McGraw, and I didn't bother paying attention to the lyrics really. I remembered seeing her on the GAC shortcuts not too much later, or it might have been before, where she was saying how bad she wanted to headline a tour and all those things. I thought she was okay, but still wasn't really paying attention to her...I was just like, whatever. A little farther down the line, I heard the song again and all of a sudden this time it clicked, "Wow! She's really good," I thought. My mom also really liked her. Christmas of 2006, I got her CD and listened to it nonstop! When I heard she was coming with Brad Paisley to Bakersfield on one of his tour stops I knew we had to go! She blew me away with her stage presence and just her charm. She was so comfortable on stage, and she was only 17 at the time. She was doing everything I had hoped to be doing at the time, and I so admired her for that. Because not only was she doing it, but she was amazing at it. Later that night, I met Taylor. Back then, I was really shy and didn't talk much, so I was lucky I even got "I love your CD" out. She couldn't have been more gracious, though. She signed my photo and took a picture with me. At the time, not many knew who she was really but I was so excited the next day at school as I told everyone that I'd met her. From that point on, I started liking her more and more. She inspired me to keep writing songs and to keep believing in whatever it is that you wanted to do, because if she could do then we could too. Her songwriting abilities and style always leave me floored...like how does someone even come up with that? It's so descriptive and wonderful, but Taylor is just amazing that way. She is probably one of the most intelligent and creative visionaries you will ever see/meet. The way she can see something in her head and make it happen is just astonishing, especially with her live shows. Taylor knows how to top everything she's done from the last time. You always wonder whether she'll be able to pull it off, and somehow she does. She proves to me that it doesn't matter what age you are, if you have a gift and a passion for something, nothing will stand in your way. Every time I've met Taylor or have heard stories about friends that have, I've never heard a bad thing. Don't get me wrong, I realize she's not perfect and there will be times that she doesn't feel like doing something...but for the most part, she is just a sincere, generous, kind, and wonderful human being. She loves people and treats everyone as if she's known her forever. She takes the time with each and every person that she sees. If ever there was a celebrity that I'd love to spend the day with, she'd be it. I'd love to just see what a typical day is like for her, the process of how she writes, what she does when inspiration hits her and just make crazy videos and go shopping ;) LOL.

So, there ya have it...those are all of the people that inspire me. I'm sure there are plenty more, because even though it's rare to find at times there's still a lot of beauty to be found in this world. And there are still people out there that are making a difference for the better!

That's all for now,

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