New Music to Know: Mary Sarah Goes From Kidz Bop to the Grand Ole Opry

(Credit: Russ Harrington)

(Credit: Russ Harrington)

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By Annie Reuter

Mary Sarah has Kidz Bop to thank for her introduction to country music. The 19-year-old country singer joined the Kidz Bop tour when she was just 12 for six months and learned all about Rascal Flatts and Reba McEntire.

“It ended up being one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life,” she told Radio.com recently. “That’s really where I figured out I wanted to sing for the rest of my life.”

Mary Sarah would sing 18-20 songs every night as part of the tour and it was here where she fell in love with performing and country music. She credits the stories within country songs as what first drew her in. “Being able to believe what every artist was singing and feeling. Even if I didn’t go through it, I felt like I did,” she said.

Once the Kidz Bop tour ended, she went back to Texas where she would perform at The Texas Opry, diving further into her lessons on country music history and honing her sound. The very first song she sang on the Opry stage was Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” who she credits as one of her biggest idols. Written by Willie Nelson, Mary Sarah sings the track with him on her new album Bridges which was released July 8.

“Luckily, I had Willie to sing with me on the project which was kind of crazy. I wasn’t with him in the studio but I was told that he was playing poker all night long and then all of a sudden he was like, ‘Alright, let’s cut the song.’”

Bridges is Mary Sarah’s sophomore album and followup to 2010’s Crazy Good, but this time she collaborated with some of country’s biggest legends on their classic hits. Nelson isn’t the only big-name who sings with Sarah: Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Vince Gill, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tanya Tucker and many more also lent their voices on the tribute to traditional country music. One artist she was in the studio with was Parton, which Mary Sarah is still pinching herself about.

 (Credit: 144 Entertainment)

(Credit: 144 Entertainment)

“When we got the call that Dolly said yes I was in disbelief. For her to even say yes to this on a handshake was crazy. The night before, I don’t even think I slept. I do remember when I went into the studio she was in a separate room. I was freaking out, ‘What do I do, say?’ I walked in and she goes, ‘You must be Mary Sarah’ and I said, ‘You must be Dolly Parton.’ She was just as down to earth as anyone I’ve met. To be that successful and normal was really cool to see.”

Read more about Mary Sarah at Radio.com.

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