If anyone knows what it takes to keep practicing and pushing forward, then Kadie Lynn Roberson does.
This multiple award-winning singer/songwriter, who goes simply by Kadie Lynn professionally, is from the small East Texas town of Kemp. Now, she tells us what it’s like to be a popular young singer and talks about her unforgettable experience as a semi-finalist on NBC’s 2016 America’s Got Talent.
The road to popularity began early. Kadie Lynn Roberson was the youngest artist, at age 12, to chart in the Top 40 on the Texas Regional Report. “I’ve been singing for most of my life,” says Kadie Lynn. “I’ve always loved music, and I remember how my mom would sing me to sleep.” Mom sang Amazing Grace to her daughter almost every night. Then, one Sunday morning the future star decided to sing all four verses at church, with the preacher holding her up to the podium. “I sang every word note for note. I then started singing at the local opries every single weekend. Soon, I was singing all around Texas.”
Making a Choice
Into sports as a child, she had to make a choice. Music it was. Kadie Lynn began having aspirations to sing before others at eight years old, but it wasn’t easy. “I am in the hardest and toughest industry in the world. Up until America’s Got Talent, no one would give me a chance.” All anyone saw was her age. Ever supportive, her mother would beg people to take the time to listen. “It’s also hard to know who is actually on your side. It’s difficult to tell if someone is genuine or if they are just trying to get something from you.”
She’s always loved being on stage. One of her earliest childhood memories of performing in front of others was when she was seven. Today, details are hazy but she clearly remembers the song and the reaction of her audience— a group of bikers and their wives. “I was singing a song called Little White Church by Little Big Town, and I jumped off the stage and everyone lost it. They were screaming and cheering me on. It was my first glimpse at what I could become.”
Going Beyond Country
Yet, defining her genre has been challenging. “Most people know me as a country artist. I’ve never really cared for country, honestly. I’m currently doing rock music, and it’s not singing that I really like. I love playing music and making music.” Simply put, this teenager loves being able to express herself. “Fun fact — most people don’t know that I’m a goofy metalhead.”
Singing and playing her style of music has provided Kadie Lynn many venues across the state of Texas. She has opened for the likes of Neal McCoy, Kevin Fowler and Vanilla Ice. And although being a musician keeps her busy, she enjoys her four animals when she’s not on the road: A yorkie named Gabby; a Great Dane named Ozzy; a pit bull named Cash, and a bearded dragon named Wylde.
Kadie Lynn is a hard worker and lives by the motto: Keep practicing and pushing forward. “It takes a lot of hard work and time to do what you love to do,” she says. “There may be times you want to give up, but don’t. You never know what might be around that next corner.”
Turning a Corner
At age 12, Kadie Lynn discovered a surprise around one of those corners. She performed on NBC’s 2016 America’s Got Talent in front of Simon Cowell, Reba McEntire, Mel B and Howie Mandel and made it to the semi-finals. For her performance, the East Texan sang a country song by Lee Ann Womack, “I Hope You Dance.” She received a standing ovation.
“Being on AGT was a dream,” she says. It felt surreal. Reba said that I had a stage confidence she had not found until she was 20.” Despite being on one of the biggest of stages, and in front of some of the toughest judges, “I had the time of my life that year.”
A Bright Future
As far as the future for her, it appears bright. Kadie Lynn and her band are working on a lot of new music that she hopes everyone will have a chance to hear. “I have a lot of songs lined up for release, and I hope everyone likes my new sound.”
Cover photo courtesy Kadie Lynn
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.