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There may be a shortage of female artists in country music right now, but rising star Danielle Bradbery is finding plenty of inspiration among both current headliners, and those who rose to fame a couple of decades ago – some before the 21-year-old was even out of elementary school.


Asked about her role models during a recent interview in Houston, Danielle had a ready answer. “Carrie Underwood has always been one,” she told Rare Country. “Miranda Lambert — she’s such a brave artist and girl, and it’s really cool to look up to her. I love Faith Hill. Shania Twain’s getting back into it and she’s obviously everyone’s favorite, so she’s an amazing one to look up to.

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“A lot of females,” she added, “even the up-and-coming ones. We all need to look up to each other in some way.”

When she competed in the fourth season of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2013, coach Blake Shelton and the show’s musical producers paired Danielle up with a lot of the more vintage country songs that ultimately helped her win the competition show. Among the artists whose hits she performed were Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Jo Dee Messina and Sara Evans.

Just a teen at the time, Danielle admits she didn’t know many of the songs and corresponding artists in her “Voice” repertoire, but she grew to appreciate them all.

“Singing kind of the older songs on ‘The Voice,’ it was, I mean, I’ll be honest, some of them I wasn’t familiar with ’cause, being so young I didn’t really listen to that much back then,” she said. “But I did dive in, and my parents knew who they were, and I just kind of got knowledge from that.”

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Social media also put her in direct contact with some of the stars whose hits she was re-creating on the show. “I’d see some of them tweet at me and I’m just like ‘Oh, that’s a big deal,’ ” she said. “It was really interesting to get to know those bigger artists in what I was singing and how I would sing it compared to them. It was really cool.”

Danielle’s highly anticipated sophomore album, “I Don’t Believe We’ve Met,” is due out Dec. 1, and there’s a good chance she herself is already some aspiring star’s role model.

Phyllis Stark is a Nashville-based entertainment journalist who has been reporting extensively on country music (and loving every moment of it) for more than two decades.
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