The citizens of Knoxville have been blessed to see many stars come out of this fair city.
Kenny Chesney, Peyton Manning, Johnny Knoxville and David Keith are among the most notable. Another rising celebrity to be added to that list is Mindy Smith.
Smith, the adopted daughter of a minister and his wife, was raised in Long Island, NY. Her mother was the music director at church, so Smith was always surrounded by music.
She gained a lot of influence from her mother, who died of cancer when Smith was only 19.
She had the most beautiful voice I've ever heard, Smith recalls of her mother. She had the ability to touch people, to move mountains with her voice. If I learned anything from her, it's to put all of your emotion into your performance.
After her mother's death, Smith and her father moved to Knoxville where she performed at open-mic nights at local clubs.
During her time in Knoxville, Smith perfected her guitar skills and sharpened her songwriting.
Smith later moved to Nashville to compete with thousands of other singer-songwriters in hopes of getting noticed.
She certainly got noticed and soon had Big Yellow Dog Music, one of the most respected independent labels, knocking at her door.
Through her new label, she was able to record some demos that helped her to get noticed by bigger record labels. Then Smith decided to
sign with Vanguard records, knowing that she would be able to record the kind of music she wanted.
That move led to the completion of her first album, One Moment More, which has rapidly gained recognition for Smith's immeasurable amount of talent.
Jolene, the first single off of the album and cover of a Dolly Parton hit, has made quite an impression in the music world.
Although she lives in Nashville, Smith doesn't think of herself as a country artist.
I told everyone the same thing, that even though I live in Nashville I don't consider myself a country artist, but a singer-songwriter, and I wanted to present myself as I am, she said.
Published: Fri Feb 20, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:51 p.m.