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Entertainment News

Monday, 28 January, 2008 0:07 AM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Angela Hacker

Photo by Glen Rose

Warner Bros. Nashville recording artist Angela Hacker

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service

Battling to the top on this year's "Nashville Star," Alabama-born Angela Hacker emerged as a prototype for the modern Country chanteuse: Her voice was raw, switching from tenderness to gut-wrench passion on a dime. Onstage she radiated charisma yet resembled the girl next door. She seemed ready to take on the world, including her brother Zac; they were the last two contestants standing, but when Angela emerged as the winner, no one could miss the love and pride that each harbored for the other.

The dust had barely settled before Hacker's debut, produced by Nathan Chapman and Tracy Gershon, hit the display racks. The Winner Is Angela Hacker: Nashville Star Season 5 is the culmination of a story dating back to childhood appearances at talent shows and festivals. She and Zac grew up on a diet of live Country rock, courtesy of their father's band. By age 13 she was leading her own group and well on her way to a young life spent selling cars, waitressing and doing whatever day work had to be done to allow her to play the bar circuit at night.

Hungry for a more fulfilling creative life, she began writing with James LeBlanc - two of their songs can be heard on the album - before signing a publishing deal with Rick Hall Music and auditioning for "Nashville Star." Her performances, all the way to her showdown with Zac, tempered a gig-toughened professionalism with the grit one picks up on the rougher roads through life, not to mention a rich residue of soul that comes from paying dues around her hometown of Muscle Shoals.

Her gutsy personality comes into full view through the decision to follow Aretha Franklin and Barbara Mandrell to the well of "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" - and to bring it back with a taste of something that's already all her own. Forget "Season 5," Hacker is obviously a winner for many seasons to come.

IN HER OWN WORDS

Who is your musical hero?
"The Outlaws: Merle, Willie, Waylon and Kris."

What CD is on your stereo?
"A compilation of originals by me and other writers I know, studying songs for my next album."

Who is your dream duet partner?
"My brother Zac and James LeBlanc."

What song do you wish you had written?
"'I Hope You Dance.'"

On the Web: www.angelahackeronline.net

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