Music Spotlight: Jamie O’Neal

Those who have been following country music their whole lives know already who Jamie O’Neal is as an artist. Off her first album, Shiver, released in 2000, she had two number one hits, “There Is No Arizona,” and “When I Think About Angels.” Her next top ten hit came in 2005, “Somebody’s Hero.”

I wanted to find out more about this country star who was born in Australia. Having no Australian accent, O’Neal said, “I was born in Sydney, Australia, where my parents (Jimmy and Julie Murphy) were performers who moved to America when I was two. I always say that I am the opposite of Nicole Kidman who was born in Hawaii and was raised in Australia. It was the opposite for me, I was born there but raised in the U.S.”

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Music Spotlight: Lucas Hoge

Lucas Hoge hails from Hubbell, Nebraska, a tiny town with two churches. He grew up singing in a little Methodist church his family attended. While his parents were rehearsing in the choir, the pastor gave Hoge a little electric drum pad to keep him occupied. He started playing along and the pastor cultivated his love for music at a very young age.

In high school, he was introduced to a music teacher who helped him craft his love of music.  “My music teacher was great, Mrs. Riggs. She was amazing,” he said. “She just wanted everyone to explore the love of music that they had in them.”

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Music Spotlight: Derek Jones

Even though Derek Jones’ dad was a drummer and his grandmother played piano, he never played music until later in life.

“We always had music going on at the house at our supper table. If Dad was in charge of the music, we listened to Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Grand Funk Railroad but if Mom was in control [of the music], we listened to Lionel Richie, Jim Croce, stuff like that,” he said.

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