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Local Musician Rising As Country Music Star

Keith Urban pulls up local singer Hailey Benedict on stage to perform

By Ayanna Fata

Hailey Benedict started singing at a very young age, and her dream of becoming a star is coming true.

Before writing and performing her own music, Benedict started in musical theatre. She’s been performing in shows since she was 7 years old.

“[Musical theatre] really taught me how to tell stories and create emotion within my songs and connect with my audience on a more meaningful and deeper level…[that] I am very grateful for,” Benedict said.

By the age of thirteen she had been writing her own music for some time and finally decided that she wanted to pursue music seriously as a career.

In 2016, Benedict and her sister were attending a Keith Urban concert. He saw their handmade light-up signs and brought them onstage in front of 20,000 people.

She performed her original song “Clean Slate” for Keith Urban and all of Rogers Place stadium.

After the YouTube video of the performance got popular, so did Benedict. That same year she became the winner of the 2016 Global Woman of Vision award, the 2019 EMA Rising Star, as well as Country 106.5’s Star Search winner.

Country music star Hailey Benedict poses holding a guitar
Supplied photo.

“I know I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without that experience,” said Benedict.

Because she won Country 106.5’s Star Search, her song was played in rotation on the station.

“The first time I heard my song on the radio I didn’t really know how to contain my excitement,” said Benedict.

Over the years, Hailey has won many awards and she continues to work towards her goals, but due to COVID-19 she has had to put some things on the back burner.

Benedict got accepted to two of her dream schools, Berklee College of Music and Belmont University, but because of the pandemic she decided that it would be best to stay home with her family.

Benedict is using the free time to write and record new songs as well as continue to develop her voice and guitar skills. As of right now Benedict has 4 singles and hopes that an EP will be in the works soon.

Follow Hailey on Instagram @thatsmehaileyb and stream her latest single Next Time Around on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

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