Carrie Cunningham hails from the small town of Crawford, Nebraska, population 500 at the time of her birth. Sounds like every other country singer, right? But there is nothing small town about her talent. Moving to the northwest when she was 11, not only gave her a change of scenery, but also a new direction in life.
Like many country singers, Carrie saw some tough times in her early years and turned to music as a way of feeling part of something bigger than herself. She would fall asleep listening to pop radio, such as Hall and Oates, Madonna, Pat Benatar, and Huey Lewis and the News, all the while listening to Gary Puckett and Kenny Rogers during the day. When her parents moved the family out West, Carrie was bullied a lot and got into singing because of her 6th grade teacher who took time to help her out. Throughout middle school and high school, Carrie was introduced to jazz, classical and Motown, so her listening preferences became overwhelmingly diverse. She would listen to Benny Goodman, Andrew Sisters, Mozart, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Alabama and newcomer Garth Brooks, all in the same week. Once she reached college, she studied voice and composition and grabbed onto any opportunity to sing, whatever venue, whatever style. People began to notice. Local radio stations started calling her the next Shania Twain. Carrie ended up mastering not only country, but people were coming out to watch her sing blues, jazz, and classical music. The year she received a first place plaque for the Eagle’s National talent competition, was also the year she was accepted to sing with the Spokane Symphony Choral.
Songwriting seemed to be the next step in furthering her music career. Carrie studied who was on the radio at the time, Garth Brooks to be specific. She studied what he was singing about, the song structure and the tempo. By the time she had a dozen or so songs written, Carrie decided to go back to school for Audio Engineering at the Art Institute of Seattle. "If I wasn't always going to be on stage, I have to be in front of it". This is where Carrie met Jessica Williams and In 2005, Carrie was signed to Divulge Records Recording Company where she released her first self penned album Honeysweet. Four of her songs charted the ECMA’s with “You lose this time” going number one in Belgium and #19 as the most played song for the ECMA’s in July 2008. She also wrote a the song “Smile Again” which she made a video for and with the help of the Vanished Children’s Alliance, was able to display children in the video. Not long after, Carrie found out about Nashville Songwriters Association International and started attending the local chapter meetings. About a year later, she became the Chapter coordinator and has been making frequent trips back to Nashville to further her career as an artist and writer. Her most recent EP “The Way you Look at Me” was recorded in 2012 and she is currently working on another. When Carrie visits Nashville, she is pitching her songs and networking as much as possible. So far, she can say she has had songs taken for further consideration 16 times in the past year. Carrie is looking forward to having the opportunity of saying that one of her songs have been cut by a major artist! In April of 2014, she was accepted as a voting member for the Country Music Association.
When Carrie is not writing or running the chapter for NSAI Portland, she is an avid performer. She averages about 100 shows a year with her band, Carrie Cunningham & the Six Shooters. Her tour consists mainly in the NW, but wants to branch out further.
Her community contributions have been established with Human Solutions, Susan G Komen, Abused Women Association, Vanished Children’s Alliance, and Red Cross to name a few. Carrie has volunteered in numerous elementary classes, is a lunch buddy and most recently became a volunteer as a CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate, for children in the court system.
She has also produced a Nashville Flood Relief Benefit Concert. Other media appearances have been with KXLY in Spokane, KGW, NW Women Magazine. Idaho Living magazine, ESPN, and Showtime.
Carrie has joined entertainment forces with Collective Soul, Jake Owen, Keith Anderson, Heidi Newfield Christian Kane, The Bellamy Brothers, Mark Wills, Rich McCready, and Sugarland, Diamond Rio, Restless Heart Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, and Reba. Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Schupe, Joel Crouse, and LeahTurner
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