Teen entertains, inspires cadets
The opening line to one of her newest, yet unreleased, songs is "I wake up every morning with a smile on my face" and for Katie Knight, that seems to be the truth.
The 15-year-old Farmerville native entertained cadets at the Youth Challenge Program at Camp Minden on Tuesday night and her smile never once left her face. Her message to the cadets, amidst the jokes, laughs and songs, was that hard work does pay off.
"With my music, my singing and my guitar I have to practice all the time, rather than going out with my friends," Knight said. "I found the harder I'm working, the more opportunities I have for myself."
And those opportunities have come fast for Knight. At four years old she began singing solos at her church. She grew up listening and singing along to artists like Loretta Lynn, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, Gladys Knight and, her personal favorite, Randy Travis.
"I always just loved music," Knight said. "I was singing in the car seat right along to Randy Travis. I just love it."
At eight years old Knight bought her first guitar and started lessons within three weeks. Later that same year, she started performing at local nursing homes and as a guest at other churches near her hometown. When she was 14, Knight told her parents she wanted singing lessons.
"We couldn't find anyone locally that would teach her the style of music she wanted to learn," said Knight's mom, Lora. "So we took her to Nashville and after one lesson the coach said 'Y'all have really got something here.' Of course we were like 'Yeah, right. You just want more money.' But less than five months later Katie was recording her first demo. We put it on the Internet and that's where some people heard it and got it to Billy Holland, her manager."
Holland also manages multi-platinum artist Sammy Kershaw.
With Holland, Knight recorded a full 12-song album, two Christmas songs and recently performed alongside Kershaw during the Heflin Saw-Mill Festival.
Locally, Knight has released two songs ("Out of your Mind" and "The One That Got Away") on radio. Her goal is to make it big in music and to one day perform at the Grand Ole Opry.
"Performing on the Grand Ole Opry stage would be a dream come true for me," Knight said. "I just want to do what I love and make people happy with my music."
Knight gives credit to her parents, Jeff and Lora, for helping her reach her goals.
"They stand behind me and support me to the fullest," Knight said. "I wouldn't have been able to do all this without them and God. God is number one in my life and then comes my music. I want to serve Him through my music."
Lora is pleased to hear her daughter give credit to God.
"She's a great kid, focused and knows what she wants," Lora said. "We are raising her to know God and we are so happy to see that she hasn't forgotten Him during all of this. We are proud she's working with Billy (Holland) because he is a well-rounded, highly respected, good Christian man."
To hear Katie's music, learn more about her or check for tour dates, visit her online at www.katieknightmusic.com.