Raelynn climbs the charts and into the hearts of country music fans

Published 12:08 pm Saturday, August 1, 2015

The rise to stardom was quick for Racheal Lynn Woodward, better known by her stage name Raelynn. The 21-year-old country music singer was a contestant on the second season of NBC’s “The Voice,” and signed with record label Republic Nashville shortly after being eliminated in the latter rounds of the singing competition. She’s been featured on songs with superstar Blake Shelton — her coach on “The Voice” — and toured with the likes of Miranda Lambert and Rascall Flatts, but she’ll take time out of her admittedly busy schedule to perform at the Southampton County Fair later this month.

Raelynn’s first single, “God Made Girls,” was named the highest-charting debut by a solo female artist when it gained radio play in late 2014. The song skyrocketed to the top spot on the iTunes Top Country Songs chart, sold more than 500,000 copies and was nominated for Female Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year at the Country Music Television Awards. Her second single, “For A Boy,” catapulted into the Top 5 on the same chart earlier this year, but the Texan said she wasn’t expecting such successes when she first auditioned for the hit television show.

“You always pray that you’ll be or do something amazing,” Raelynn said, noting that she had faith in herself nonetheless. “I’ve been singing my whole life, whether it was in theater, Christmas or church programs, but you can’t get too high or too low on yourself.”

That attitude went out the window when Raelynn made her first visit to the Grand Ole Opry, which she calls the highlight of her career thus far. A statement on her personal website backs up that sentiment

“I [was] excited to be able to share such a special moment in my career with my family, fans and amazing team. They all mean so much to me and I wouldn’t be here without them,” she wrote. “Being invited [was] an absolute dream come true. Standing in the same hallowed circle as my heroes and looking out into that crowd performing my own music is a moment I will never forget.”

Raelynn said it’s no coincidence that she’s traveled the country as the opening act for Lambert, who was in the crowd that day, either, as she lists the country music entertainer of the year as one of her inspirations growing up.

“I grew up with Miranda, Shania [Twain], Keith Urban, Dolly [Parton] and Destiny’s Child, and my brother was always listening to Coldplay and Muse,” she said. “[The tour] was amazing. It was like we were one big family.”

After Raelynn visits Courtland on Aug. 15, she and Lambert will hit the road again for the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour, which begins Sept. 5 in Syracuse, New York. As for when you’ll see her first full-length album, Raelynn said she expects it to hit shelves sometime early next year.

“It should be out by the end of this year or early next year,” she said. “We’re still finishing up some things.”