With a fresh face, bubbly personality and a sound that is equal parts contagious and sassy, Courtney Cole has spent many years crafting her music and creating positive messages in her lyrics that inspire others in their lives.
At an early age, you could not ignore that Courtney Cole was destined to become a singer … make that a totally dedicated artist, with an infectious charm and upbeat optimism that leaves you feeling better about yourself when you walk away. More than that, Courtney showed all the signs of respecting tradition in all types of music even as she found her own unique way as a song stylist. Some of that comes down to an accident of geography in that she happened to grow up just outside one of America's greatest musical cities.
"We lived in Mandeville, 24 miles north of New Orleans," she recalls, aglow after finishing a yoga workout near the Nashville cafe where we meet. "My mom used to shop in the French Quarter, and if you're walking around there, you can't not hear music. So I was always dancing as we went all around the city and soaking it all in."
She was 5 years old when she took her first bow onstage, at a talent show in her church; she and her father lip-synced "I Got You, Babe" together, with Dad dressed as Sonny and Courtney wearing a Cher wig. (Later, they would get into costume again and this time perform the Judds' "Mama, He's Crazy," with her father in skirt and wig and augmenting his figure with a couple of balloons.)
By age 10, Courtney had begun doing musical theater. She even attended NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts), where she continued to appear in productions of Broadway shows, including The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz, several productions of Annie, five productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and her favorite, Little Shop of Horrors.
But country music remained in her veins.
"My parents met two-stepping in a country bar," she says. "So I feel like my love of country music started way early on.” she smiles. “Music was always in our lives. I always loved the emotion that is the heart of country music, and I'm a very emotional person. Being able to sing how you feel and put music to it, that’s what I live for!”
Courtney's love for country drew her to Nashville, where she enrolled in Belmont University. As a commercial voice major, she studied multiple styles of singing, including jazz, classical and of course country. "But whatever I sang, it always came out country," she admits, smiling.