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Ashley Monroe

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Monroe was born on September 10, 1986 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Growing up, her parents played songs by the Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, so her country rock roots started early, and she was already taking piano lesson before she turned seven. At age 11, she won a talent contest in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (home of Dolly Parton’s resort “Dollywood”), singing “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” She subsequently found steady work performing in a theater in Pigeon Forge. A couple year later, her father gave Monroe her first guitar, and she began writing her own songs. But tragedy struck when her father died from cancer in 2000. While still grieving over their loss, Monroe and her mother continued on with their lives and moved to Nashville so she could pursue her career in music.

After a year in Nashville, she gained a publishing deal as a songwriter, which led to a record contract with Columbia Records’ Nashville division. Working with producer Mark Wright, she recorded her debut album, Satisfied. In 2006, the title track to the album was released as the first single to country radio, but failed to crack the top 40 on the Hot Country Songs chart. A second single, “I Don’t Want To” featuring Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, followed shortly after. Initially it did well on the charts, charting to #37, but following the merger of Columbia and Sony, the label decided not to release the album until Monroe charted a top 20 single. No follow-up singles were ever released. iTunes briefly made the album available for download in July 2006 but it was removed from the online store by mid-August.

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