The adult contemporary songwriter Hollie Sheard was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. After showing an interest in music at the tender age of 5, she began to develop her skills in earnest during her teens. Following a traditional pathway of musical education beginning with piano lessons and grade exams, Hollie eventually graduated with a degree in popular music. By this point she was writing songs, having been influenced by the likes of Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, and Carole King.
Her first self-produced album, Truth or Dare, was released in 2008. Four songs from the album went on to win semi-finalist awards in the UK Songwriting Contest (Untouchable and Is This Real? in 2008, and Work With Me and Truth or Dare in 2009).
Hollie immediately began writing material for her next album, which she was determined to record somehow, "by hook or by crook". As the project became a reality, "By Hook Or By Crook" became the title of the album. Previews from the album can be heard here at last.fm and at her official website www.holliesheard.co.uk.
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