My first inspiration was my Mother Mickaela. I remember when I was a little girl, she won a singing competition and went to Nashville to sing on TV at the Grand Ole Opry. When she came home, we watched her performance. I always knew that I wanted to sing. I wanted to be just like my mom, but then there was also a little girl named Ashley that sang "All My Ex's Live In Texas". I realized after seeing her on the show, that I could do it to. It was like I was waiting for a sign to tell me it was okay that I wanted to sing. She was that sign.
From then on, I was always on stage. Whether I was performing at local Fairs, Talent Competitions, school talent shows, singing groups in school, Honor Choir, or my moms shows...I was always on stage. My mom took me to all of her band rehearsals, karaoke shows, live shows with her band, her friends bands, whatever she could to get me on stage. She'd get special permission to bring me into the bar/club venues and put me on a chair so people could see me. When all of the other kids were outside playing, or going to football games or arcades...I was at home mastering my craft. She made sure that I was pitch perfect and I would sing 8 hours a day, every day. She took me downtown Nashville with her and we performed on Music Row almost every day.
I even remember Tim McGraw performing down there before he made it. He invited us up to sing with him. I remember Garth Brooks pulling over when my mom was singing. I remember meeting the Bellamy Brothers across the street at Shoney's. As I grew older, she taught me to run sound and lights and I would help her with her karaoke and DJ shows. Eventually I started doing my own shows for other companies and became DJ Dazzle while living in North Dakota.
Mariah Carey was also a big inspiration to me growing up. I still remember her curly hair and overalls in the music video "Someday". I loved her voice and I did everything I could to mimic her. When I was a child, I could hit that whistle register just like her. Around age 12 LeAnn Rimes came out. Since I grew up singing Country Music, of course I absolutely loved her. She could yodel and I mimicked her yodeling songs until I figured out how to do it.
As a teen Christina Aguliera was everything to me. She inspired me to learn how to do runs, belt, growl, extend soaring notes and manipulate my voice in ways I didn't know were possible. She is still an inspiration to me today. I find inspiration in everything. I am inspired by all types of artists and music, it's all beautiful.
As an adult I still looked up to Christina and Mariah, but was also inspired by artists like Pat Benatar, Ann Wilson of Heart, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Miranda Lambert, Alicia Keys, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill and Tori Kelly.