Country music singer-songwriter Kalie Shorr will be opening for Grammy award-winning LeAnn Rimes when her You and Me and Christmas Tour 2019 comes to Seminole Casino Coconut Creek on December 14. Though the two have a dozen years separating them — Shorr is 25 and Rimes is 37 — they have more in common than their careers in country music.
Both began their journey to stardom at a prodigious age: Shorr started posting covers on YouTube at 13 and won Maine’s Got Talent at 16; Rimes' debut studio album Blue was recorded when she was 11 and by the age of 14, she’d won Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance, the youngest person to ever do so.
They also have this in common: both have been buffeted by entrenched patriarchal interests.
Shorr's first hit song, "Fight Like a Girl," seems in retrospect like a metaphor for how her life would go.
When Shorr started looking into signing with a record company once her songs were reaching millions of listeners, major country labels responded with variations of “We can’t sign another girl right now. We already have one.” At the same time, in her personal life, Shorr was physically abused by her ex-boyfriend. Her newest album, Open Book, at times rails against the injustice and pain she’s felt.
However, old-school the process, songs need to get played on the radio for artists to get noticed by record company execs. What's new-school is that singers don't need radio play to become superstars.
"It’s difficult for country artists, especially women," Shorr told SoundslikeNashville.com, "because the support of radio is crucial. It’s not impossible to do without it, but it’s a lot more difficult."
And country music radio is notorious for not playing the music of women artists.
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Rimes' own fight started closer to home when she and her mother discovered that her father, Wilbur Rimes, and then-manager, Lyle Walker, had embezzled $8 million in royalties from her. The ensuing lawsuit took years to resolve and ripped her family apart. Rimes later reconciled with her dad.
That Shorr and Rimes have decided to tour together seems a natural progression of their mirror narratives.
While the You and Me Tour will primarily feature Christmas music, both artists will play a selection of their most well-known songs.
LeAnn Rimes. With Kalie Shorr. 8 p.m. Saturday, December 14, at Seminole Casino, 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek; 954-977-6700; seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com. Tickets cost $40 to $60 via ticketmaster.com.