For Sherry Lynn, Beautiful Life is more than her sophomore album; it’s her view of the world. The title cut, a duet with Grammy-winning superstar Crystal Gayle, backs it up: Life is short, so jump in with both feet, chase your dreams, hold fast and relish the ride.
That’s exactly what Sherry has been doing since she transitioned from the Karaoke stage to opening in 2006 for Sammy Kershaw at Pitman, New Jersey’s historic Broadway Theatre. Fast-forward two years, when Sherry was invited back to the Broadway to open for Crystal Gayle, one of Sherry’s musical heroes. The concert turned out to be a pivotal moment in Sherry’s career.
“I’ve opened for a lot of artists, and when you’re the opening act, many of them don’t even come out of their dressing rooms until you’re finished”, Sherry says. “Crystal was one of the few who actually sat there in the green room and watched my performance. After the show, she sat with me, my mom and my grandma for over an hour, talking like we were friends for years.”
It was one of those freeze-frame moments for Sherry. As a child, she’d set her career compass to singing the same day she watched Loretta Lynn’s biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter. And now there she was, hanging out with Loretta’s sister.
In 2010, a chance meeting in Nashville with Crystal and her husband, Bill Gatzimos, took Sherry’s relationship with Crystal to another level. When Crystal heard about Sherry’s new album---there are no secrets on Music
Row---she offered to lend her vocals to Beautiful Life, a song co-penned by award-winning tunesmith Danny Wells, best known for George Strait’s Check Yes Or No and Rascal Flatts’ These Days. Sherry and Crystal joined voices at Crystal’s studio, Audio 51, with producer Ted Hewitt, the studio wizard behind Rodney Atkins’ string of Number One hits. Crystal’s son Chris Gatzimos engineered the session.
It’s mindboggling to think Sherry almost turned down the opportunity, but she did. “I had been working on this new CD for two years before Crystal came on board, and had just cut the last song. Then my publicist called and asked, ‘Do you want to hold off on the release of this project?’ I’m like NO! Why would I want to do that? She said, “Because Crystal Gayle would like to sing a song with you.’” Not only did Sherry agree to delay the release---who wouldn’t?---she bumped one song, changed the name of the album, and used Beautiful Life as the CD’s title cut.
To choose the nine other tunes on Beautiful Life, Sherry turned to stellar songwriters like Kelley Lovelace, who co-penned Girls Will Be Girls and eight Brad Paisley Number Ones; ASCAP 2009 Songwriter of the Year Ashley Gorley, who took Carrie Underwood to the top with All-American Girl and Good Girl; Edward Monroe Hill, another George Strait hitmaker, and Karyn Rochelle noted for writing Trisha Yearwood’s This Is Me You’re Talking To, and Kelly Pickler’s hits I Wonder and Red High Heels.
That an independent artist could land A-list songs by top tier writers proves that Sherry’s is a voice to be reckoned with. Because of her equally polished stage presence, she’s shared the stage with the likes of Miranda Lambert, the Oak Ridge Boys, LeAnn Rimes, John Rich and Chris Young. Sherry belted out The Star Spangled Banner before a crowd of 45,000 when the Phillies played the Mets at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. This year, more than 71,000 fans will have the opportunity to watch Sherry perform at the CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville.
Whether Sherry’s sneaking a peek at the hottie next door in I Like ‘Em Like That, embracing love in I Could Get Used To This, or blowing off heartbreak in Slip Into Something Mexico and What a Day To Shake a Heartache, Sherry keeps it upbeat. And personal. When she ramps up the rowdy anthem Girls Will Be Girls and “points her taillights at yesterday” in So Much More, it’s autobiographical. Pure Sherry Lynn and her Beautiful Life.