In an unusual move, a rising young country star — whose first single was a No. 1 hit — has decided to abandon her recording career. Cyndi Thomson , who turns 26 on Oct. 19, reveals her decision in a letter to friends and fans that she made available to CMT.com. Thomson says that she feels the obligations facing her are “overwhelming” and that the “timing is right for me to walk away from being a recording artist.” In her letter, Thomson says she wants to devote her time and energies to “continue writing music and creating music.”
Thomson co-wrote eight of the 11 songs on her debut album for Capitol Nashville, My World, including the first single “What I Really Meant to Say,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. After the album sold 500,000 copies, Capitol held a gold record party for her at Nashville’s Belle Meade Mansion on July 24 of this year. At the party, a clearly emotional Thomson wept as she introduced her parents, Russ and Pat.
In her letter, Thomson cites the pressures that a public career put on a private life. “Being in the music business necessitates change in the life of a person in ways that can only be realized through experience,” she wrote. “I made those changes to become successful. Now I have come to a crossroad.” That crossroad, she says, would commit her to making a second album and a myriad of accompanying career obligations. “I have now realized that I cannot commit to those obligations,” she writes.
Thomson was married on May 11, 2002 to Daniel Goodman, a musician and producer she met in 2001 when he worked on a segment of CMT’s On the Verge about her. Goodman, who is nicknamed “D.J.,” was a former guitarist for the artist Shannon Brown. After the wedding, which was featured in the magazine Martha Stewart Weddings, the couple settled in Franklin, Tenn. In an interview last year with CMT.com, Thomson said, “I want a good, normal life. … I have a very strong family and my three sisters are all married and have children. I want that, too.”
Thomson has been a popular artist within the Nashville music community, as well as with the public. She has been an opening act on tours by Alan Jackson , Jo Dee Messina and Trisha Yearwood and made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry in August of 2001. Thomson has also been active in charity functions and was a presenter at the first CMT Flameworthy Awards show.
A native of Tifton, Ga., Thomson was the last of four sisters. After moving to Nashville, she studied in Belmont University’s music business program while pursuing a music career. Odd jobs included waitressing and a stint as a model at a platinum party for Deana Carter’s “Did I Shave My Legs for This.”
Thomson’s followup singles to “What I Really Meant to Say” did not fare as well on the charts. “I Always Liked That Best” peaked at No. 21 in February of 2002 and “I’m Gone” reached No. 31 in July of this year on Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
This is the full text of Thomson’s letter:
I want you to be the first to hear about some important decisions I have made for my life and my future. Becoming a recording artist is a career sought after by many. To be given this incredible opportunity by Capitol Records has been an overwhelming life changing experience. I want everyone to know how much I realize this, and appreciate this amazing gift.
I have used the word “overwhelming” because it describes the entire process of becoming a recording artist and the life one must lead to become successful in this business. Being in the music business necessitates change in the life of a person in ways that can only be realized through experience. I made those changes to become successful.
Now I have come to a crossroad. The next step in my career would be to make a new album, thus making a commitment to see the project through with the many obligations that go along with it. I have now realized that I cannot commit to those obligations. I love music; I love the way it makes me feel, but the timing is right for me to walk away from being a recording artist.
My plans are to continue writing music and creating music. Respecting music is of the utmost importance to me — as it is one of God’s gifts.
As I look back at the last few years, I see the wonderful people who have shared with me their most intimate life stories and the importance of my music to those events. They recognized that there was more to my music than just a melody … I shared my heart.
I want to thank Capitol Records and all those in the music industry who have supported me, especially my extremely talented band members who have turned down other jobs because of their commitment to me as an artist. I want to thank each fan for making me feel loved. The fans have been supportive and encouraging when I needed support and encouragement. I will cherish that memory the rest of my life.
Your faces are burned in my memory.