Stakes are high for SHeDAISY’s concert Wednesday night (Feb. 9) on CMT, since the event marks the first time the sisterly country/pop trio has performed live on TV.
The Osborn sisters — Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy — kick off the 2000 season of CMT’s popular live concert series, CMT All Access, with a one-hour show, staged for 200 fans in Franklin, Tenn., just outside Nashville.
Heather, from CMT Hit Trip, will host, in what will also be her live TV debut.
“I’m sure we’ll all be a little bit nervous,” says Heather, “but we all feel comfortable enough that we know that if we mess up, we can laugh at ourselves. The thing I love most about the show is the casualness, that the audience will actually be a part of the show instead of just being onlookers.”
It was with the fans in mind that CMT decided to add a host to the show and incorporate a live chat.
“We wanted to take All Access to a new place in 2000 by making it more interactive,” says CMT Manager of Program Specials Ann Rotunno. “We’ve worked with SHeDAISY in the past on CMT Hit Trip, and they are fun girls.”
From the release of the group’s first video, CMT felt they were onto something with SHeDAISY.
“We knew that SHeDAISY was special,” says CMT Programming Director Chris Parr. “They sing incredible harmonies and have a lot of personality that comes through in their videos. We’re looking forward to bringing their freshness to our viewers with this live event.”
They’re also a band to watch out for. CMT named SHeDAISY 1999’s Rising Video Star of the Year for hit videos including “Little Goodbyes” and “This Woman Needs.” The group’s debut album, The Whole SheBang, has been certified gold for sales in excess of 500,000, and the group is nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.
Such fireworks might seem to suggest that the trio is Nashville’s latest overnight success story, but the truth is, the three women have been working towards their shot at stardom for more than 11 years. Kristyn, 29, Kelsi, 25 and Kassidy, 23, pursued their musical aspirations in Nashville while still in school at home in Magna, Utah, just outside Salt Lake City.
“We’re what we call a ‘Disneyland family,'” says songsmith Kristyn in press materials released with their album. “We’d take a yearly vacation to Disneyland in a station wagon with wood paneling, and you had my parents playing eight-track tapes. It was either show tunes, classical music, the Beatles or Beach Boys, except every now and then we’d get Steppenwolf, because that was my Dad’s thing.”
Their mother taught the girls harmony by singing in the car, and a musical act was born. The sisters began making the rounds at local fairs and civic events and eventually decided to move to Music City. But in the days before Nashville was signing younger acts like LeAnn Rimes, Lila McCann and Jessica Andrews, the girls, still teens themselves, found it tough to convince record executives to sign them.
In 1998, after several false starts, newly opened Lyric Street Records made SHeDAISY the first act signed to the roster of the Disney-owned company. Since then, the sisters have hit the ground running, promoting their first single not via the traditional tour of radio stations, but in a documentary short film instead.
The women are naturals in front of a camera; their innate sense of fun and fashion makes them CMT favorites. Last year, they joined CMT Hit Trip at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.
“They were absolutely a treat to work with,” declares Heather of their initial meeting. “We met them just three weeks after their album came out, and we all clicked immediately. They were very new, and at that point, nobody had really heard of them. It’s been cool to watch their success grow.”
The CMT All Access event is a rare opportunity to see SHeDAISY in concert. While they have performed at various listener appreciation and private shows, they have not yet undertaken a national tour. With the same strategy that launched the career of Shania Twain, SHeDAISY’s record label and booking agency hope to build momentum and demand for the trio by allowing them to have hit songs and videos before hitting the highways. SHeDAISY’s appearance on CMT All Access may be one of the few times viewers and fans will have the opportunity to see the women in concert until they hit the concert trail, probably around the end of 2001.
In the meantime, the Osborns have plenty to keep themselves busy. They are in contract negotiations with the new Music Business division of New York’s renowned Ford Modeling Agency. On March 4, they will be the only female act to perform in this year’s New Faces show at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. In addition, the trio will go into the studio this spring to record a Christmas album, slated for release this fall. With all the flurry and fuss, SHeDAISY is grateful to be on its way at long last.
“We know how rare a chance like this is, and we’re really ready to work hard,” Kristyn told the Los Angeles Times last fall. “That’s one thing we’re really happy about — we know what this means. We’re not going to take anything for granted.”