Abby Anderson is a 20-year-old country singer who is originally from Texas. She is one of nine new women who were named to Country Music Television’s (CMT) “Next Women of Country” for 2018. She is also listed among the ‘2018 Artists to Watch.” Not only is Abby a rising country star, she also has a firm belief in Jesus Christ and is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Abby has performed with everyone from her Black River Entertainment labelmate Kelsea Ballerini to Peter Frampton and Lee Greenwood. She is currently at work on her first full-length album and recently released her debut single “Make Him Wait.” The music video for the single was published on her YouTube channel on 28 March 2018, and as of early June 2018, it has garnered more than 39,000 views on YouTube alone. In the song, “Make Him Wait,” she wrote a lesson her dad taught her to make guys wait and make them work for the relationship. She hopes the song can help young women her age understand their worth.
Abby lists Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Stevie Wonder, KT Oslin, and Elvis Presley among her influences.
Family Life and Life Lessons Learned
Abby has always known that she wanted to be a performer and from an early age, she enjoyed being the center of attention. However, there was one major drawback – she did not enjoy practicing the piano. That attitude soon changed when a friend came to visit, and she insisted on performing for her. After playing six songs, Abby was certain that she had discovered her niche in life.
Growing up in an active LDS family, her parents created an open and supportive environment in the home. Describing her family as “pure joy,” Abby told LDS Living, “We were your solid, always 20 minutes late family of seven kids, taking the sacrament in the foyer, making a scene walking in the chapel, sitting on the fifth row.”
Abby relates that there were two basic rules that she was taught to live by while growing up in the Anderson home – “No secrets” and “Do everything with a positive attitude.” She recalled that she came home one night past her curfew and her dad was waiting up for her. They spent an hour sitting on the kitchen floor talking about dating and boys. She also recalled that her dad regularly used the phrase “Happy to do it” and every time somebody in the home was asked to do something, they had to snap their fingers and say, “Happy to do it!” She admits that she hated it, but it taught her and her siblings the valuable lesson about having a good and positive attitude about everything. She said, “Sure, annoying things are going to happen to you, and you’re going to be asked to take the garbage out even when it’s not your day, but you do it anyways, and you do it with a smile on your face.”
The Trial of Her Faith
Abby grew up in what she considered to be the “perfect” family, thus allowing her to live the “perfect” life. However, her utopian world was shattered, and her passive faith was tested when at the age of 18, while living in Nashville, Tennessee, her parents divorced. It was the darkest time of her life, but also the best thing that has ever happened to her. She told LDS Living, “I hit rock bottom. My foundation, my family, just crumbled right under my feet. And to really put a cherry on top, I got my heart broken by the guy I was dating at the time. I felt like I lost everything.”
She questioned everything that her parents had taught her and began studying and learning about different religions, attending every church in Nashville, and “wrestling with God” on the hard questions that she had. She said:
Through all of that, I’ve learned what makes me an ‘active believer’—being active in asking questions, being active in prayer, and building my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father daily. My testimony is work. It’s the thing I work on the most. Am I an active member of the LDS Church? Sure. But most importantly, I am an active follower of Christ. For me, the LDS Church helps me facilitate that relationship.
Abby says that her faith and singing career are part of the person she is and both bring great joy in her life. She thanks God every day for having a sure knowledge of who she is as a child of God, especially “in an industry where it’s probably easier to forget that more than others.”
Looking to the Future
Abby got her start and big break on the radio. Her career was launched on talk radio, when she performed “Let Freedom Ring” (her version of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”) on Glenn Beck’s talk show. The popularity of her performance landed the song on the Billboard and iTunes charts. Following the success of “Let Freedom Ring,” she graduated early from high school so that she could pursue her music career full time. In February 2015, she moved to Nashville.
She is currently on a radio tour, promoting her new single, “Make Him Wait.” During the summer and fall of 2018, she will be touring with Russell Dickerson, Chase Rice, and Brett Eldredge. Speaking about the future, Abby sets high goals for herself and says that there is no real destination. She will continue to work hard to reach as many people as possible. She commented:
I want to be a good steward of this gift God gave me. Life is a journey, and that’s why I love it so much. There is always something new to do, a new obstacle to tackle and something new to learn. Even talking about it lights me up. All I know is that I am blessed to have the opportunity to do what I am passionate about. And because of that, I will always keep going.
Marie Osmond has mentored Abby for the past couple of years and has nothing but praises to give about her eagerness to learn. She said, “I knew the second that I first met Abby that she had that raw gift, that combination of passion and gratitude and a voice that every hit song wishes it had. I invited her to my house. We sat around all day at the piano, playing and singing and sharing stories. Abby says I’ve taught her a thing or two. . .. Well, she just flat out inspires me.
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