Chuck Wing, Deseret News
Have you heard the story about the three young girls who naively left their family and hometown to seek fame and fortune as country singers in Nashville?
Yes, you probably have, but if that sounds like some hackneyed Hollywood script, wait till you hear the rest. Only a few months later they signed a record deal.
It's not supposed to be that easy, and, as it turned out, it wasn't. But the trio known as SHeDAISY, a trio of sisters from that music hotbed of Magna, is staking its claim in the country music world. Three CDs and almost 14 years later, Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy Osborn are on the cusp of stardom.
Certainly, they have their fans. During a rare SHeDAISY concert in Utah last month, the fans who crammed into Kingsbury Hall consisting mostly of teenage girls were not only on their feet singing along but doing so at the top of their lungs.
A few weeks later the sisters sang the national anthem at the Orange Bowl and performed one of their hits at halftime. (The rival Dixie Chicks got the Super Bowl.)
They played in 50 cities last year, and they still haven't had their own formal tour. Mostly they play radio gigs and special events, but it has been enough to win a wide range of admirers.
Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler is a fan "I really dig your music," he told them. So does President Bush. The Osborn sisters have performed in front of the president so often that at their last meeting, Kassidy told him, "We're not stalking you."
They have shared stages with Ray Charles, Faith Hill, Michael McDonald, Richard Marx, Patti LaBelle, Reba McEntire, Boz Scaggs, Cher, Huey Lewis and just about anyone else you can name in country music circles. They've played Ford Theater twice. They've played the Astrodome. Their songs have played in the movies "Sweet Home Alabama" and "The Santa Clause II."
They've appeared on Leno, "Donny & Marie," "Drew Carey" and "General Hospital" (as themselves). They have played at the American Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards. They have opened for Terry Clarke, Alabama, Tim McGraw.
"Sometimes I'll say, 'How the heck did we get here?' " Kelsi confesses. " 'Can you believe we're singing with Ray Charles?' "
Their first CD "The Whole SHeBANG" went double platinum and produced five singles that broke the Top 40 on the country charts, three of them cracking the top four. Their Christmas CD climbed into the top 10 of the country charts. Their current CD "Knock on the Sky" has the critics raving, although it has been a commercial disappointment.
Wait a minute, you're thinking three women singing country . . . what are they, Dixie Chicks knockoffs? Don't go there. They've heard it before. For the record, the Osborns have been kicking around Nashville since 1989, years before the Chicks rose to prominence, but the Chicks beat them to stardom.
The Osborns are a long way from home for girls who got their start at Lagoon, Raging Waters, Disneyland, Jazz games, fairs, Hale Centre Theatre, Promised Valley Playhouse, the back of the family station wagon and every church function anybody could think of.
They have strayed far from Utah, but not far from their roots. When they heard their grandfather was hospitalized with a stroke last month, they rushed from Nashville to be at his side and took turns staying at the hospital around the clock. One night, the sixth floor of LDS Hospital was alive with the sound of SHeDAISY. They sang a cappella to their grandfather, "our biggest fan," as he lay in bed. Soon word spread and other visitors asked them to sing for their ailing relatives. Strangers broke into tears as the sisters sang for their patients.
"When you question what you do, when you want to give up, these moments keep you going," says Kassidy. "Afterward, my dad said, 'You'd be crazy not to think you had been given this gift for a reason.' "
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