After participating in the weeklong North American Country Music Association International Competition in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Chenille Saunders walked away with highest honors, according to a Hancock County Journal-Pilot article.
Saunders, who is from Logan, Utah, and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, competed in the traditional gospel category on March 16. She was awarded 2017 Female Vocalist of the Year for her performance of “Amazing Grace,” and 2017 Female Entertainer of the Year for her renditions of “I'll Fly Away” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Saunders, 38, currently resides with her family in Carthage, Illinois, where she founded Center Stage Music & Performing Arts School, according to the article. She has been performing since the age of 3, and enjoys sharing her passion for music and the arts with youths. One of her students, McKenna Merritt, 12, also participated in the competition and received the Female Entertainer of the Year award in the new country category for her age group.
After winning the Female Vocalist of the Year award, Saunders posted on Facebook, announcing, "I WON!!! I am beside myself right now!"
When she discovered that she had also won the Female Entertainer of the Year award, Saunders wrote in another post that she felt "super blessed" to have achieved such success during the competition.
LDS singer wins awards at North American country music association
Chenille Saunders won 2017 Female Vocalist of the Year for her performance of "Amazing Grace" at the North American Country Music Association International Competition.