HOMETOWN: Dallas, Texas
INFLUENCES: Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans
ALBUM: Kaylee Rutland EP, out now
WEBSITE: kayleerutland.com

Singer-songwriter Kaylee Rutland’s first gig in front of a live audience happened in an unlikely place—the Dallas Zoo. “Aside from my family, I think there were more animals watching than people,” she says, “but it was a great first experience.” Later appearances at the Hard Rock Café and the House of Blues pulled her toward grander ambitions. Rutland moved to Nashville in 2012 with the goal of performing at the Grand Ole Opry. Her debut self-titled EP includes “Into the Circle,” a collaboration with Grammy-nominated artist Jamie O’Neal and Colt Ford, co-writer of Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem.” Currently enrolled in Belmont University’s music business program, Rutland balances touring with her studies. With a broad stylistic range, her brand of country keeps one foot in the past and the other moving forward. “I love to honor traditional country with elements that offer a contemporary feel,” she says.

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