Meghan Linsey was born and raised with the magic of New Orleans in her backyard. Linsey attributes her influences to growing up in the midst of such a musical melting pot along with listening to the soulful voices of Etta James and Aretha Franklin and the self-penned songs of Dolly Parton, Patty Griffin, and many others. At fourteen, Linsey started doing shows with her own band playing festivals, fairs and honkytonks. By the time she turned 15 she was opening events for Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and other major artists, which fueled her passion to become the opening act.
During this time Linsey also started making frequent trips to Nashville to play at the legendary Bluebird Cafe, often staying for the second show where Nashville’s best writers shared their well-crafted songs. It was then, that Linsey fell in love with both Music City and country music. After having heard Linsey perform, it wasn’t long before she was penning original songs with the hit songwriters she’d been watching at the Bluebird. She then embarked on recording her first album.
With several years of performing, writing and making the eight-hour trip from Louisiana to Tennessee under her belt, Linsey graduated high school and promptly moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University. Pursuing her dream of being a songwriter and recording artist was her top priority.
In order to support her artist career, Linsey took a job hosting karaoke downtown while continuing to write and play songwriter rounds. It was while she was working in Printer’s Alley that she met Joshua Scott Jones. The two started singing together and quickly amassed a following who were drawn to the soulful blend of their voices along with their unique melodies and refreshing lyrics. The duo, Steel Magnolia emerged and they started writing to specifically brand their own sound. A manager approached them from the UK who promptly sent them off to London to record with his friend, Fraser T. Smith (Adele, James Morrison, Nelly Furtado, etc).
The duo was not only creating a buzz in Europe, but also back home in Nashville. Their friend, Amanda Williams, relentlessly tried to get them to audition for a new reality TV show that was looking for “duos.” Although they were reluctant at first, after several requests from Williams, they decided to give it a shot. From their very first audition it was evident the producers loved the quirky pair, and when the judges saw them perform they were immediately smitten.
Steel Magnolia went on to win the 2nd season of CMT’s “Can You Duet.” Judge Scott Borchetta, who couldn’t have been more delighted to have the duo join his Big Machine Record label, wholeheartedly embraced them. They released a six song EP of songs they performed on the show and started the grueling process of playing shows and doing radio tours across the country. With the release of their first single “Keep On Lovin’ You” going to #4 on the Billboard Country charts, their fan base grew quickly and anxiously awaited the release of their debut album.
On January 11, 2010 their debut self-titled album was released, and it went to #3 on the Billboard Country charts! Steel Magnolia and Big Machine Records hosted a release show in New York City that was critically acclaimed by the New York Times, landing them the entire cover of the highly coveted Arts section.
From 2010 through 2012 the duo was busy doing shows and guest appearances on David Letterman, E! News, the CBS Early Show, Jimmy Kimmel and George Lopez. They were also nominated for numerous awards at the ACM Awards, CMA Awards, CMT Music Awards, and Teen Choice Awards to name a few. During this time Linsey and Jones were dating, writing together and touring. The road can be a difficult place, and maintaining a working relationship along with a personal one is not easy. The duo took a break at the end of 2012, and Linsey completed the Reba tour on her own. The duo split personally but has maintained a business relationship, playing shows while both working on solo projects.
Through the ups and downs, Linsey never swayed from what brought her to Nashville in the first place…her music. She continues to write with artists and top songwriters from many genres, Hillary Lindsay, Dallas Davidson, Charles Kelly, John Legend, Jeffrey Steele, Mike Elizondo, and many more. Most recently Linsey has been writing for her solo album. She continues to combine fresh melodies with meaningful lyrics reaching new heights with her strong, soul-infused voice. The songs and her performances are very honest and raw, and fans often comment they can really feel what she’s singing about.
There is much on the horizon for this bright and shining star, and she is confident the road ahead is the path that she was meant to take. This Louisiana songbird is just starting her ascent and it’s going to be as colorful and rich as her musical heritage, with a little magic and mystique thrown in for good measure.
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BIG HAT TIP TO Scotty B for the awesome graphics!