A singer and songwriter whose music is full of twang, spunk, and sharp wit, Tara Thompson is a country artist who comes by her influences naturally -- her cousin is Nashville icon Loretta Lynn, and she was born and raised in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the birthplace of Dolly Parton. After seeing her cousin Loretta perform, young Thompson became interested in performing, and she developed a taste for classic country artists such as Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Merle Haggard. For a while, Thompson toured as part of Loretta Lynn's show, but eventually she headed to Nashville to strike out on her own. Thompson spent several years paying her dues, performing sets at Music City honky tonks, but in time she developed a loyal following at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge for her smart, catchy songs and vibrant vocal skills. In 2015, Thompson was signed to a record deal with Big Machine Label Group's Valory Music imprint. Her debut single, "Someone to Take Your Place," appeared in December 2015, and earned enough airplay and press attention to land her a spot on CMT's Next Women of Country Music Tour in early 2016. ~ Mark Deming
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