By February 24, 2014 Read More →

W.Va. natives hoping for stardom tour state

 

Photo submitted to The Exponent Telegram Kayla Slone does not have a record deal, but based on a YouTube video and media appearances, she was asked to appear on the Grand Ole Opry. She also sang on stage when Loretta Lynn appeared in concert in Ashland, Ky

Photo submitted to The Exponent Telegram
Kayla Slone does not have a record deal, but based on a YouTube video and media appearances, she was asked to appear on the Grand Ole Opry. She also sang on stage when Loretta Lynn appeared in concert in Ashland, Ky

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — When customers ask Kayla Slone to sing at the Logan Walmart where she works as a cashier, she obliges them and belts out a country tune such as Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors.”

One patron taped Slone and uploaded the video to YouTube, and before Slone knew it, she first was whisked off to New York City for appearances on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and “Anderson Cooper 360.”

Then she got the call that really changed her world: Pete Fisher of the Grand Ole Opry wanted her to come to Nashville and sing on his revered stage, which she did with a rendition of Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

“I had to sit down,” said the native of Matewan in Mingo County. “My whole body just shut down. If I don’t go any further, I’ll think I’m blessed enough to be standing in the circle and sing.”

Then there is Chase Likens, a Point Pleasant native who rose through the ranks in the other new millennium way — he auditioned for “American Idol” in two different years before appearing on the 11th season of the Fox reality series in February 2012.

For him, it was an obvious move to make after singing since he was 4 or 5 years old, dancing around to his mom and dad’s Elvis Presley CDs.

“I went so far as to perform in the talent show my kindergarten year,” Likens said. “I did an Elvis song, ‘Hound Dog.’ From there, things have taken off.”

Slone and Likens’ all-American success stories have merged and the two are traveling around their native West Virginia together as the Young Country Tour.

They will perform in concert at 8 p.m. Friday at the Mountain View Event Center in Buckhannon.

Slone, 22, still works at the Walmart, where her bosses have encouraged her singing and have given her the time off to travel for media appearances and performances.

It has been a little more than a year since Slone’s video appeared on YouTube…

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