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Callista Clark

Callista Clark

An outspoken singer/songwriter putting her own spin on her country roots, Callista Clark emerged when she was just 17. On her 2021 single "It's Cause I Am" -- which charted on Billboard's Country Airplay chart -- and debut EP Real to Me, Clark displayed a brassy confidence and way with words that drew comparisons to Maren Morris and Jennifer Nettles.

While growing up in Zebulon, Georgia, Clark sang in church and began writing songs when she was 11. Raised on a musical diet of Travis Tritt, Randy Travis, the Judds, and Aretha Franklin, she taught herself to play instruments ranging from guitar and piano to the banjo and mandolin. One of her first important performances came at age 12, when she duetted with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles at a local 4H awards show. Around this time, Clark began posting cover versions of songs to her social media as a way of staying in touch with her friends. Her interpretation of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" racked up hundreds of thousands of views, but it was her cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" that became her big break. Recorded while her family was on vacation at the beach, the video's view count reached the tens of millions and drew the attention of Big Machine Records. Clark signed with the label when she was 15 and set to work on her debut release with songwriters including Jonathan Singleton, Emily Shackleton, and Laura Veltz. The Real to Me EP appeared in February 2021 and featured the single "It's Cause I Am," a brash statement of independence that reached number 31 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart. ~ Heather Phares

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