Rising country singer-songwriter returns close to home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rising country singer-songwriter returns close to home

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Hailey Whitters may now call Nashville home but she hasn't forgotten her hometown roots of Shueyville. The rising country singer-songwriter has begun to make a name for herself in the industry, right before returning to Johnson Co. to perform at the Mission Creek Festival.

Whitters co-wrote the song, "Happy People." Country fans would have heard Little Big Town perform the song at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards. The group releasing the song as their second single off their album, "The Breaker."

"Growing up, I always watched the CMA Awards or the ACM's or whatever on TV and so, to actually be there this year and have a band that I love performing one of my songs, it was just kind of this really surreal moment," Whitters said following her sound check.

She returns close to home to perform Thursday night at Yacht Club in Iowa City, apart of the six-day music festival, Mission Creek.

Whitters grew up a short distance from Iowa City, in the small town of Shueyville.

"I actually love Iowa. Like everyone always asks me "What's there to do in Iowa?", like it's the most boring place on earth but I actually love being from Iowa. I'm so proud of where I came from," she said.

Now 27, she moved to Nashville at 17 years old, like many other aspiring country artists. She knew no one at the time of the move.

"I would go down and play on Broadway and play the Honky Tonks and you know, for tips and stuff like that. Then the writer's rounds, I'd play the Bluebird Cafe, just try and get my music heard wherever I could," Whitters said.

During Thursday's performance, the crowd will get a taste of new material Whitters is currently working on.

"With this new stuff that I'm writing, I'm finding that I'm really inspired by kind of small town Midwest where I grew up. So, I definitely feel like there's some of those values in the new songs," she said.

Whitters debut album, "Black Sheep," was released in 2015. She recently wrapped up a tour with Martina McBride.

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