Charity (Rae Marshall Artistic Photography)

Charity has a thing for paper, pens and poems. Ever so quirky and joyfully explosive, the 18-year-old singer-songwriter has made a name for herself, thanks to her unique voice and carefully crafted indie-pop anthems. “I want my music to be the choice of the group of girls driving to the park,” says Charity. “I hope it streams through the open windows to meet the wind on its way out. I hope my music gets the chance to live.”

And in early 2010, her music found lots of open windows thanks to extensive coverage on Season 9 of the hit FOX series American Idol, where she first wowed the judges (and guest judge Shania Twain) in Chicago with her rendition of “Summertime.” Soon after American Idol, the Little Rock native headed into the studio with Nashville-based production team ZodLounge (Emily Osment, Leann Rimes, Richard Marx), who started to work on her national debut album, which will be released in 2011.

But Charity is far from an overnight sensation, and differs from the manufactured pop princesses that frequent today’s musical landscape. Her journey began in childhood, and doors continued to open. From the age of 7, Charity has performed each year at Riverfest, Arkansas’ largest festival, and has done countless half-time and National Anthem performances at Verizon Arena. At the age of 9, she played the lead role in the musical Annie for a 50-show run with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. And two years later, she won the Radio Disney Superstar Kid Contest, sponsored by KDIS 99.5FM (Radio Disney’s Little Rock affiliate). She even made regular appearances at special events at Little Rock’s famed Peabody Hotel. Charity’s frequent performances helped her become a skilled performer, and she grew more and more comfortable with her vocal abilities. So much so that by the time she was 11, she was employed by Soundscapes and doing voice-overs for radio commercials nationwide.

But at the end of the day, it was always the performing and songwriting that captured her attention. “To have the most delightful day possible, all I need is a pen, my right hand, and my beaten-up notebook I am trying to keep alive,” says Charity. “I crave paper. I indulge in the aisle with the writing supplies. ‘Back to school’ shopping is better than my birthday.” It’s the combination of her unique voice and the beyond-her-years songwriting that has the music industry in Nashville and beyond buzzing. “Writing is a part of me,” explains Charity. “It owns a room in my heart. I love visiting that room!”

Charity is an independent artist distributed by Planet Hype.

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