It's likely most people had never heard of Leroy, Ala., until Ashton Shepherd started making noise in Music City.
The true Southern girl was born on Aug. 16, 1986. As a child, she wasted no time finding an audience for her music which was inspired by musical heroes like Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline. Shepherd soon started singing country music in local talent shows. The guitar player also started putting words to music by writing her own songs. The entrepreneur in her was smart enough to record an independent CD to sell at local appearances. By the age of 20, she had won a talent contest in her home state. The grand prize was enough to place her firmly in the spotlight. She won the chance to open a concert for Grand Ole Opry member Lorrie Morgan in 2006.
By the end of the summer, after being heard by a record producer, she came to Nashville in an effort to make connections within the music industry. Ashton signed to MCA Nashville in April 2007. In September of that same year, her debut single, "Takin' off this Pain," was released. She also realized every country music artist's dream-she made her debut performance on the Grand Ole Opry before month's end. Her first album, Sounds So Good, was released in March 2008 and produced a follow-up single "Sounds So Good."
Where Country Grows