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A Rising Star

Hanover’s Hamilton has been
singing her way to local fame

She has been performing
on TV stations in Louisville

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(January 2013) – Even before she began to sing, viewers of the Louisville morning show on WHAS-TV, “Great Day Live,” could tell that Whitney Hamilton brought a special magic into the studio. Her caring personality shone through as Hamilton briefly discussed her work at Camp Atterbury, where she helps demote soldiers.
“That means they come home from war, and I get to send them home to their family,” explains Hamilton, 24.
As anchors Laura Rogers and Rachel Platt chatted with the Hanover, Ind., singer before her performance, they were struck by the quality of her speaking voice, “You have this sultry voice just in talking. It’s soulful,” noted Rogers.
Add in the singer’s sparkling red heels which would have looked right at home in “The Wizard of Oz,” and the audience could sense that they were about to be introduced to a very special talent.

Whitney Hamilton

Photo provided

Whitney Hamilton
says her grandmother’s
letter led to her
appearances on
WHAS-TV’s
“Great Day Live.”

On Nov. 16, Hamilton appeared on “Great Day Live” and sang the popular country hits “Baggage Claim” and “Pontoon” with Wayne Deaton on guitar. Her performance proved so successful that she appeared on the show again on Dec. 4 by request. Hamilton and Deaton were joined by David Campbell II and performed the country classic “Harper Valley PTA” by request and, in honor of the holiday season, they sang “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”
WHAS-TV anchor Platt introduced Hamilton’s Dec. 4 performance by saying, “We think she’s the perfect combination – sweet, sassy and southern – southern Indiana that is!”
Hamilton says that she has a “crazy supportive family” and points out that her grandmother’s efforts are what lead to her WHAS-TV appearance.
“My grandmother actually wrote a letter and mailed it to them.”
Unfortunately, she had the wrong address the first time, so the letter was returned. Though she briefly wondered if the producers even paid attention to physical letters anymore, Hamilton’s grandmother soon found the correct address and tried again. This time the letter made it safely to its destination and drew the attention of producer Holly Rudolph. After researching the singer online, it was agreed that Hamilton was indeed the sort of “untapped talent” that “Great Day Live” wished to showcase.
While Hamilton says that “I love to entertain. I like to be out front,” she also sees music as a way to connect to other people.
“I want to make a difference,” she says seriously. “I want it to be a healing thing.”
Hamilton said she believes in the power of music to influence people’s lives. “We hope we’re touching them so we’ll be able to hear their stories.”
Hamilton credits The Reverend Vickie Perkins as being the one who first got her singing when she was about 11 years old. Perkins, who served as Hamilton’s minister for almost 15 years at Hanover United Methodist Church, says that “Whitney had this unbelievably husky voice, even when she was a little girl. When she got up on stage, people would pay attention.”
When she was young, her unique voice made it a bit difficult for her to blend in to a choir, and Perkins recalls that, “She would always stand out.”
However, Perkins found a simple solution to that delightful problem. “I worked with her with a lot of solos!”
Perkins’ own sister is a country music singer, so she was able to offer her young parishioner a unique perspective on what that sort of job actually involves and what it takes to be successful in that industry. Perkins wanted to help the young Hamilton understand that “God had a purpose in giving her this voice. I guess what I did was I believed in her.”
Perkins also believes that there is more to Hamilton’s effectiveness as a singer than simply having a beautiful voice. “She really loves people,” Perkins explains.
She added that as a child, Hamilton was never afraid to get up and sing in front of a large crowd and that even as her talent grew, she would still make the time to sing for tiny gatherings of just a few people. The minister reflects that there was “this real soulful meaning to her music even at that young age.”
She added, “I truly believe Whitney has an extremely strong faith, a strong relationship with Christ.
“You don’t get too many Whitneys in your church. I’m just thrilled that she’s doing this,” she says.
Perkins watched Hamilton’s performance on WHAS-TV and describes her singing as “powerful.”
Hamilton said she is thankful for the opportunities that her recent appearances have been opening for her, saying “We’ve had invite after invite. It’s such a blessing, so humbling to be able to start this journey.”
Hamilton hopes to someday make it big in music. “I want to have a hit song. I want to live my dreams.”
And for those who hear Hamilton’s powerful voice, it is easy to imagine that a few clicks of her ruby slippers could someday transport her to the Nashville stage.

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