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'19 Kids & Counting': Amy Duggar has long way to go for success in Nashville

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Last night, on a “19 Kids & Counting” special, Amy Duggar headed off to Nashville. She has a beautiful, unique voice. But, she has a long way to go to make it in the music business.

No matter what business anyone is getting into, it takes a lot of time and hard work--paying one’s dues--to “make it.” And, still, a lot of people never do--often because they just finally give up on the way because it IS so hard! And, for an artist--singer, writer, dancer, whatever--it can seem super-hard, because the measure of success can be so hard to pin down. What makes an artist “successful?” Making a record? Writing a book? Being able to pay your grocery bill each week? One can be successful without ever being a household name--but often, that is just what someone chasing that “artist” dream is looking to achieve. What will be the measure of success for Amy Duggar?

Well, no one can decide that but Amy herself. But, one thing is for certain: She has a long way to go. But, she is lucky to have found a patient, encouraging music producer in Jamie Slocum. He sees that she has a spark of talent but in a completely raw form. And, more than that, he is not hesitant to be honest with her. When she sounded awful--and she did sound terrible--he was not afraid to tell her straight up how badly she was doing. Grandma Duggar tried to come to Amy’s rescue, and he nicely and respectfully put her in her place. But, it was clear from her recording session: Amy Duggar is a music amateur.

Apparently, Amy’s “experience” comes in the form of church and some performances for family and maybe high school events. So, in essence, she has no experience at all with how singing works as a profession. And, that’s okay; no one has a clue how it works in the beginning! But, if she does go forward--and she insists that she will--she is going to have a lot more work ahead of her than she probably realized. Even Amy herself admitted: She had no idea what she was getting herself into with this Nashville dream.

Again, she has a beautiful, unique voice. As Jamie pointed out, she has technical issues with singing that are going to have to be addressed--pitch problems, finding the beat, understanding how to bring emotion to a song and, ultimately, to the audience--but those are things that she can work on and correct. At the end of the episode, Amy had a so-so outing at an “open mic night,” with a “big name” in the audience. She did a good job on her first song, and her nerves got the best of her on the second--although she did push through and finish with a smile. The executive in the audience, Christy Robinson of Curb Records, said she was “encouraged” with the performance, but her voice and body language did not suggest excitement--although, no doubt, as a professional in the music business, she keeps her cards close, regardless.

“I realize there is nothing else that I want; there is nowhere else I’d rather be than Nashville,” Amy said of her trip. “I can see myself doing this for a really long time.”

Good luck, Amy!

“19 Kids & Counting” airs on TLC on Tuesday nights at 9/8c.

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