Nashville recording artist Sarah Darling, who has enjoyed a bit of success of her own, stepped back into the singing competition world this week on the premiere of ABC's summer singing competition, "Rising Star." Taking on Kacey Musgraves' charting Top 10 debut single "Merry Go 'Round," Darling sat upon a stool and delivered the song with ease, ultimately winning over America's heart and reaching the 70% voting threshold.
“I am so excited to be a contestant on 'Rising Star,'" she had shared in a statement, prior to her performance. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to perform before the entire country live! The fans at home can make a difference for me, and I hope they all download the Rising Star app and raise the wall for me!”
Previously, Darling performed on E! "The Entertainer" series and finished in third place. She then went on to sign a record deal with Black River Entertainment, home to "American Idol" finalist Kellie Pickler,and released several albums and an EP. Her highest charting radio entry is 2012's "Home To Me" (Caitlyn Smith/Bobby Hamrick), which peaked at No. 34 on Billboard Hot Country Songs. She later parted ways with the indie label in early 2013.
Her next release came in the form of last summer's should-have-been smash "Little Umbrellas," a plucky tune written by Rob Crosby and Doug Johnson.
In addition to her success at radio, she's made such high-profile appearances on TV shows like "The Bachelor," performing her signature tune for ladies man Sean Lowe on one of his exclusive dates, and on the late-night talk show "Conan." She's also been out on the road with several other country artists, like Scotty McCreery (on his Weekend Roadtrip Tour).
On where she's headed next, she hopes to find a label that allows her to explore her influences, which range from Shania Twain to Johnny Cash, and release an album that truly represents her. "I think that’s what’s going to be interesting about it," she told Engine 145 last winter of being free to weigh her options. "I’ve been writing songs for years, so it’s going to be compiling the best songs of mine and outside songs and get a collection that suits me best, which I’ve never really had the chance to do. That’s something I’m really going to take my time on to put together."
Check out Darling's performance on "Rising Star" above.