This past weekend, locally born and raised in Jermyn PA, 21 year old Nashville Performing and Recording Artist, Dani-elle Kleha played her first stadium performance at Nissan Stadium in Nashville TN for the 2017 Josie Music Awards and took home, for the second year in a row, “Female Artist of the Year”
Dani-elle Kleha will be the first to tell anybody that being from a small town should never hold a person back from pursuing their life’s passion. The singer and songwriter from tiny Jermyn, Pennsylvania has proven that talent and hard work can lead to incredible successes even in an industry with roots in a city more than 800 miles away.
To put this into perspective, this is a 21-year-old woman who has already performed as a pre-opening act for some of the biggest names in country music. She has co-written with a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has performed at one of Music City’s most popular venues during the legendary CMA Fest. And Dani-elle has managed to do all of that while living in a small Pennsylvania town with a population of only two-thousand people.
Like many children, Dani-elle showed an early affinity for music, and took an interest in singing even before she was able to read lyrics. Her first public performance, at only three-years-old, went off without a hitch because her mother helped Dani-elle memorize the words by playing the song repeatedly on a cassette. Dani-elle sang Alabama’s “Angels Among Us” as part of a Sunday school Christmas show at her church.
“I can actually remember singing on the altar and thinking how cool that moment was,” she remembers. “Since that day, there has never been anything else that I wanted to do.”
Fast forward nearly seventeen years later and that same little girl was all grown up performing her own music as a pre-opener for country music superstar Darius Rucker. The show at Montaga Mountain included another major act, Thousand Horses, at a time when the band’s hit single “Smoke” was sitting at #1 on the country music charts. By the end of that summer, Dani-elle was part of pre-opening acts for shows headlined by artists such as Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. She also opened for Jon Muessigmann and Audra Mclaughlin, both finalists on NBC’s The Voice.
The opportunity to perform at those shows left Dani-elle with many precious memories.
“It was great being in front of so many country music fans who were so into my music,” she recounts. “It is an incredible feeling when you hit a stage like that and see so many fans having such an awesome time because of your music. And just being able to be a pre-opener for those people that I look up to in this industry, was an honor and blessing in itself.”
Performing live has also allowed Dani-elle to fulfill other dreams, including playing at one of Nashville’s most revered venues: Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge during CMA Fest.
“I performed at four different venues during CMA Fest and each one of them had a vibe of their own but Tootsie’s was really special,” she says. “Standing on a stage where so many legends have stood before me was incredible and I got to meet fans of mine from a bunch of other states who were in town for the festival.”
“I gain more team members and friends through the companies that we are working with,” Dani-elle says. “That makes me happier than I could ever explain.”
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