KELLY WILLYARD


Cat Cohen Alumni

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Kelly is an attractive country influenced singer and songwriter with a sexy raspy voice, an engaging personality, and a wild “Don’t Mess with Texas” attitude.   Kelly grew up just outside of Dallas in a town called Plano. At age 8, she landed a spot in the highly sought after singing group called The Younger Generation. It wasn’t until Kelly sang her first solo, Where is Love where she would bring the house down in tears. “I will never forget, the first time I sang this song, I was terrified, but my brother Jim, dared me too, so I did it. Kelly grasps for a breath of air as if she just relived the moment.  Kelly would continue landing solo spots in almost every show the select group would perform, while she continued singing in school musicals, church choir, and began playing the piano. Her devotion and love for music would continue through high school. Upon graduation, she received a myriad of music scholarships from various universities around Texas.

Kelly, however, decided to leave the Lone Star State to receive a vocal Performance degree at the University Of Colorado-Boulder, one of the top vocal performance schools in the country. She studied all genres of music including Opera, Musical Theater, Country, Jazz, and Rock-n-Roll.  

Shortly after receiving her degree, she moved further West to Los Angeles.  After a couple of years of small roles on TV shows and competing in a beauty pageant, she was crowned Ms. Petite California. She then had a desire to get back to her what put her on the map in the first place, her love for country music. She started singing in singer/songwriter venues in Hollywood such as Genghis Cohen, Highland Grounds, and  Hallenbeck’s, landing several spots on TV shows singing background vocals of Country Music including CBS’s Touched By An Angel .

The musical influences run deep in her family history.  Her great grandfather was a performer in the Vaudeville Shows and her brother Dave is a drummer, guitarist, and songwriter. In fact, Kelly writes with both her brother Dave and her mother Barbara Ann. "It’s easy to write with my mom she says, because we are so close. We finish each others thoughts all the time.” Kelly also worked with Rosemary Butler, who has coached many top country and pop acts.

 

Kelly recorded and released her self-titled debut album “Kelly Willyard” which contains unforgettable daring lyrics like The Fighter Pilot and powerful inspirational songs like A Beautiful Woman and I’m Chasing the Sun.  In addition, she throws a dash of humor in with songs like So Many Men, So little Time.   Willyard has also had her songs included in the ABC-TV show Beautiful People and in the indie film Conversations and Relationships From A Man’s Point O View.

“In order for me to sing a song it has to move me to tears, make me laugh, or make me wanna dance on the tables and shoot out the lights,” Kelly exclaims.

Kelly has studied keyboard accompaniment and music theory with Cat Cohen.  She also sang backup on his CD “Songs Of Survival and Sweet Surrender”.

You can find out more about Kelly at www.kellywillyard.com    

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