July 15, 2011 at 9:36 am , by Ron Kelly
Who hasn’t dreamed of rolling the dice and taking a shot at becoming a music superstar? It’s a fantasy most of us have probably entertained at one time or another—even if (like me) you couldn’t carry a tune if somebody wrapped it up and put it in a shopping bag with reinforced handles. That’s why we’ve talked singer-songwriter Margaret Durante into being LHJ’s lady on the inside. Margaret is one of Nashville’s freshest new talents and she’s currently living the dream. She’s also getting a taste of the heady highs and lonely lows that come along with living far away from home while she tries to get a high-profile music career off the ground. In a series of guest blogs exclusively for our Ladies’ Lounge readers, Margaret will allow us all to live vicariously through her whirlwind experiences, both onstage and off. Get to know Margaret in her introduction, below, then welcome her to the LHJ family, post a show of support and be sure to check back for further installments of her wild ride.
Hey, readers! My name is Margaret Durante and I’m thrilled that Ladies’ Home Journal is giving me the opportunity to offer you all a behind-the-scenes peek into my adventures down in Nashville. I’m just your average 23-year-old daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece/best friend who also happens to be chasing down my dream of living in Music City and making a name for myself in the crazy music industry. I currently have a single on the radio called “Maybe Tonight” and I’m finishing my first album after living here for four years.
There are four women in my family of five, so an issue of LHJ was never hard to come by in my house as I was growing up. Having the chance now to take you all along on the ups and downs of my musical journey is surreal, and it all started when I teamed up with the folks at LHJ this past June. I joined them at an event they cohosted with CMT One Country on the eve of the 40th Annual CMA Festival, during which 10,000 country music fans descend upon Nashville to attend concerts, meet-and-greets, fan luncheons and a ton of other crazy events that celebrate everything country. That week was a huge deal to me as I’m still fairly new to the scene. It was so great to kick off the week working alongside other artists at this incredible LHJ/CMT event, preparing backpacks of food at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for hungry children who might not have the means to eat over the weekend or summer vacation. It was a wonderful way for us artists to remind ourselves that we are part of a community that can use our collective voices to call attention to helpful programs like this. (Click here if you want to help!)
Continue reading Margaret’s first installment after the jump …
The event also got me thinking about who I turn to in times when I need some extra support and I definitely look to my family—especially my two sisters and my mother, back home in the Washington D.C. area. Growing up in a family of women meant that a) my dad was and is a very lucky man, and b) I was able to (and still do) take full advantage of “the sisterhood.” And, no, I’m not talking about the Rebecca Wells novel, but more about the unconditional support system me, my mom and my sisters have developed. Luckily, my parents and sisters supported my choice to leave Clemson University in my sophomore year to pursue my music career after I had a promising meeting with former Sony Music executive Tommy Mottola. Sure, I’d done my homework, made some connections and built some relationships down in Nashville, so I felt as if I was making a sound decision, but I was still scared. Having my family’s approval meant so much to me. If they’d counseled me to stay in school, I’m not sure I would’ve gone against their wishes. Sometimes people ask me how my parents and family dealt with me making such a giant leap and I wonder if they were just in fact giving an Academy Award worthy performance so I could have some peace with my decision. Either way, they knew I’d already made up my mind and they let me go full steam ahead.
So here I am—a Nashville newcomer hanging on for dear life as I navigate the ups and downs of the industry. And I’ve discovered (just as I expected!) that this job is not for the faint of heart. Want a snapshot of what I’m talking about? My video for “Maybe Tonight” recently became eligible for fan voting on GAC’s Top 20 Countdown show. As a new artist, just the fact that I even qualified as a contender was thrilling. And then the unthinkable happened—I debuted at #1, beating out artists I’ve watched and admired long before I even moved to Nashville! I was on cloud nine that entire first week but then … poof! I dropped off the charts completely the very next week, which was hard to swallow after having been on such a high. It was a sucker punch of a letdown but my desire to push forward and the support I got from my family and friends helped me brush off the disappointment quickly. The very next week I cruised back into the countdown, landing in the #7 spot. Stay tuned to see where I wind up this week …
So, as you can see, every day is an adventure for me and I’m hoping you’re all up for coming along on my crazy ride. I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts with everyone here on the LHJ site, so I hope everyone’s ready to have some fun.
Until next time,
Categories: Do Good, Entertainment, Family, Fun, Ladies' Lounge, Relationships | Tags: CMT, country music, Feeding America, GAC, Margaret Durante, Maybe Tonight, Nashville, Second Harvest, Tennessee | 6 Comments
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