Music Spotlight: Hillary Reese

Hillary Reese comes from a big sports family in Mississippi full of coaches and teachers. But she and her brother both desired to do music instead. (Her brother, Parker, has a degree in Music Education.)

“We were not coordinated and couldn’t throw a ball to save our lives.” Her older brother was very passionate about music, and she bounced off that.

When she was a young girl, her mother encouraged her to be in the local talent show. When she didn’t get into the choir, her mother enrolled her in voice lessons at nearby Rock U 2 Performing Arts School.

She cited artists like Carrie Underwood and Loretta Lynn as examples of women she aspired to emulate. These strong women have shown her that you should never give up and that you should always stay true to yourself.

At Rock U 2, Reese learned to sing and play guitar, and soon after she taught herself to play the piano.

She recounted, “Once I started taking lessons performing is all I wanted to do.”

At only 8 years old, she emerged on the music scene through a series of viral Facebook videos, which fast-tracked to millions of views and a loyal following of over 300,000 fans.

You can find a video of 10-year-old Reese singing Sugarland’s “Stay” on YouTube that is truly remarkable.

She reported, “I didn’t even know the videos were going viral because my mother had the account for me. She wanted me to stay focused on my education. When I was making these videos, I thought that just my family and people in my hometown were watching.”

Because she didn’t do sports, there wasn’t a lot to do, and making videos was an outlet where the tween could have fun doing something she loved.

At about the same time, Reese started going to Nashville and started to realize that singing could be more than just a hobby but an actual career.

Her mother asked her, “Hillary do you want to do this?”

“I was never forced to do any of this,” she explained.

That is when Reese and her mother started making regular trips to Tennessee.

She explained, “I saw people who were doing it. Obviously, they were older than me, but I had something to look up to. That’s when I said ‘OK, I want to pursue this full-fledged.’”

By the time she was 11, she started meeting with producers and writers as they tried to get it all figured out.

She dove into songwriting and co-wrote the songs, “When the Smoke Clears,”  “Wildfires,” and my personal favorite, “Woman Upstairs” which alludes to what it would be like if God were a woman.

“I loved doing [Women Upstairs] because it was true blue country, which is what I am,” she touted.

The songstress has since collaborated with industry heavyweights including Dolly Parton’s producer, Kent Wells, and Jeff Huskins, who also produced her latest single, “All the Good Ones are Crazy.” Written by Reese, Josh Courson, and Jason Hamor, “All the Good Ones are Crazy” was released in August of 2022 along with a video that has amassed over 227,000 views and nearly as many listens on streaming platforms.

Written by Jimmy Ritchey, her latest single, “Beautiful Mistake,” is a bittersweet ballad that reflects on a lost love. At only 16 years old, the rawness and sincerity in Hillary’s voice capture a maturity often not found in one so young.

When I heard it, I thought, “Yes, this is the sound I love. This is what I want my country music to sound like.”

She said of the single, “I’m really adamant about being a songwriter on all my songs. But when I got this one, I knew within the first two lines that I had to sing this song. This song was meant for me to sing because it resonated with me that much.”

Even though she is so young, she can still relate to the broken heart.

She expounded, “The broken heart doesn’t have to be about a boyfriend. It can go with so many different things whether it’s family members or friends. As you go through different seasons of your life, people aren’t going to be there forever. People of all ages will be able to relate to [this song].

The video for “Beautiful Mistake” was released on February 17th. It is sure to be a fan favorite and will likely propel the teen’s popularity even further.

I, for one, am thrilled to know that the young Reese’s voice is both authentic and traditional sounding at the same time, even though her song lyrics are modern and current. It lets me know the future of country music is in very good hands. I am excited to watch her career unfold.

You can follow Hillary Reese on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and all streaming platforms.

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Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blogInstagram, and Twitter.

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