Joanna Smith

Joanna Smith: Over

Singer-songwriter Joanna Smith grew up in the small town of Crestview, Ga., where her family has a working farm called Cherokee Rose Ranch. With her country music aspirations already apparent at age 5, she drew inspiration from female vocalists, including the Judds, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. In Georgia, she entered numerous singing competitions to hone her stage skills. After graduating from high school, she abandoned a full scholarship to Auburn University to join an all-female band in Nashville. The band never found success, but Smith remained in Nashville and continued writing songs and singing demos for songwriters and publishers to pitch to established artists. She eventually signed her first publishing deal and landed two songs on Billy Ray Cyrus' Home at Last album. Still craving the thrill of performing live, she earned a regular performance slot at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, the legendary honky-tonk in downtown Nashville. The tenure was beneficial in helping her land a recording deal with Sony Music Nashville in 2009 and a new publishing deal with Sony/ATV-Monument. "Gettin' Married," the first single from her Columbia Nashville debut album, was released in the summer of 2010.