There is an undeniable division in Danielle Peck’s voice. A bluesy pull, a reluctant smokiness that, when it breaks, yields soaring, ringing, soul-stirring power and clarity. That tantalizing slow-pour tension is a fitting reflection of the artist herself. Is she an exuberant young country singer or an experienced and purposed entertainer? Is she the self-described “plain Jane girl next door” or a statuesque brunette bombshell? Is she a former waitress fighting for her big break or a prolific songwriter who contributed eight of 11 songs to her major label debut album? Danielle Peck is all that and much more - including the most-played debut female country artist of 2006.
Her self-titled debut release, preceded by the chart-rocketing first single "I Don't," revealed all the complexities associated with being a young woman making her way in a new millennium. As a songwriter, she's grounded enough to write a glowing affirmation like "Isn't That Everything” (a Top 30 hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart) and honest enough to acknowledge the emotional despair of a breakup on the album cut "Fallin' Apart." As a vocalist, she offers shades of her influences, sounding by turns as rooted in country as Reba McEntire or as slyly sexy as Shania Twain and Faith Hill. The sum of those seemingly divergent parts is, ultimately, a message, sound and style unique to Danielle Peck.
Born in Jacksonville, NC, the daughter of a U.S. Marine, Danielle grew up in Coshocton, OH, where the family had strong musical roots. Her mother’s side of the family traveled and sang in churches. Her father’s parents and grandparents were steeped in country music, playing dances in the area. Danielle could sing before she could talk and by the time she was three she would sit on a counter banging on pots and pans as her extended family played country music.
She wrote her first song before she was 10 and made cassette labels for her imaginary Danielle Peck records, complete with song titles and cover art. She sang in church both as a soloist and in the choir. At age 16, she joined a local band, the Neon Moon Band, and played bars in her native Coshocton, Ohio area.
"I wasn’t supposed to be in there (bars) because I was underage," she says, "so I had to dress older, act older, sneak in through the back door, do my show, and then slip out the back again before anyone could figure out I was underage! I never thought twice about it because singing was all I’d ever thought about doing from the time I was a little girl – I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to… and of course my dad was always close by just in case…"
"I was the girl singer," she says. "I would sing Reba and Trisha and a lot of Patsy Cline. We played weekends and hit the local summer fairs. While my friends were into sports – I was consumed with music." At 18, her dad bought her a sound & light system that the family jokingly referred to as her ‘college tuition’. When she graduated from high school, she hit the road leading her own band adding regional fairs and festivals to the schedule.
After several years on the bar and festival circuit Danielle made the decision to chase the dream and make the jump to Nashville. She quickly took a Nashville job waiting tables and spent the rest of her time working on her songwriting.
"I'd wake up at 8 in the morning, go and write songs until 2 in the afternoon, change clothes, work the restaurant until 2 or 3 in the morning, get up early the next morning and do it again," she says. "I became a Starbucks addict but I was having the time of my life! I was in Nashville, meeting people, starting to write with some great writers, I was loving every minute of it."
Soon after arriving in Nashville, Danielle secured a songwriting deal with Barbara Orbison’s Still Working Music where she honed her writing skills with some of the industries leading songwriters.
She was soon signed to a recording contract with DreamWorks Records by executive Scott Borchetta; however, Danielle's album was a casualty of that company's merger with Universal. Borchetta, however, wouldn't let his belief in her music die and when he later left Universal to form his own Big Machine Records, Danielle was one of his first signings.
The single release "I Don't" finally introduced country audiences to Danielle, and the response was overwhelming. The song became a Top 25 hit while her album debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top New Artists Albums chart. With her next single, “Findin’ a Good Man,” Danielle became one of only a handful of new female country artists -- including Carrie Underwood and Gretchen Wilson -- in the last three years to have a single enter the Top 15. She toured with Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, Big & Rich and opened dates for Diamond Rio, Montgomery Gentry, Jason Aldean and Trent Tomlinson. “Isn’t That Everything” became a Top 30 hit. Finally, Danielle topped off the year by being crowned the most-played debut female country artist of 2006.
“Bad For Me,” the new single off of Danielle’s forthcoming album, is a sassy and fun female lament about life’s juiciest and guiltiest pleasures – the things we know are bad for us, but love – and can’t stay away from nevertheless!
"Everything comes down to being real," she says. "Every song I do reflects something I’ve been through or something I’ve felt. My songs are my journals. Whatever I feel at the moment, whatever emotion I’m going through, is what I write about. When it's time to sing those song, whether it's on stage or in the studio, those feelings are right there."
And so the many facets of Danielle Peck -- a modern country girl, vulnerable and confident -- shine through in a way that's already capturing the ears and hearts of country fans nationwide.