She'll rock the stage Friday, April 12.
Billboard Charts-topping country star Sylvia Hutton, joined with four other talented storytellers, will bring some Nashville heat to the Smyrna Opera House on Friday, April 12.
Sylvia was one of the most revered women in country music during her tenure as a solo artist with RCA Records, from 1979 to 1987.
She sold more than 4 million records, and dropped five albums with a dozen no. 1 and top-10 hits. The artist won multiple awards, including the Academy of Country Music’s Female Vocalist of the Year and Billboard’s no. 1 Country Female Artist.
In 2016, Sylvia released the album “All In The Family.” These days, not only does she still rock the stage, but she’s also a certified career and life coach, servicing clients that range from executives to artists of all genres.
On Friday, she’ll share the stage with songwriters Sol Knopf (award-winning artist and Smyrna resident), Thom Schuyler (former chairman of the Country Music Association), Craig Bickhardt (whose songs were recorded by B.B. King, Ray Charles and Johnny Cash) and John Mock (who’s worked with Dolly Parton, Dixie Chicks and more).
You and Sol Knopf are friends, right?
Yes. I don’t know him well. I’ve met him through the years. I’m actually closer friends with Craig Bickhardt and Thom Schulyer. In fact, Thom Schulyer and I wrote several of the songs on my “All In The Family” record. I’ve known Thom and Craig for longer, and through them I met Sol.
How’ve you managed to have such a long career?
I don’t know that I can take credit for it, but there’s always been this deep desire to make music, to sing and be out in the world creating and performing music. It’s such a way to move into your heart. It’s so important to me to live my life from my heart.
How did you become a coach?
Back in the ‘80s, I was having a ball, making music, having hit records and living the dream. Of course, the dream never always is as you dream it. You only dream the wonderful parts. You don’t dream the thousands of miles on the road and being tired, and having a sore throat and having to do a show. You also don’t dream about the frustrations of the industry, dealing with the business side of it all.
The last year I got off the road at the end of the ‘80s and I began seeing a therapist and read a lot of self-help books. I realized a lot of the struggles I was having. I was always interested in psychology, though coaching isn’t psychology.
But I’ve always been interested in what makes people who they are, and why do we make such diverse types of choices, and “what’s up with humanity?” Going through my own processing of my life through that big change in my life, from being an RCA artist to going back into anonymity, is [something] which I wanted to do, by the way. I wanted to take a break from the whole celebrity thing. In so many ways it’s being toxic to this culture.
What’s an example of how you found fame to be toxic?
It’s not a real world, the way people treat you and put you on a pedestal. My approach to life is that we’re all equals. We may make different amounts of money and do different things in life, some more glamorous than others, but first and foremost, we’re all human beings with a soul, and we’re all equals.
There was always something very uncomfortable to me when people treated me like I was above them, or they were kind of nervous to meet me. I wanted to have genuine connections with people. Though it was beautiful and people were loving the music, I didn’t like the part of it where I felt like people weren’t seeing me for who I was. They saw the image on the front of the album cover and they thought that was me.
Celebrity in our culture just feels like people can tend to glamorize and begin to see the celebrities’ lives as better than the life they have. So often, people vicariously live their life through the celebrity’s life. There’s all the gossip magazines and a hyper focus on celebrity. I think it’s become a distraction for people to not even delve into their own minds [and figure out their own problems].