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#LetTheGirlsPlay: Hailey Steele’s Star-Studded Journey to Nashville [Pictures]

A chance encounter with a Native American chief led to Loretta, and then Willie and Waylon and indirectly RaeLynn and Kelsea. Hailey Steele found music naturally, but her road to Music City and beyond needed a boost from a few famous friends.

Growing up in Madison, S.D., Steele thought she was a pretty big star, and she was. Any act that rolled through the area would learn Steele was opening the show. She boldy sat on Loretta Lynn‘s lap, sang to Willie Nelson and traveled to one of Waylon Jennings‘ final shows. Her family was made up of teachers and outdoorsmen, however, and while they were supportive, Steele admits they only knew how to do so much.

As if often the case with first generation artists, the path to success is peppered with a few more thorns. After an appearance on The Voice, a hit song (RaeLynn’s “Boyfriend”) and multiple albums, Steele can say she’s making it. Here she shows off some of her personal favorite polaroid pictures, taken from ages 10 to now. As a member of Song Suffragettes, this talented singer and songwriter is part of a community working as one to help women find success in the music industry. Fans can see her on many Monday nights at the Listening Room in Nashville.

Taste of Country and Song Suffragettes are partners in the #LetTheGirlsPlay movement, an initiative designed to give women a leg up in country music. Every month one artist is featured on Taste of Country. A photo journal follows an in depth interview and video performance. Look for #LetTheGirlsPlay cover songs every Sunday.

Watch: Hailey Steele Sings “Where I’d Thought I’d Be”

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