REBECCA LYNN HOWARD
Rebecca’s songwriting career
Songwriter, musician, and singer Rebecca Lynn Howard began receiving significant country radio play with “Forgive,” the first single from her second album of the same name. The recording established her as a younger-generation heir to such female pop country artists as Faith Hill and Shania Twain due to Howard’s physical attractiveness and her ability to record songs that blur the distinctions between country and pop. Her crossover success, however, also reveals a knack for writing strong songs that defy easy distinctions between hardcore country, pop music, New Country, and gospel. Possessing a powerful voice, she has been compared to Trisha Yearwood and Patty Loveless, Howard also writes songs that have been recorded by Yearwood, John Michael Montgomery, Lila McCann, and Jessica Andrews.
Howard was born in Salyersville, Kentucky. She began playing piano when she was six years old, wrote her first song at age seven, learned guitar at age ten, and picked up the fiddle when she was 14 years old. “It was truly fascinating to me how you could take chords and make up your own song. I didn’t understand the concept fully, but I knew how to make everything relate somewhat. I was like an old soul in this little girl’s body.” She commented, “I never thought those songs were any good, but it was the most natural thing for me to start writing. It was just like breathing.”
With a minimal use of vibrato, Howard’s voice clearly enunciates the lyrics of her songs in a style that CountryStars.com describes as an “unadorned style [that] displays a pitch-perfect purity that glides and soars as the songs demand.” She explained to the writer: “I think that pureness goes back to my bluegrass background. I’ve really worked hard at establishing a style that doesn’t sound like anything else.
Howard has performed with artists Martina McBride, John Michael Montgomery, Ricky Van Shelton, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, and Kenny Rogers. She relocated permanently to Nashville when she was 17, signed to Rising Tide Records when she was 18, and recorded the song “Softly and Tenderly” for the label’s soundtrack album to the Robert Duvall film The Apostle.
Howard wrote or cowrote ten of the 12 songs on her debut album, Rebecca Lynn Howard. Two of the album’s songs were later recorded by Trisha Yearwood, both ballads written by Howard: “I Don’t Paint Myself into Corners” and “Melancholy Blue.” Yearwood’s renditions of the songs appeared on her Inside Out album. Howard’s debut also features “Tennessee in My Windshield,” a song detailing Howard’s arrival in Nashville.
Following the release of her debut album, Howard provided backing vocals to Dolly Parton’s bluegrass album Little Sparrow, the Patty Loveless album Strong Heart, and the Jim Brickman album Simple Things. For her second album, Forgive, Howard worked again with Mark Wright, and Trey Bruce, co-writer of her hit song “Forgive.” She appeared on the television drama Providence, performing “Forgive.”
A two-time Grammy Winner, Rebecca’s self written duet with Jim Brickmans “Simple Things”, peaked at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Her music videos include “When My Dreams Come True”, “Out Here in The Water”, “Forgive”, and “That’s Why I Hate Pontiacs.”
“When I first started, I had all these vocal techniques,” she told CountryStars.com. “Now I just concentrate on singing the song with conviction. Having experienced what I have in my life, I don’t take anything for granted. I just want to pour my heart into my music.”