By Lexi Greenhill | Contributor
Texas country music artist and Baylor alumna Holly Tucker will be performing with her family at 8 p.m. today at The Backyard Bar, Stage and Grill. Family gatherings like the upcoming performance are not unusual in the Tucker family.
“Sometimes it is difficult to separate our family relationship from our working relationship,” said Shane Tucker, brother and tour manager for country music star Holly Tucker.
It’s been two and a half years since Holly graduated with a degree in communications from Baylor University, and it’s been four and a half years since she placed in the top 6 of NBC’s season four talent show “The Voice.”
Since “The Voice,” the 24-year-old singer has been gaining popularity in the Texas country music industry. She is currently on her “Steel” tour in which she has played 140 shows and participated in 75 media appearances. Additionally, she has opened for artists such as Willie Nelson, Kevin Fowler and Wade Bowen.
Despite her success, Holly said she stays grounded. She begins each day with a workout, and she can be seen running everyday errands around Waco in her black and pink leggings.
“I just feel like a normal girl,” Holly said. “I just feel like Holly.”
Her humble roots are found in her family, community and faith. She says a big part of her brand is authenticity.
“You have to know exactly who you are, and that’s what [my brand] starts with,” she said. “You have to know what you’re about, what your story is, what’s going to make up your press package that can go out to all the news stations and radio stations and whenever you’re playing live, so when people get to know you, they really feel like they know you.”
Ever since Holly was a little girl, her music career has been a family ordeal.
Her parents have had a strong impact on her music because they are the founders of an eighties Christian band named “Revised Edition.” Holly grew up singing in her church and competing in various talent competitions around Texas. By the time she reached the end of her freshman year of college, she had already recorded two full-length CDs.
“My parents have supported me since day one,” Holly said. “They’ve been here for every performance, every open mic night, every karaoke night and every songwriting experience. They’ve sacrificed so much so that I can pursue my passion.”
After her time on “The Voice,” Holly Tucker Music became a true family business. Her dad, Johnny Tucker, is the manager.
“Holly didn’t have a choice. She had to sign with me because I’m her dad,” Johnny said. “It was a natural progression for myself and her mom to help with the everyday workings of her career early on.”
For brother Shane, the progression wasn’t as natural, but it turned out to be the perfect fit.
“In my teenage years, I spent a lot of time away from my family doing my own thing and figuring out life,” Shane said. “This caused a bit of a distance in our relationship, but when she went on the show, I was just starting my school for venue and talent management, so I pretty much knew from then that we would be working together. Since we have started working together, we have developed a great relationship. Even though we don’t see eye-to-eye all of the time, we work through it all and are getting closer every day to conquering this crazy music business.”
Holly said her family is the biggest influence on her life and music. She is proud of the values they instilled in her, including community service and faith.
The country music star is known for giving back to the community. She has various leadership positions in the Waco area, including her role as the spokesperson for the McLennan County’s Community Cancer Association. Occasionally, she donates profits from her performances to McLennan County’s Community Cancer Association, dedicated to helping families affected by cancer.
Holly said she has been bleeding green and gold since she was three years old. Naturally, she has maintained a strong relationship with her alma mater. In 2013, Holly performed as the halftime entertainment at Baylor’s homecoming football game. She sings the national anthem for various Baylor sports each season, but she dreams about playing at the annual Baylor Traditions Rally one day.
Despite the difficulties that Baylor’s community has faced in the media recently, Holly is proud of the city and university that raised her.
“Always be proud of the place you came from. Baylor has given me so much as far as personal growth and spiritual growth,” Holly said. “If there’s any way for you just to keep that one thing in your heart, no matter if we’re having a winning season or a losing season, or if we are having problems at our university or if it’s successful times, just be proud of where you came from and don’t forget that. You’re a Baylor bear for a reason, and that’s always something to be proud of.”
Holly knows that she couldn’t have gotten this far without the support of her community. She is very thankful for those who have helped her each step of her career.
Several Baylor professors hold special places in Holly’s heart, especially those who gave valuable advice. One of her favorite professors is former communications professor Dr. Blair Brown.
“[Brown] was one of those professors you could tell cared and really wanted us to be good people in the world, not only to have successful careers past Baylor,” Holly said.
Holly always sings with a purpose. She says she feels a calling from the Holy Spirit to sing for his glory and to honor God in all that she does.
“There are some months and some quarters of the year when we’re just thinking to ourselves as a team like, ‘How are we going to make this?’” Holly said. “And it always blows our mind because right when we think that we’re not going to be able to do something or we’re not going to be able to take this opportunity, our faith comes into play and God has literally taken care of us. Exactly what we need, at exactly the right time.”
This isn’t the first time the public has seen Holly Tucker in thankful position. Four years ago on “The Voice,” Holly gave a moving rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”
This risky song suggestion by Holly’s mentor Blake Shelton came at a vital time when the country was hurting from the Moore, Oklahoma tornados of 2013, one of the deadliest in history.
Holly claims this performance as a defining moment both in her career and in the minds and hearts of those listening, because faith and healing were needed in such a painful circumstance.