LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 18, 2011) − Hannah Ellis, an Integrated Strategic Communication junior in the University of Kentucky's School of Journalism and Telecommunications, released her debut album, "Let It Be Me," on Dec. 13. The Campbellsville native received national attention for her single, "My Love (Let It Be Me)," when she won the Kentucky Future Farmers of America (FFA) state talent competition.
Ellis grew up in a musical family - her parents and sisters sing. While spending time at the Kentucky Center Governor's School for the Arts, she was encouraged to follow her dream. However, she didn't go for it until she saw "Hannah Montana: The Movie."
"It just struck such a chord with me. I cried from start to finish," Ellis said. "Music is my soul. It's a huge part of who I am. Singing is breathing to me."
Ellis said her whole family is behind her, but her father is able to help her and work with her and her music. So with the support of her family, Ellis and her father, David, took an unconventional path in the country music industry by releasing an album without a record label.
"It's so exciting. We're just doing it however we feel best. There's no how-to book," Ellis said.
Ellis plans on moving to Nashville in the future, but for now, she balances her career in Nashville with her schoolwork at UK.
"Being a student helps me not go crazy. It's nice to have a little bit of a break from the music, because I don't ever get burnt out on it," Ellis said. "I think I do a good job of meshing the two into one life."
Ellis plans to graduate from UK in May 2012, but if her career takes her in a different direction, she still wants to graduate down the road. "In an ideal world, I would get a record label in a year and a half when I graduate, and it would work out perfectly," she said.
Despite her dream to continue her country music career, Ellis remains grounded and appreciative of the opportunities she has already had. "It's a great life experience," she said. "If it stopped right now, if I couldn't do it anymore tomorrow, I loved everything I did."
For more information about Hannah Ellis and her music, go to http://hannahellismusic.com.