15-year-old Katie Smith to perform June 21 at Emerald of Siam

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJune 18, 2014 

Katie Smith has been performing music for a decade. And now, at 15, she's determined to find a way to Nashville and get a recording contract.

You might have caught the Richland teenager's act at last year's Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo where she had her own two-hour performance on a small stage.

And, a couple of years ago, Smith opened for the band Hinder at the fair, singing The Star-Spangled Banner.

"Katie has been singing since the age of 5, performing in all the normal places -- home, church and school," said her mother Brandee Osborn.

If you haven't yet heard Katie, she performs from 5 to 8 p.m. June 21 at the Emerald of Siam at the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland. There is no cover.

"Katie is a quite phenomenally talented singer/songwriter," said Dara Quinn, owner of the Emerald. "She plays guitar, piano and sings beautifully."

She performs mostly cover songs from the current list of country and pop recording stars.

Smith, a junior at Hanford High, says music takes up a huge part of her life.

"I live to make people happy," she said. "And singing does that for me. I would love to someday try out for The Voice or American Idol. But I'm happy just being able to play at clubs and events around the Tri-Cities for now."

She dreams of a career in music and plans to study at Belmont University in Nashville after she graduates from high school.

In the meantime, she also stays busy performing in theater productions with the Academy of Children's Theatre and Hanford High.

She has written several songs but performs just one, For You, for audiences.

"I've wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember," Smith said. "Singing has always been a gift and my only desire has been to make a life out of my music and share my passion."

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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