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Rooted in Country: Emma White Says Patty Griffin's 'Let Him Fly' Was Her 'North Star'

Susan Berry

While Baltimore, Maryland-born country singer-songwriter Emma White grew up loving country music, she didn't always visualize herself as a country singer. White, who released her EP The Actress in 2019,  says the song "Let Him Fly," written and recorded by Patty Griffin and later covered by The Chicks, helped her find her voice.

"'Let Him Fly' -- written by Patty Griffin and recorded by The Chicks - is probably my favorite country song," White tells Wide Open Country. "It was the first song I learned that made me realize I had the voice to sing country music. It was also the first time I connected with a lyric and was aware of what I was singing. When you're young, you just sing along and try to hit the same notes your favorite singer is hitting. With 'Let Him Fly,' I felt I could sing it and mean it. I grew up singing a lot of R&B and pop, but this song was sort of the north star that led me to country."

"Let Him Fly" was featured on Griffin's 1996 album Living With Ghosts and was later recorded by The Chicks for their 1999 album Fly.

Read More: Rooted in Country: Harper Grae on Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss' 'Whiskey Lullaby'

After witnessing firsthand the sexism and gender inequality facing women in the country music industry, White launched her own record label, Whitehouse Records. She recently released "Thirties"  and "Mothers & Daughters," a tender ode to her mother.

 

Now Watch: Tina Turner Began Her Solo Career as a Country Singer

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Rooted in Country: Emma White Says Patty Griffin's 'Let Him Fly' Was Her 'North Star'