Music

Country Rewind: Pre-Fame Trisha Yearwood Appeared on TNN Singing Competition

Long before American Idol champions Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood set the bar high in Hollywood for singing competition winners, Trisha Yearwood chased Nashville stardom as a contestant on the 1988 season of TNN's You Can Be a Star.

The Jim Ed Brown-hosted series ran on TNN from 1983 to 1989 (spinoff series Be a Star lasted until 1992). Another small-town Georgia native with big country music dreams, Alan Jackson, appeared on the show a few seasons prior to Yearwood's first time on national television. Before that, Randy Travis couldn't get past the show's audition phase.

Back then, Yearwood was a Belmont University graduate, demo singer, MTM Records intern and Country Music Hall of Fame tour guide with no clue that by 1991, she'd have a much different position in the music business thanks to debut single "She's in Love With the Boy." Yearwood didn't quite own the stage in 1988 like she did while promoting new albums Let's be Frank and Every Girl, but there's no denying that her God-given talent as a vocalist was on full display.

Yearwood ultimately finished second place on You Can Be a Star. The next year, she sang backup vocals on another unknown country singer named Garth Brooks' debut album (and again on 1990's No Fences). Her own self-titled debut country album for MCA Records followed in 1991.

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Since the '80s, Yearwood and Brooks became way more than just duet partners and Facebook Live personalities, and her cable television reach now includes the Food Network cooking show Trisha's Southern Kitchen. As for her country music star aspirations, she's a Grand Ole Opry cast member and a three-time ACM, CMA and Grammy award-winner with five former No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

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Country Rewind: Pre-Fame Trisha Yearwood Appeared on TNN Singing Competition