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Clark State expands tuition discount for military families

Maggie Rose blooming on the country stage

She will open for Gretchen Wilson.

Maggie Rose enjoyed a fairy tale beginning to her country music career. She’s taking the longer road on her way to the top, but the pace is good.

Rose will open for Gretchen Wilson during her appearance at the Clark State Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Friday.

She was a 19-year-old college student on her way to economics class when her cellphone rang. The man on the other end said his name was Tommy Mottola.

Mottola is a music business legend, a protege to pop stars such as Hall and Oates, Mariah Carey, John Mellencamp and Carly Simon among others. Rose found it unbelievable.

“I thought it was a prank. He was working with one of my investors and said he would like me to do some demos.”

Rose never made it to economics class that day and with her parents’ blessing moved to Nashville.

While it was a great beginning worthy of a movie, sometimes the fast track can lead to a quick disappearance. Rose hasn’t minded taking her time.

“It’s been way better this way,” she said.

She’s written numerous songs and released a pair of singles that made the charts but didn’t launch her career.

Following on the fairy tale theme, Rose’s big break was for, appropriately, Disney. She was asked to record songs two Disney Channel series, which got her recognized in 2011.

“It was very cool to hear my voice in that context, featured for a young audience and maybe they’ll stick with me as my audience,” she said.

The next year saw Maggie Rose’s big breakthrough with the single, “I Ain’t Your Mamma,” a memorable addition to classic country titles, and what’s become her signature song.

“What’s fun is to see the audience singing the chorus,” she said.

A follow-up single, “Better,” also got strong airplay, leading to her first album, “Cut to Impress,” released last spring. It was the culmination of five years of writing and crafting.

“I’m pretty lucky having great people who are passionate about my career,” said Rose. ”They asked me who I wanted to be, how I want to evolve and grow.”

Although she’s still considered an up and coming artist, Rose is a veteran of playing the Grand Ole Opry, with 14 appearances to her credit.

Being able to tour with and learn from seasoned pros such as Wilson, Gary Allan and Sheryl Crow has been another plus.

Wilson will follow Maggie Rose with a mix of her country hits and some rock ‘n’ roll covers from a recent CD.

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