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"During those years, I put all my feelings into my music. I've always expressed myself through my music, my emotions and my thoughts. I never really kept a diary. My diary was always my writing book. I would a lot of times translate out my emotions and you wouldn't literally be able to read them out as my own experience. I liked to escape my personal life through my music. Music was all I ever had. I would play 'til my fingers were bruised, and I loved it!"

"If I hadn't had a childhood career, I probably would have signed a contract with the first person I came across. When you start young, the novelty goes away. You're not enamored of the stardom."

"As far as my career as a child, the only music we had in the house for me to learn from were eight-track country tapes. (That became her repertoire at the clubs to which she was taken starting when she was eight.) I never liked any of that (she has said, referring in part to her parents' practice of waking her to sing at local bars after she'd fallen asleep) I liked singing, but I didn't understand why I had to do it in the middle of the night. Coming from a poor family, the only thing that's going to get your children anywhere is to just push like hell. And that's what my mother did."

"I was listening to Stevie Wonder; I listened to the Bee Gees; to classical; to everything. So I really wanted to draw from everything, but country was all my parents ever knew . . . so I was a little country girl with this huge guitar that was bigger than I was. My whole repertoire was country. . . [And] it was a serious career for me. My parents were managing me as if I was a child professional. My mother explained it by saying I had to get some stage presence. They'd create dialogue for me. That's my dues paying."

"Up until I was a recording artist, I sang whatever paid the bills... I really thought that as a poor kid I would never make it. That's a part of me I want to try and keep. I think it keeps things in perspective. It keeps you from expecting too much and being let down."

"I can't say I honestly thought I was good. But I knew I loved it. I never thought I would become a good performer, because I was so petrified."


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