Rachel Holder not only asked, but Vince Gill accepted. The rising star and the superstar went on to make musical magic that evening. Now fans are saying, “Here comes Rachel Holder” — a talented teen with real mass appeal and bold enough to go where few country singers have gone before — straight into the movies.
The 18-year-old newcomer who lives near Cleveland not only signed with the Nashville-based independent label All Entertainment and released a special holiday single titled “Christmas Eve,” she recently wrapped up filming the upcoming made-for-TV movie “Decisions,” where she plays a teenage girl with a crush on the lead actor.
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty said she is excited about her debut film role and the release of her holiday single, “Christmas Eve.” The song is already available at digital outlets such as iTunes and Amazon.com and will be shipped to networks, including CMT, as well as to “Country radio” online.
The video for “Christmas Eve,” was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Amanda Van Sandt and shot in Chattanooga. For several months Rachel has been recording material with producer, manager and industry veteran Chuck Howard, who works with LeAnn Rimes, Hank Williams Jr., Trick Pony and Bomshel.
Howard said, “It takes a special artist to pull off a song like ‘Christmas Eve,’ and Rachel definitely captures the essence of that song. I already knew she was an incredibly gifted and versatile singer, but I can’t wait for everyone else to hear it. She certainly brings the Christmas spirit alive with her merry vocal ability.”
In 2008, Rachel’s vocal ability was apparent to all when she attended an intimate Vince Gill concert with her parents at the Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga. Between songs, the 15-year-old aspiring singer raised her hand and boldly but politely asked to join the superstar on stage to sing a duet.
“My friend and I were sitting in the second row and I made a bet with him that I would ask Vince if I could sing a duet with him,” said Rachel. “I stood up and asked and Vince said yes! I was so anxious to get on that stage. I had butterflies in my stomach. I couldn’t wait to get up there. He is such a great person and an amazing artist.”
Moments later the two were bringing down the house with a version of “Oklahoma Swing.” That evening Rachel earned the respect and thunderous applause of a surprised audience. Of course, none of them knew that when Rachel was only 13 she landed her first job performing in a theater called Ole Smokey Hoedown in Pigeon Forge, doing 4 to 5 shows a week.
At 14, she became a part of the “Country Tonight” show, performing two shows a day, where it was voted best show in Pigeon Forge at the time.
Having performed more than 800 Broadway-style musicals in Pigeon Forge, before pursuing her country music career full-time, Rachel was perfect for the role of “Kathy Ann” in “Decisions,” directed by Tom Makowski.
“In the new movie I play a 16-year-old girl who has a crush on the lead guy, who is a troubled teen that gets led to the right direction,” said Rachel.
“She tries to help him through his troubles and difficulties in high school. I tried out for the movie for director Tom Makowski and after the audition he called (Record Producer) Brad Allen and told him I got the part.”
According to Rachel, her character in the film is very similar to her real-life personality which she instantly identified with.
“She’s a very outgoing high school teenage girl and I’m a very outgoing teenage girl myself,” said Rachel. “I was homeschooled for the last years of high school but I still dealt with teenage drama and real-life situations. During those times you start to find out who you are.”
What is noticeable about Rachel Holder is that the gifted singer-songwriter already knows who she is and what she wants.
“My main passion will always be music — no matter what,” said Rachel. “Music is my entire life. I couldn’t live with out it. Right now I want to continue to focus on this. If the timing and the opportunity to do another movie comes along I will certainly consider it.”
With her holiday single hitting the airwaves and a feature film already in the can, Rachel seems bound to becoming a breakthrough artist in 2011.
When asked which singers and actors she would enjoy working with, Rachel said, “I would love to star with Hillary Duff or Ashton Kutcher. Of the five people I would love to sing a duet with the most — that would be Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Beyonce and George Strait.”
Rachel was a featured artist at the Aristo Center Stage Party Nov. 8, at The Stage On Broadway in Nashville. She performed an abbreviated acoustic set for music industry insiders and the international media in town for the CMA Awards. She said she is hoping her fans in Cleveland will support her music and movie career.
“I live very close to Cleveland,” Rachel said. “I’m always in town there shopping. I have played venues and even opened for Crossing Dixon in Cleveland. I have a lot of great friends there.
“Plus my twin cousins, Jonathan and Joseph Martin, go to Cleveland Middle School. So I’m always going there to see them play sports. The people in Cleveland are so nice and generous. I have a lot of wonderful, supportive people and fans from Cleveland.”
While she has started to make her mark in the music and movie industry, Rachel said all people are gifted in some special way and should strive to discover and then tap into their own unique abilities.
“I believe everyone is born with different talents such as singing, acting, playing football or baseball, fashion designing or something else. Everyone has some unique ability about themselves. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Everyone has something beautiful about them inside and out,” she said.
According to Adelaide Yoder, with public relations at AristoMedia, Rachel has won 10 North America Country Music Awards international awards.
For further information and to view her latest video, visit www.rachelholder.com.