Steps Toward Stardom

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Statistically, the odds of becoming a famous singer are one in 10,000.

Ironton native and Ohio University Southern student Bobbi Tussey doesn’t look to defy the odds, she just wants to be that one.

Tussey has been singing since she was able to talk, playing piano since age 5 and three years ago, started playing guitar. Her favorite instrument, however, is the one she’s had since birth.

“I just love to sing,” she said. “I always have.”

Tussey makes no secret about the fact she wants to make it big as a singer. The OUS freshman has yet to declare a major because she feels when she hits it big as a singer, her college coursework won’t matter much.

Neither her mother, Mary Ann, nor her father, Leslie, play an instrument or sing, something she feels makes her love of music even that much more interesting.

“Usually people who sing, write songs or play instruments were influenced by someone who did the same,” she said. “But I didn’t. Mine was just kind of always there.”

Her mother was the person who encouraged her piano lessons, and to this day, Tussey says her parents are her biggest supporters and her mother is her biggest fan who has been with her every step of the way on her journey, which has taken some unexpected turns lately.

While auditioning for Ohio Idol at Kettering High School, organizers from Columbus-based Groove U, a music career-oriented school focused on developing musicians, noticed Tussey.

“The people from Groove U travel around to festivals, fairs and other events looking for talented people,” she said. “They asked me to enter a contest called 1 Take Wonder, and I did.”

Tussey not only entered the contest, she won.

She performed two original songs, “Do I Move On?” accompanied by piano, and “Coty” accompanied by guitar. Tussey played the instruments on both songs.

“I wrote the song for the piano the night before the competition,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect or what was going to happen.”

The name 1 Take Wonder is derived from the contest’s rule that performers get only one chance to perform.

“One of the judges cried after my performance,” she said. “Performing a song I wrote makes people’s reaction mean much more. I don’t understand performing a song I didn’t write. I want people to feel how I feel.”

Tussey says one of her favorite recording artist is the late Amy Winehouse, and says people often compare her singing to British superstar Adele. As far as songwriting goes, she has only been doing that for the past year or so.

She placed in Ohio Idol’s top 100 but winning 1 Take Wonder she feels showed her true talent.

“Two people who finished higher than me at Ohio Idol are currently touring,” she said. “I beat both of them at 1 Take Wonder.”

For her victory, Tussey received a one-year membership to the Columbus Songwriters Association and will soon record a studio version of “Do I Move On?” that will be available for download on iTunes around the first of the year.

As for now, Tussey plans to keep striving toward her goals, just as she has in the past.

“I have auditioned for American Idol twice, once in Charlotte and once in Pittsburgh,” she said. “I auditioned for America’s Got Talent in Columbus, too. When I was in Charlotte I was on the local news there. People think I’m pretty good. I will always continue auditioning.”

In January Tussey will make a trip to Nashville, Tenn., to audition for NBC’s The Voice and in February she will try again for America’s Got Talent in Indianapolis. It doesn’t seem as if her determination to become a professional singer will soon fade.

“If I have to make YouTube videos and try to get views, I will,” she said.

Article republished with permission from The Ironton Tribune