There is hope. Be strong. You are important. You have a talent.
Those are the messages that Ariel Hutchins wants to impart to youngsters whose lives are just the opposite.
The hope is provided by New Horizons, where the motto “Give them a chance to just be kids.”
Hutchins grew up in the foster care system, abandoned by her mother and not cared for by her grandmother. But she found a family in Cross Plains that rescued and encouraged her.
Today, she is making waves in Texas country music, having scored two big hits this year (“Win Won’t Work,” which went to No. 1 for a week, and “Showing Off” with Sundance Head). Another, “The Cowboy He Will Be,” is moving up on the Texas Regional Radio Report charts to No. 19.
“It’s about my son, who rodeos,” she said, smiling.
In fact, a banner for that song currently is on the chart’s website.
She is duking it out with stars such as Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Mike Ryan and two singers with local connections, Mark Powell and Aaron Watson.
Not bad for a gal who lived in Cross Plains.
There’s big a show in the offing, too.
Hutchins will be joining the musical lineup for Rehab 2022. Rising stars who have appeared on the annual January telethon often have gone on to stardom. Think Dixie Chicks in the 1990s and, more recently, Carly Pearce, who won Female Vocalist of the Year at the Country Music Awards earlier this month.
Hutchins recently performed her latest hit at the Texas Country Music Association awards show at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. She was nominated as top female artist, along established stars Bri Bagwell (who played Powell’s Farm Raise show in 2020) and Kylie Frey. The other two nominees were Holly Tucker and Morgan Ashley.
“It was awesome to even be in the same category,” said Hutchins, who has emerged as a music force only in the past year. “It was quite an adventure. It was a wonderful night.