It’s nearly impossible to explain the exceptional talents of EmiSunshine, the 13-year-old prodigy from East Tennessee who has captured the nation’s attention and enchanted hearts-a-many with her musical wizardry.
Born Emilie Sunshine Hamilton, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been surrounded by family members who possess a genuine love for “salt-of-the-earth,” mountain melodies and lyrics. Emi embraced the classic country, blues and folk music that echoed throughout her Madisonville, TN home.
Steeped in Appalachian music, Emi is a true vocal stylist. Influenced by legends (Loretta Lynn/Tanya Tucker/ TheLouvin Brothers), she is a throwback to earlier eras of country music when trendsetters like Bessie Smith, June Carter, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams made history. The sassy, strikingly powerful, ultra entertainer is bound and determined to follow in their footsteps, and while she has some pretty big shoes to fill, this little lady fits the bill.
Emi launched her professional career performing at churches, community outings and local festivals. It’s the spectacular 2014 performance at a Tennessee flea market that skyrocketed her career to become a worldwide phenomenon when a video of her stage show went viral on YouTube. Since her breakout at just nine years old, Emi has garnered more than 14 Million YouTube views and a half million Facebook followers.
Emi’s indescribable and inexplicable talents have taken the world by surprise. The witty songwriter self-produces all of her music (live and in the studio). Emi plays a wailing guitar; she can make the mandolin cry and the ukulele sing. Her ability to combine her youthful, bubbly disposition with deep, meaningful and rather dark song content brings her imagination to life. While her music as been described as “old-timey,” she adds her own unique, contemporary blend of roots music that is equal parts Americana, Bluegrass, Gospel and Country, with a sprinkle of Blues and a whole lot of “shock factor.” Described as a “modern-day Janis Joplin,” she delivers vivid emotion with every spine-chilling, spirited yet haunting note.
The crooner now plays more than 50 dates a year backed by a group made up of those closest to her. Her father plays upright bass, her brother (John Letner) accompanies her on mandolin and “Uncle Bobby” Hill plays drums. The fearless entertainer has performed on The Today Show and The Grand Ole Opry (more than a dozen times), at The Ryman and numerous renowned festivals (CMA Fest and Merle Fest) making evident her confident musical direction.
The EmiSunshine bandwagon is loaded with adoring fans numbered in the millions from all over the globe. Personal musical heroes have been captivated by her commanding stage presence; Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Tim McGraw, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart and The Grateful Dead (to name just a few) have stepped forward to sing the praises of EmiSunshine as her biggest applauders.