Aaron Kelly’s story is one of promise, determination, hard work, and triumph. All of his success began with a childhood dream.
Aaron Kelly was born in Sarasota, Florida but was raised in Sonestown, Pennsylvania, the town in which he calls home. Aaron has always felt as though singing was his calling, that he was born to perform. He began his journey as a professional singer at just nine years old. At age eleven he landed a spot on “America’s Most Talented Kid” and continued his television performances by finishing 5th on American Idol season 9. These were not the only television shows Aaron was a part of. He also starred on The Ellen Show and Good Morning America. He has also opened for acts such as Charlie Daniels, Loretta Lynn, Emerson Drive, Little Big Town, The Marshall Tucker Band, and many others. Aaron Kelly has turned a childhood dream into a reality. His dedication and talent has lead him to stardom. Ranging from hundreds to millions, Aaron has performed for audiences of all kinds, leading to a large following of fans. When interviewing Aaron, it was very clear that his fans are the most important part of his career. He states “my fans are the reason I get to do this every day.”
The love and support from his fans are what keep Aaron succeeding. I asked Aaron “Do you feel as though fame has changed who you are as a person?” and he responded with no. He stated that although he doesn’t feel as though it changed him, he does appreciate that he has the ability to change people’s lives and “help people on another level.” He is extremely committed to helping his community. He has performed for wholesome causes such as Relay For Life, Magical Memories for Children, American Cancer society and others, his goal being to bring joy to those who are struggling. Aaron has always believed that singing was what he was meant to do in this life, but like any other success story, Aaron never believed he would be where he is now.
When asked “Looking back on your childhood, did you imagine you would be where you are now, then?” Aaron answered “Never.” Unlike some famous singers, Aaron had no formal training. He knew all along that he needed to do something with his talent, he just never knew what. His likelihood for success increased the more he performed and that is still true today. Aaron says “there is a level of disbelief that it is happening to you.” Although, there is no disbelief from his fans as his talent is rare. Knowing this, Aaron has never pursued any other careers. Aaron tried working regular, 9-5 jobs but as he stated in our interview “every avenue points back to the stage. Other things never felt right” He once wanted to be a photographer because from a young age he felt as though he didn’t “look at things like other people would.” Despite his creativity in photography, his path still lead to singing and he applies his out-of-the-box thinking to his original songs. Aaron spends a lot of time in Nashville, writing originals and also co-writing with many big names in music such as Bobby Braddock, Frank Meyers, Doug Johnson, Dave Henry and many others. One of his originals “It’s Gonna Rain” was inspired from a traumatic experience he endured as a child. At age 12, Aaron’s favorite uncle died in a car accident and that song stems from the pain and growth that Aaron went through with his uncle’s death. Some of Aaron’s other inspirations include musical sensations such as Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, The Beatles, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood. He has a broad range of interests but most lead back to his love for traditional country music.
Aaron has performed for crowds of all sizes. His first performance was at an elementary school talent show where there was just a small number of people, whereas when he hit Idol, there were millions of people watching him. Therefore, I decided to ask Aaron where he favorite place to perform was and his answer was simple and extremely meaningful: home. When performing home, the local venues hold fans that are loyal and have been with Aaron since the beginning of his career, before American Idol and before his fame. As stated previously, his fans are the most important part of his career.
Although Aaron was born in Sarasota, Florida, Sonestown, Pennsylvania is what he calls his hometown. Named after the Sonestown Covered Bridge, Sonestown is a town in Sullivan county. Sonestown was founded in 1843 and as of 1996, the population was that of only 200 people. Although this town has not been included in any recent census, the town does remain small and holds many Aaron Kelly fans. Being on a stage in front of millions of people, performing for The Ellen Show and other massive audiences could make some upcoming singers forget where they came from. Sometimes, fame changes priorities but not with Aaron Kelly. No matter where he pursues his career, no matter how far he strays, he always finds his way back home to his loyal fans. This displays just a small portion of Aaron’s love for home.
Like most singers, Aaron plans on expanding his career as the years continue. In five years, Aaron plans to be just as successful or even more so than he is already. His goal is to have a growing, dedicated team in which every member shares the same ambitions and holds the same love for music as he does. He hopes to be part of a larger stage with a band behind him that is excited, happy and dedicated. As much as his life seems glamorous all the time, he disclosed to me that it is not always fun and games. To continue to grow and succeed as an artist means to never lose your drive or dedication. It takes a very strong and hardworking person to not give up in an industry such as this where it is very easy to be discouraged. He maintains his homegrown, soulful spirit despite any obstacle. I asked Aaron if there was anything else he wanted to say before I concluded the interview and he told me he wanted to thank his fans, supporters and family. Aaron is very appreciative of his mom and his entire following for believing in him, and giving him this opportunity.
Aaron Kelly’s Upcoming Events:
Saturday, October 20th
Troy High School
Monday, December 31st
New Years Eve
Spring Hill, Florida.