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Chely Wright

Real name: Richel Renee Wright
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Chely Wright (born Richel Renee Wright October 25, 1970 in Kansas City, Missouri), is an American Country Music singer, who released her debut album in 1994. Although she received an ACM award for Top New Female Vocalist that same year, none of her initial songs made any impact on the charts. She has also won a BMI award for a song she penned for country artist Clay Walker. In 1999, she released her fourth album; her biggest hit was the chart topper "Single White Female".

After releasing two unsuccessful albums through Mercury/Polygram (her debut and its follow-up in 1996), Wright had her first Top Twenty country hit in 1997 with the song "Shut Up and Drive," off her third album, Let Me In, which was released by MCA Nashville. In 1999, her fourth album, Single White Female, brought her several hit songs and her first gold album certification. During the three-year gap before her next album, Wright collaborated with fellow country artist Brad Paisley on a duet entitled "Hard to Be a Husband, Hard to Be a Wife," which was written for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry. Paisley and Wright performed the song during a CBS television special and it was released as part of a collection of songs from that special. The duet was later nominated for Vocal Event Of The Year as part of the 35th Annual CMA Awards, but lost. Additionally, Wright joined with Diamond Rio for a song on their One More Day album, as well as Paisley's Part II album. Both were released in 2001. Chely was also featured in People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2001. She was ranked #93 on the FHM 100 Sexiest Women of 2002. In 2003, she was named "Woman of the Year" by the American Legion Auxiliary and "Kansan of the Year" for her career achievements, her charity work and her support of the U.S. armed forces. She was recognized by MENC in 2001 with its "Stand Up For Music Award" and in 2002, she was presented with their "Fame Award" for her with her Reading, Writing and Rhythm Foundation.

On September 10, 2001, Wright was in Canada participating in the 2001 Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMAs). Along with several other country artists, including Cyndi Thomson, Wright was stranded in Canada following the September 11, 2001 attacks. In an odd twist, Wright's fifth album, Never Love You Enough, was originally supposed to be released on September 11 but was later pushed back to September 25. Although Never Love You Enough debuted at #4 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, it was unable to match the success of Single White Female.

Chely Wright is the founder of Reading, Writing, and Rhythm Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to the importance of musical education in America's schools and helps supply musical instruments and equipment.

A large fund raiser is held each year in June at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon, (just before CMA Music Festival).


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