Undercover Superstar

Shelby Walker is aiming for the stars with her singing career

Undercover Superstar

Jacqulyn Cassaro

One of our students here at Cross Creek has been living a double life.

Shelby Walker is the name we all know her by, but when she is on stage, she goes by Shelby Paige.

Her career in singing started at age 4 when her parents caught her singing “Part of Your World” from the movie “The Little Mermaid” while in the bathtub. Immediately, they put her into singing lessons and sparked a desirable dream for a talented little girl.

“I love the rush it gives me,” expressed Walker. “It makes me feel like a million dollars.”

In the fourth grade Walker entered her first singing competition and won third place in the state.

Her luck only got better in the sixth grade when she traveled to Nashville and won second in the state.

Until she reached high school, she sang in chorus, which only fueled her passion for singing.

While in the ninth grade, Walker competed in yet another competition locally and had the privilege of taking home the first place title. Her last competition she participated in was in tenth grade and she won third place nationally.

Currently, she sings at Coyotes and is preparing to go to Nashville in March, yet again, because she was chosen as one of the top four Teen Vocalist to Watch. Part of her trip will involve singing on a radio show.

Singing is clearly something very special to Walker.

“I do it because I love it,” she said. “Not for the attention, not because I’m forced to do it. I do it because it is a passion of mine.”

If you want to hear some of her talent, Walker has a performance Jan. 10 at the Evans Towne Center. It is an acoustic benefit raising money for Saint Jude.

Walker will also get to show off her talents for FFA.

“I’m very thankful for my FFA family,” Walker said. “They are giving me the privilege to audition to sing the National Anthem at State Convention.”

Walker is not the only gifted one in her family. Her father also sings and recently signed with Phoenix Records out of Atlanta. Walker feels as though her dad is her muse. She explained what a great vocal coach and mentor he is. Her brother, Blaze Walker, is also talented and plays acoustically for her performances.

“I even gave my mom a nickname,” Walker confesses. “It’s ‘momanager.’ She is my backbone. She schedules everything and is always there for me.”

Walker says she knows she can also always count on her two sisters.

Aside from her family, Walker explained how her friends are all an extremely reliable support system.

Mckenzie Clark, another talented singer at Cross Creek. is surprisingly one of Walker’s close friends. Instead of looking at each other as competition, they see someone who understands the pressure that the other goes through and try to encourage one another.

While singing is Walker’s passion, there is a lot of hard work that goes into it.

“Before I even go on stage, I have to turn into Shelby Paige,” she said, explaining that she has to give herself a pep talk and listen to rock music to get in the right state of mind.

“If I start to sing something, I automatically think of Miranda Lambert. She is my inspiration,” Walker said.

Not only do they make a lot of the same music, Walker feels as though she can relate to her.

Walker tends to write about personal breakups, stress she is faced with, and the good and bad times that life throws at her. Her favorite original song is called “Little Things Don’t Matter.”

She wrote it in September of 2012 about a bad breakup that made her feel as though she wasn’t good enough.

Walker knows the downfalls that come along with fame. She has thought about it and feels that she can handle it.

“If I stay grounded and never forget where my home is and who was there for me when I was at my worst, I think I’ll be able to keep a grasp on that ‘normal’ life,” Walker said. “And I can’t get caught up in the money.”

The first step to achieving this amazing dream of Walker’s would be to attend college in Tennessee and major in music.

“I really want to make it big,” Walker said. ” My goal in life is to win a Grammy before I die.”

Walker is not naive to the possibility of her dream not working out. Her backup plan includes attending the University of Florida, majoring in Chemistry, and hopefully becoming a dermatologist. Worst case, Walker would enjoy creating her own skin care and makeup line.

She will always keep her Plan B in the back of her mind, but will also continue to work toward her lifetime dream.

Walker has recently been accepted to The Art Institute of Tampa and won  a $25,000 musical scholarship. It is only proof that she is moving closer to the spot where she wants to be.

“God gave me this talent,” Walker said, “and I want to use it in his light and I’m going to do my best to use it in a positive way.”