An English Rose Blooming In Country Music.
How does a beauty queen from a seaside town near Liverpool, England make it to Nashville as a country music singer?
Well, as the saying goes: practice, practice, practice. But that’s not all. It takes a lot of belief, courage, and talent.
Abi Bridgeman has it all: beauty, talent and the innate belief that she has what it takes to establish herself among the elite of country music.
Early years in Northwest England…
It was a relatively typical childhood, growing up near Liverpool and the Irish Sea. Typical…at least until Abi was 15 years old, when she suffered a serious back injury during a Duke of Edinburgh (sporting and leadership) expedition. The injury put an end to Abi’s sporting dreams. “I spent the next year and a half in and out of hospital and on very strong pain killers, including steroid and spinal anesthetic injections to ease my pain. I could hardly walk and, because of the medication, was constantly drowsy and zombie-like, which meant I had to be home schooled. “
Abi’s entire life at that point was turned upside down. Time—and intensive physiotherapy—allowed her to return to a state of fitness to carry on with her life and education.
It was during this time that Abi rediscovered her love of music and planted the seeds that are now opening to full bloom.
Sports and beauty pageants…
Abi had always competed in running, swimming, jumping, football (soccer), netball, and hockey (field hockey) for her hometown. When her family saw an advertisement for the official Miss Southport competition, they thought it would be a bit of fun to enter her into it, as a confidence-booster. Abi was unaware of the entry until the Miss England organizer called to say that she had made the Miss Southport finals.
Since sports had always been Abi’s priority, she wasn’t the most “beauty conscious” of girls and winning a beauty pageant seemed beyond her reach.
Until she won. That win lead to other pageant successes and, for a small town girl of modest means, the travel and experiences were priceless.
The music inside…
Music was always Abi’s first love. While recuperating from her injury, she spent a lot of time on her own; with the only pleasure she had being music. This was when she first started songwriting.
Abi realized that it wasn’t only a comfort for her, but a necessity in her life. After finishing her education she knew that the normal student route wasn’t for her so she took a chance and put everything she had into making a career in music, and played festivals, pubs, clubs, bars, charity events…anything to get her music heard.
It is very hard in the UK to be taken seriously as a country singer—especially with influences like Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Tim McGraw. According to Abi, “things are changing, but very slowly. I want to help make that change happen.”