A rising star in the South Florida country music industry, Ashley started performing in public a mere four years ago after being discovered while singing karaoke. Now, with nearly 300 performances under her belt, and having just graduated from Westminster Academy, she is eagerly looking forward to the next chapter in her life. Among her favorite performances are:
• Christmas Near the Beach, a Christ-centered Christmas show in Hollywood, started by Deena and Mickey McDaniel, and
• Singing the National Anthem at the Nascar Ford EcoBoost 200 final in Homestead, which was broadcasted live to over three million television viewers.
Faith and Family
Ashley was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale and definitely characterizes herself as a beach girl. Growing up in a Christian home, faith and family have always been close to her heart. In fact, her sister and parents have been integrally involved in her music career. Her sister, a recent PR graduate, is responsible for her website design and album cover, her father does the setup for her shows and her mother books her engagements. By surrounding herself with those she can trust, Ashley shows a savvy awareness seldom seen in those her age.
A warm and personable young lady, Ashley loves being around people. A self-professed social butterfly, she not only enjoys spending time with her friends, but also meeting new people. In fact, one of the things Ashley loves most about performing is being able to connect with her audience.
“One of my favorite things is being up on stage performing and seeing people start dancing. The fact that my music can move people that much is really amazing”.
Ashley’s biggest music inspiration is Carrie Underwood, who embodies much of who she would like to be as an artist — a gifted artist and beautiful singer with a good image, clean and pure, preserving her private life, while remaining professional and gracious. Ashley identifies her own character strengths as independent, kind and devoted.
Her walk as a Christian affects everything she does and is, and is readily evident in the way that she expresses herself with refreshing honesty and strong principles. While baptized at the age of four, it was in sixth grade that Ashley made a personal decision to serve God. Although operating in the ultra-competitive music industry is challenging, Ashley’s faith in God and knowledge of who she is in Christ is a game changer for her.
“The music business is hard,” Ashley affirms; “but I know where I’m going. I don’t have to hurt anyone to get there.”
With her family, she now attends Cross Community Church and absolutely loves it. “They take you right in with open arms.” She often sings with the worship team on Sundays, which is a joy and privilege for her.
Heads or Tails
Besides singing, Ashley enjoys writing songs about life, although she contends her inspiration often comes from others, rather than her own life. In fact, she laughingly admits that she writes about her friends’ relationships. Having just released her album “Heads or Tails” at the start of June, she identifies “Country Girl at Heart,” which she wrote, as her favorite song. In it is her response to many who ask her why she doesn’t dress like the typical country star in boots and hat but instead prefers dresses and heels. While she may not fit into the preconceived definition of a “country girl” and is more comfortable on a beach than on the ranch, she knows who she is and that’s enough.
Her advice to young girls who want to make it in the music industry: “Do it! Find out who you want to be as an artist. Perform as much as possible locally. And be nice to everyone!”
Now that school is over, she has set her sights on Nashville and hopes to make a move there soon. In the meantime, she is learning to play the guitar to broaden her skillset and increase her already-high marketability. While Ashley hopes to sign with a major label, she acknowledges that remaining an independent artist also has great potential. However, she definitely wants to tour, since performing in front of people is what really makes her happy.
For those who would like to see Ashley perform, upcoming events include:
July 4: Sands Harbor Resort in Pompano Beach, 2pm – 5pm
July 11: The VIP Tent in the Coral Sky Amphitheater at the Rascal Flatts concert at 6pm
For more information about Ashley, her music album and future performance dates, check out her website at www.ashleybriggsmusic.com
Keisha McDonnough is a research analyst and writer. A Jamaican native and South Florida resident, she is passionate about poetry and vow writing. Check out her website at