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Lorrie Morgan

CLEARWATER — Country music star Lorrie Morgan will perform Sunday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m., at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.

Tickets start at $29. Visit www.rutheckerdhall.com or call 727-791-7400.

An eloquently emotive vocalist, Morgan is the first woman in her genre to begin her career with three consecutive platinum albums. She recently was in the studio recording a new LP.

"Where I am in my life right now, I'm not afraid to express what I feel," Morgan said. "I'm not afraid to express my views on anything, especially on being a woman and my experiences in this business and in life." 

On records such as “A Picture of Me Without You” and “I Guess You Had to Be There,” the ache is palpable. She is feisty and sassy on “Watch Me,” “What Part of No,” “Five Minutes” and “I Didn't Know My Own Strength.” She has kicked up her stiletto heels in fun on her hits “Except for Monday” and “Go Away.” On her epic “Something in Red,” she is an honest, struggling everywoman. 

She is a peerless song interpreter, drawing from a deep personal well that spans enormous tenderness to cheeky hutzpah. Whether covering a classic or sharing one of her own songs, Morgan is a song stylist in the grandest tradition.

"I have always been a songwriter and I do love to write," she said. "But I’m only comfortable co-writing with a few people, and I don’t like appointment writing at all. Plus, I'm not one of those people who says, 'If I didn't write it, I'm not going to record it.' If somebody else's song is better, I'm going to record it and not my own." 

Morgan has been around great songs all her life. She is a Nashville native who is the daughter of Country Music Hall of Fame member George Morgan. She made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage at age 13, singing "Paper Roses." Her father died suddenly of a heart attack at age 51. She was l6 at the time and just beginning her musical career. Morgan began making her own records shortly thereafter and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry at just 24 years old. 

Morgan married fellow country singer Keith Whitley in 1986. She was signed to RCA Records in 1987 and her onslaught of hits began the following year. Whitley's tragic death of an alcohol overdose in 1989 left her a widowed working mother. Their duet “Til a Tear Becomes a Rose” earned her a 1990 CMA award. 

Her first three albums — “Leave the Light On” (1989), “Something in Red” (1991) and “Watch Me” (1992) — all earned platinum record awards. Her 1999 greatest hits collection is also platinum. “War Paint” (1994), “Greater Need” (1996) and “Shakin' Things Up” (1997) are all gold record winners. 

Morgan maintained her recording pace in the new millennium, releasing collections in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2010. In 2012 and 2013, Morgan starred and sparkled in the lavish “Enchanted Christmas” productions at the opulent Opryland Resort in Nashville. She took that show on the road in 2014. 

Morgan has recorded in collaboration with her father, as well as Whitley, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Tammy Wynette, The Beach Boys, Dolly Parton, Andy Williams, the New World Philharmonic, and Pam Tillis. She has toured with George Jones and shared a stage with Jerry Lee Lewis, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall Fame in October along with Whitley. 

"My children and I are thrilled to see Keith’s name added to the list of stars who’ve earned their place in the Country Music Hall of Fame," she said. "It is a well-deserved honor, though Keith himself would’ve been painfully humbled. I am happy for his family and the many, many fans who continue to point to Keith as one of the all-time greats." 

In 2013, Morgan first teamed with fellow Opry star Pam Tillis, daughter of Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis, for the duet CD “Dos Divas.” The two hit makers then embarked on a joint tour that sold out every appearance in its initial two-year run. The stars continue to perform their collaborative “Grits & Glamour” shows, as schedules allow. The women connected as working mothers, as businesswomen, and as second-generation performers. 

On the outside, Morgan is lighthearted, but she carries a lot of pain.

Said Morgan: "My dad used to say, 'You should never take yourself too seriously,' and I got my sense of humor from my dad. I love to have fun. I've reached the age where I feel that I deserve good company around me, people who can make me laugh, who love music and who love to have a good time."