Shelby first made a name for herself back in 1988, thanks to her duet with George Jones, 'If I Could Bottle This Up.' "If it hadn't been for that record, we wouldn't be having this conversation," she tells The 9513, insisting that she owes her career to the country legend. But while Shelby draws much of her influence from the traditional sounds of her heroes -- including George, Dusty Springfield and Tammy Wynette, she also says there is plenty to be learned from other genres of music.
Case in point: Shelby is also inspired by an artist who couldn't be much more different from herself, Lady Gaga! "I can't really see myself doing a Lady Gaga record, but I love her music," she says. "She's so creative, such an original ... and there's a place for that, too."
It's that love for musical diversity which led Shelby to start her own record label -- and to hold fast in her decision to remain independent for the rest of her career. "There's no way a Nashville record company understands it, and they don't wanna get it," she insists. "I think people out there still want it. I don't know if anything will ever change. I just know my days with record labels are done."
Now hitting the road to support her latest release, Shelby also plans on recording a Christmas album later this year. And while she is aware that chart success has, for the most part, eluded her, she has no regrets. "I have the luckiest job in the world, and I love what I get to do and I love being able to talk to people who really enjoy the music and care about it. It's an honor. I really feel that way."
'Tears, Lies and Alibis hits stores April 20. Click here for tour dates.
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