Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Gone Country

  • What do you get if you combine the voice of Dolly Parton, the twang of Carrie Underwood and the innocent sound of Taylor Swift? It would have to be little Arien Rose Hubbard. An 11-year-old who packs a big punch when she belts out a song. “I really don’t like the Rap and the Hip-hop, be...
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  • What do you get if you combine the voice of Dolly Parton, the twang of Carrie Underwood and the innocent sound of Taylor Swift?
    It would have to be little Arien Rose Hubbard. An 11-year-old who packs a big punch when she belts out a song.
    “I really don’t like the Rap and the Hip-hop, because I can’t really understand what they’re saying,” the Hannibal Middle School student said. “I like Pop, which is Avril Lavigne, and I like Reba (McEntire), which is country — and I used to watch her show until it came off. I was kind of upset with that.”
    Born and raised in Hannibal, Arien’s parents noticed early on in their daughter’s life that she was destined for the limelight of the music industry. And once she learned to talk, Rabeth and Terry Hubbard, who have a total of 10 kids (six of them together), knew Arien has a special talent.
    “The first time we realized that she liked music, she was six or seven months old,” Rabeth said. “She was laying in bed next to her 9-year-old sister and she was singing, and I was video taping it, and Arien (would try to sing along) but when Shelby would stop singing, then Arien would stop. It was so amazing.
    “And then when she was like 1-and-a-half or 2, she was watching Barney. Still couldn’t talk very good, but she walked through the house humming the song perfect.”
    Eventually their baby girl grew into a pretty blue-eyed blonde with the ambitions of becoming a singer. And it all started with an on-stage performance at a campground.
    “A few years ago, we were down at a campground and they had a band and we talked them into letting her up there singing. They had never really heard her and they just thought she was some little girl getting up there to sing some little bitty song,” Rabeth remembered.
    But it was far from that. Arien hit the stage and sang “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” by Iggy Pop.
    “The really cool thing about the campground experience was when the band was singing, there was a number of people sitting in lawn chairs — and they were your average middle-aged people. And when Arien got up, started singing, we were engulfed,” Terry said.
    Campers listening off in the distance began to make their way to the stage just to hear Arien sing. From then on she began to sing more and more, that’s when her parents seeked a manager to see if they could further Arien’s music into something bigger.
    A step forward
    Terry sought out the help of George Roberson, a music manager who lives in Hannibal, but has song connections in “Music City, USA,” Nashville, Tennessee.
    Page 2 of 3 - “I met George, and every time I’d see him, I’d say, ‘George, you really have to listen to my little girl.’ And he told me, ‘Terry, you need to understand something. I get parents all the time that approach me that want me to listen to their child’,” Terry said.
    Roberson told Terry he didn’t have the time to listen to Arien sing. But daddy was not about to give up on his little girl. A few years went by, Arien got older, became an even better singer, and Terry got in touch with George once again.
    “It was like I was meant to see him,” George said. “So the last time I saw him before, it finally worked. I said, ‘George, been chasing you for a couple years or three.’ And I said, ‘Give her a minute, give her just a minute.”
    They met at a local church and that one minute turned into several.
    “Sing something else,” George told Arien after she sang “Real Wild Child.”
    Arien belted out a touching segment from the Phantom of the Opera and left the music man convinced.
    “He says, ‘Well, okay. I’m busy, but I’ll make room for that one. She’s got it’,” Terry said.
    Before Arien and her parents knew it, Roberson had the youngster rehearsing songs he wrote, but had on hold. Now the wait was over. The songs would finally get a voice to bring them to life and it was Arien would be the one to do it. In the meantime, Roberson was in touch with Deborah White at 99 Matrix Records. Arien performed for her over the phone and told Roberson to stick with Arien. He also took her to different performance shows so she could get different experiences with different crowds.
    It worked. Doing all that allowed Arien to bust out of her shell.
    “We started going to some shows and I started getting used to it, and well, it started getting pretty fun for me because now I’m not scared to do anything at school like sing in front of a bunch of people,” Arien said.
    Finally the time came. The Hubbards would travel to Nashville to sign on with 99 Matrix Records and record an album. No cover songs. Nothing anyone has heard before. New songs that would introduce the world to Arien Rose — the stage name she chose to take.
    “I actually like Arien Rose because it has a twist to it,” she said.
    LISTEN TO ARIEN SING (Story continues after video)
    A CD and a promising future
    Roberson and the Hubbards ventured to Tennessee to record Arien’s first album “Welcome To My Heart.”
    Page 3 of 3 - She’s only 11-years-old, but she was now in the same city where her country idols Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire stand tall with so many other great legends.
    “It took forever (to get there). I was just sleeping throughout the whole entire time,” Arien said. “I wasn’t nervous, but it was really hot down in Nashville.”
    Two days in Music City and Arien recorded a 10-song album, shot a music video (http://youtu.be/Zhl5oQYOLTo) and appeared with her new executive producer on YouTube.
    Arien loves having her own CD to promote, but she too has her own criticisms.
    “I’m actually pretty surprised,” she said. “I kinda sound like a 7-year-old.”
    Being just a couple years short of entering her teens, she doesn’t like having that young sound. However, she understands her voice will mature as her career expands.
    “The younger you are, the higher your voice is,” Arien said. “But the higher you get, the more your voice matures and kinda deepens and gets used to everything that you say and sing. And it gets used to all the songs that you sing.”
    Arien returned to Hannibal with much praise from her schoolmates, many of them wanting to hear her sweet, sweet voice.
    “Can I hear you sing, can I hear you sing,” the kids ask her.
    “So I sing for about five minutes and then the bell rings,” Arien said.
    The Hubbards, though, are still cautious with Arien’s singing career. They like that their daughter has a promising music career and life ahead of her, but they still want her to be an 11-year-old living life the way she should. As a kid.
    “During school, we really want her to focus on school and be a kid,” Rabeth said. “But during the summer, her manager wants her to go out and do different things this year.”
    “We remind everyone around us, she’s 11,” Terry said. “We only let her go at her own speed, but when she walks on stage, as nervous as a parent might be, once she walks on stage there’s no need to be nervous.
    Terry describes his daughter’s progressing future as “overwhelming” given the attention she’s getting right now without songs on the radio. But that might change soon.
    Someday, Arien might be a star on stage, be on the cover of magazines and be a very popular singer nation wide.
    “We’re hoping,” Rabeth said.
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