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By Bob Doerschuk
© 2011 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
As host of HLN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” this award-winning journalist and television personality lives in a whirl of 2:30 AM weekday wakeup calls, six hours of anchoring the news each day, assignments (like skydiving with President George H. W. Bush) and honors, including induction into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the 2010 Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor from American Women in Radio & Television.
But she has also loved singing in front of audiences as far back as kindergarten and Country Music specifically since first hearing a Mary Chapin Carpenter CD.
Her two sides intersect on her debut album. Brand New Day is produced by Victoria Shaw, with Billy Dean coproducing “Morning Sunshine,” which he wrote and sings with Meade. That’s one of six tracks that she co-wrote, most of them a mix of down-home and uptown. When she fumes about being stuck behind a car whose turn signal blinks for six miles on “Letting It Go” (written by Meade, Shaw and Matt Lopez) or revels in her command of big-city office politics on “Put My High Heels On” (Meade, Shaw and John Rich), you know she’s writing about what she knows, which after all is the essence of Country.
Still, when called back to her roots, Meade doesn’t disappoint. From her duet with Jim Brickman on the searing ballad “Welcome Home” (Brickman and Shaw) to her first single, a banjo-studded treatment of Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” (Henley and Danny Kortchmar) featuring Bo Bice, Kix Brooks, Gary Burr, Sarah Buxton and Shaw, she proves that those roots thrive just under the surface.
Brand New Day is available exclusively on iTunes and in greeting card sections of Target stores.
In Her Own Words
DREAM DUET PARTNER“I have two: Kenny Chesney and Bono of U2.”
SONG YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN“‘Never Alone,’ by Victoria Shaw, Gary Burr and Sarah Buxton.”
BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTANDThe Power, by Rhonda Byrne.”
SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER“Whatever is stuck in my head.  Last week it was an old song by Mike + the Mechanics.  This week it’s ‘If I Die Young’ by The Band Perry.”
PET PEEVE“My pet peeve is when cashiers ask you three separate times if you’d like to open a store credit card, even though you’ve already said no each previous time.”
SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU“I grew up eating squirrel! Maybe it played into my vegetarianism now. Ha!”
On the Web: www.CNN.com/Robin

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