Pelham’s got talent

Pelham country singer/songwriter Joy Beth Taylor has advanced to the state semifinal round of the Alabama Talent Hunt, a competition for emerging artists. (Contributed)

Pelham country singer/songwriter, Joy Beth Taylor, has advanced to the state semifinal round of the Alabama Talent Hunt, a competition for emerging artists. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Fifteen-year-old Pelham High School sophomore, Joy Beth Taylor, has been singing and writing songs since before she can remember. Now the teenage singer/songwriter is putting her skills to the test in the Alabama Talent Hunt, a statewide music competition.

“Music is just part of our everyday lives,” said Heather Taylor, Joy Beth’s mother. “Joy Beth is always playing and singing.”

Joy Beth started singing when she was three-years-old and was writing songs by age five. She began asking her parents for voice lessons when she was seven, Heather said.

Music was always a passion for Joy Beth, but it became a more serious focus when she started taking piano at age 12 and voice lessons a year later.

“I wanted her to start with piano and learn the theory behind music fist,” Heather said.

Thanks to her piano background, Joy Beth easily picked up the guitar this past summer and has since been writing music inspired by her favorite country artists, Willie Nelson, Jonny Cash, June Carter, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and Miranda Lambert.

“I would love to become a country singer,” Joy Beth said. “I would love to play music for my whole life.”

Although her family is supportive of her dream, the drive to succeed comes from Joy Beth herself.

“I’m really impressed by her drive,” Heather said. “She knows if this is what she wants, she needs to be committed.”

Joy Beth entered The Alabama Talent Hunt, her first competition, in January. Although nervous at first, Joy Beth said she eventually “got the hang of it and it became fun.”

She has since advanced through an audition and multiple rounds of competition to the state semifinal, all while keeping up with classes and recovering from a broken foot.

“My only expectation is that she would do her best,” said Heather. “I’m proud of her for putting herself out there.”

Joy Beth will perform again in late April. If chosen as a grand prize winner, she will have the opportunity to record a professional track and will receive a one-year development contract with the Alabama Talent Company.