• Lillie Burke

Cheryl LuQuire releases debut country EP

Cheryl LuQuire dreams of being on country’s biggest stages, and the recent Belmont graduate won’t have it any other way.

The up-and-coming singer kickstarted her career March 28 with the release of her five-song debut EP, “Cheryl LuQuire.”

“When I do something, I do it with my all,” she said. “I dream of being a professional country music artist, sharing my music with the world, being a positive role model for young girls, making people dance and groove and use their hands and feet to serve and love on others.”

The project features songs written by some of Nashville’s finest, including hit country songwriters and CMA and Grammy award winners Hillary Lindsey and Bob Dipiero.

“In Nashville, everybody’s singing, and everybody’s fighting for the same spot,” LuQuire said. “It’s all about the song. You got to have the right song that makes you stand out, makes you different.”

Since the EP’s release, LuQuire has been writing even more, penning songs like a cut called “Married Men.”

“It’s about being hit on by a married man. … It’s funny. It’s got truth and humor, and it’s even got Jesus in it,” she said.

The Meridian, Miss., native also co-wrote the EP’s second track called “Headed Home,” a place where LuQuire knows she is always welcome back.

“I’m so appreciative of all of the hometown support that Meridian friends and family continue to give me,” said the former Belmont Best of the Best performer. “I’m going to do Meridian proud.”

From a very young age, the sixth largest city in Mississippi helped to establish LuQuire as an entertainer.

“I grew up doing Jimmie Rodgers talent competitions, and that is where you sing to a karaoke track,” LuQuire said. “I did that since I was 6 years old.”

Many years later, LuQuire’s senior year at Belmont brought a Country Showcase win and the opportunity to meet Best of the Best honoree and country music icon Vince Gill.

“There’s no better way to leave Belmont than going out with a bang. I’ve enjoyed my time here to the fullest extent, and although it’s hard to kiss my college days goodbye, I know the best is yet to come,” she said.

Gill’s consummate country vocals, along with the talents of an array of other artists in different genres, inspire LuQuire’s own music.

“I have a wide variety of influences,” she said. “From classic Southern rock to soul to modern country, I love it all. And I think you can hear that in my songs.”

Songs like “Feel” and “Nothin’ Good Ever Happens After Midnight” serve as LuQuire’s very own anthems, tunes for her fans to live by.

“I’d really like to be the female Bono,” she said. “I love to sing, but I want this to be about so much more than that. I pray that my music will allow me to reach people so I can make a difference.”

Currently, LuQuire is focusing on writing with the hope of soon releasing a full album of her songs and possibly hitting the road for a summer tour.

“The dream consumes me,” Luquire said. “I want it so bad.”

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