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Rissi Palmer

Rissi Palmer performs at the Chicago Music Country Festiva 2008 at Soldier Field
Background information
Born August 19, 1981 (1981-08-19) (age 28)[1]
Origin Sewickley, Pennsylvania, US
Genres Country
Occupations Singer
Years active 2007–present
Labels 1720 Entertainment / Universal Music Group
Associated acts Terry Lewis
Patsy Cline

Rissi Palmer (born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania)[2] is an American country music artist. Palmer debuted in 2007 with the single "Country Girl", which made her the first African-American woman to chart a country song since Dona Mason in 1987.[3] "Country Girl" peaked at #54 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and served as the lead-off single to her self-titled debut album, which also produced the #59 hit "Hold on to Me". Also in 2008, Palmer covered "No Air", an R&B hit originally performed by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown.



Palmer was born in Sewickley, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived there until moving with her family to Eureka, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, at the age of 12.[4] Her parents were natives of Georgia. Palmer has said her mother, who died when Palmer was seven, "was a huge Patsy Cline fan", while her father loved musicians such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Chaka Khan, and Santana.[5] Palmer said she knew from a young age that she wanted to sing. As a child, she sang on a Mickey Mouse Club-like local television show called Team 11. At age 16, she performed country music at the Arkansas State Fair.[5]

When she was 19, R&B producers James "Jimmy Jam" Harris III and Terry Lewis offered her a deal on their Flyte Tyme Records. Palmer rejected the deal because she said they wanted to turn her "twangy" country style into a "pop/soul hybrid." As she said, "I love R&B and urban music, but it wasn't what I wanted to do. I knew I wouldn't be happy doing that."[6] After that, Palmer sang jingles for Barbie commercials, performed on the Dance Fever television show, and competed on Star Search,[5] all while trying in vain for seven years to land a Nashville recording contract.

Music career


Debut album: Rissi Palmer (2007-2008)

In 2006, Starbucks Entertainment distributed a four-song EP that put Palmer among the top 5 best-selling country artists on iTunes.[3] Palmer was also featured in a 2005 Country Music Television documentary about African-Americans and country music.[6]

Palmer's debut album, Rissi Palmer, was released on October 23, 2007, by 1720 Entertainment. Palmer co-wrote nine of the 12 tracks.[3] She is also the featured artist on Yahoo! Music's "The New Now," which highlights talented newcomers, from October 17 through November 21, 2007.[7]

New single, album re-issue (2008)

In 2008, Palmer released her third single, "No Air", a cover by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown. The song debuted at #58 and eventually reached #47, becoming her first Top 50 single on the Hot Country Songs chart. The single planned to be included on a reissue of her debut self-titled album[8], however, the album was never reissued.

Also after "No Air" fell from the charts, she released a Christmas single, "Grown Up Christmas List", however, the song failed to enter the country charts.


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
US Country US
2007 Rissi Palmer
  • Release date: October 23, 2007
  • Label: 1720 Entertainment
56 16 41


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
2007 "Country Girl" 54 Rissi Palmer
2008 "Hold On to Me" 59
"No Air" 47 Non-album song
"Grown Up Christmas List"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Video Director
2007 "Country Girl" Kristin Barlowe
2008 "No Air"


  1. ^ "Celebrity Birthdays: August 19, 2009" Marx Madness Retrieved 2009-12-12  
  2. ^ Rissi Palmer adds some more color to country music
  3. ^ a b c "As black woman, Rissi Palmer is country rarity" Associated Press. October 19, 2007.
  4. ^ Rissi Palmer, Jon Anthony. (2007-10-25) (broadcast). Highway 16 Driver's Ed. [radio]. Nashville, TN: XM Radio. Event occurs at 9:00 EDT.  
  5. ^ a b c "A country singer who bucks custom" by Dan DeLuca, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "To Be Young, Gifted and Country: Rissi Palmer Finds Her Place On the Country Music Charts" by Ethan Smith, The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2007, Page W3.
  7. ^ "Rissi Palmer Is The New Now" by Stephen L. Betts, 10 October 2007, accessed Oct. 22, 2007.
  8. ^ "Rissi Palmer comes up with "No Air"". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2008-07-21.  

External links


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