Tanya Tucker Battles Back


When she was just a child, Tanya Tucker knew there was only one thing she’d ever want to do in life — perform.

By 8 years old, she was singing on stages around her hometown in Texas. By 9, her father, a construction worker, asked her if this was really what she wanted to do. When she said yes, he quit and his job and moved his family to first Phoenix and then Las Vegas as he worked to make his daughter’s dreams come true.

When she was just 13 years old, she was signed by producer Billy Sherrill, who worked with everyone from Charlie Rich and Johnny Paycheck and wrote “Stand by Your Man” with Tammy Wynette.

Tanya tells Growing Bolder about her early days with Billy, a gambler who she says took a gamble on her. He flew Tanya and her father to Nashville and played “Delta Dawn” for them.

She recorded it and the teenager had her first hit.

Over the years, Tanya says she’s survived career lows, physical abuse and drug abuse. But she’s come out on the other side, stronger, better and happy to be on the road with her three children, who are between the ages of 11 and 21.

These days, Tanya says she tries to make each day more interesting than the last and make each show more challenging than the last.

She’s also helping her children, who all love to sing, navigate the country music business. She explains how it’s changed since she first started out and what advice she gives them based on her experiences.

Tanya also shares the lessons she’s learned from her life and how they can apply to anyone’s life.

Catch up with one of the most resilient, talented women in country music history.

Click here to listen to our 2009 interview with Tanya.