Nikki Hornsby

Born in California but raised in Virginia, singer/songwriter and 12-string guitarist Nikki Hornsby -- no relation to Bruce Hornsby, although she is the granddaughter of trumpet player Dan Hornsby -- began playing music at a young age, trying several instruments before sticking with the guitar. She gigged regularly during her college years on the East Coast, and when her schedule didn't have room for both school and making music, she took time off from school. In the mid-'70s, she returned to California with her parents and started performing regularly in the South Bay Area.

In the late '80s she began recording, and soon one of her songs, "Shoestring and a Prayer," got played on a number of AM and FM stations, as well as in Europe; in fact, she was named Scandinavia's Female Singer of the Year in 1988. The single also charted in the Cashbox Top 100 national charts and in the Top Five of the IRC (independent) country singles in 1989. Another early favorite of hers was "Hot Talkin' Big Shot," which was used on one DJ's talk show for several years. She has also served as a panel judge for various country music competitions in California and is a member of the ACM.

Hornsby has released many albums on her own label, CJP-NH Records, including Reaching Out in 2001, a CD of positive country songs dedicated to her terminally ill brother. In 2005, the compilation Previous Releases was issued, which contained all of Hornsby's charted songs from 1989 to 2002. In the mid-2000s she revisited Europe, performing and receiving favorable media notice for her original songs. Upon her return to the U.S., Hornsby released Just Wait in 2006, containing the track "This Is America," which was included in the international World Cup soccer broadcast on CNN. Three years later, an instrumental version of the album was released, appropriately titled Just Wait Instrumentally. ~ Joslyn Layne

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