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Oklahoma native Kristin Chenoweth considers herself 'a creature of the live audience'

For the second year, the award-winning actress/singer, who hails from Broken Arrow, is co-hosting the American Country Awards with country star Trace Adkins.
by Brandy McDonnell Modified: December 6, 2012 at 5:53 pm •  Published: December 7, 2012

Singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth may be best known for her Tony-winning Broadway roles and her Emmy-honored television career.

But the multitalented performer has country music in her heart, thanks to her Oklahoma upbringing.

“With this last album I did, I really wanted to pay homage to how I grew up singing. And that was a huge influence on me, obviously, because as you know, in Oklahoma there's 45 country music stations and maybe one pop-rock,” Chenoweth told The Oklahoman with a laugh.

“So think about who my influences were: They were Dolly and Reba and Trisha and Shania and Patsy and Loretta. Those were the people that I listened to. Of course, I loved the Broadway cast albums 'cause we didn't have tons of Broadway coming through Broken Arrow, but that was largely my musical influence.”

Along with releasing her debut country album, “Some Lessons Learned,” last year, the suburban Tulsa native, 44, co-hosted the 2011 American Country Awards with multiplatinum country star Trace Adkins.

The 4 feet 11 inch tall classically trained soprano again will share hosting duties with the 6 feet 6 inch tall baritone at the third annual awards show, which will air live from Las Vegas at 7 p.m. Monday on Fox.

“Honestly, that's what brought me back this year. It's him,” Chenoweth said Monday in a teleconference. “He is a really good person. He has a very good sense of humor and for some reason we have kind of a fun chemistry. It's not two people that you would necessarily put together, but it works. I just flat out adore him.”

Tough year

Although 2012 has been a tough year for Chenoweth, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer sounded like her usual optimistic self as she chatted about the fan-voted ACAs, her celebrated Broadway career and the challenges of balancing her many professional interests with her social life, including dating. She has recently been linked with former “Bachelor” star Jake Pavelka.

“That's my biggest struggle in life, is the balance issue. I know that a lot of people know that I got hurt in July. I'm doing so much better, so much better, but I think it slowed me down to a point to really try to be very, very careful. I like to do a lot of different things and I've realized that life is short and I want to do things that make me happy and really help me leave my mark in this world,” Chenoweth said.

Over the summer, Chenoweth suffered a skull fracture and other injuries when a piece of lighting equipment struck her on the head during filming of the TV show “The Good Wife.” The injury forced her to give up her recurring role on the CBS drama.

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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Just being in Oklahoma for a week and a half for Thanksgiving, it just connects me to my upbringing, to my family, to my faith and who I am at the heart of it all.”

Kristin Chenoweth,


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