By Katelyn Rivera—
For as long as she could remember, Hadley Anne Butler knew she had music in her soul. Growing up in Meridian, Texas Butler, her twin sister and a close friend began singing karaoke tracks in a trio named “The Chickmunks”. They began singing together at events and functions around town.
“We were the Chickmunks, at eight-years-old you want to be something cute, we changed our named to Gypsy Belle. We recorded an original album our freshman year of high school”. Butler said. They got the chance to sing at The Eagle KIXT 106.7 FM, in Waco. They continued to sing at various events out of Bosque County throughout high school.
Once the trio graduated high school, they parted ways. Hadley’s twin sister, Lauren, came to Tarleton State University. Their close friend, Sarah, went to Texas State University in San Marcos and Hadley ended up at Sul Ross in Alpine, Texas and competed on its rodeo team.
“We decided then that it was hard to keep our group when we’re all separated, but music was in my soul,” Butler said. “I never knew how to play an instrument besides the saxophone in jazz band during high school.”
When Hadley moved, back home to Weatherford College, she picked up the guitar and taught herself the basic chords and progressively it has grown from there. “God’s taken it from there and I’ve grown and developed a skill I didn’t know I had,” Butler said. She began to write her own music and develop as a solo artist. Music was not something that ran in her family. Music is something she hopes to do professionally. “Music is how I express myself and my feelings. That is how I relate to other people. Doing it professionally would definitely be a dream come true.” Butler said.
The summer after she taught herself the guitar, she entered a competition called The Inspirational of Country Music Association not know how she was going to do or how it was going to go. The contest was in Decatur, Texas. They have six competitions in different regions across the United States. “I wrote a song for it, entered it and by the grace of God I won it” Butler said. Each winner of his or her region gets the chance to meet for the ICM finale in Nashville to compete in November. For the finale, she wrote another original song and performed it. “It was a huge experience and building those relationships with the other competitors, I ended up third there,” said Butler. “That’s when I realized this is what I need to be doing with my life. God’s put it in my heart that this where I should be.”
Besides music, Hadley is a member of the Tarleton State University Rodeo Team as a goat tier and breakaway roper. When she transferred to Tarleton, she fell in love with the rodeo team and the school. She is also a worship and fellowship leader for FCA Rodeo Texas. FCA Rodeo Texas is established at Tarleton and they lead weekly worship and Bible studies within rodeo team and region at college rodeos. FCA and rodeo has been a huge part of her life and she credits it with shaping who she is today. As well as being involved in music and other organizations with Tarleton, Hadley is also engaged.
She wants people to think of her platform as a journey. “Everybody has their own journey they need to go on, but you have to stay driven.” Butler said. “When people see me, when people read what I write and hear my music; I want them to realize that it’s all a journey. It’s not all success at once; it’s always going to be trial and error.”