Meet Ava Paige, a fourteen year old singer-songwriter from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Recently diagnosed with Leukemia, she is not going to let anything stop her. Friends, fans, and family have banded together as a part of Ava’s Army to stand by and support the family through this difficult journey. I have known Ava for a few years now, and she is truly something special. I consider her part of my music family, and want to share her story with you. I spoke with a handful of artists after Pick’n N Kick’n for Ava Paige the other night at 3rd and Lindsley and they had nothing but great things to say about this wonderful young girl. Let’s take a look and get to know her better shall we?
When asked how friends would describe Ava there are so many adjectives mentioned. The best way I can think to put it is that she carries around this light wherever she goes and shines onstage and off. Professionally this singer-songwriter is talented, creative and hard working. Her personality is described as strong, caring, sweet and funny. She is the most kind spirited individual. An old soul trapped in a young person’s body if you will.
“She’s such a sweet soul. She has not one self centered bone in her body. It’s just she’s such an incredible human” says Landon Wall.
“When you are around her you feel happy” adds Macy Tabor.
“She always makes it a point to talk to you, and she always lights up the room” shares Courtney Peveler.
“She has a sense about her that you really trust and know that she loves you for you. No matter what” shares Amy Taylor.
And then there is the famous Ava hug. If you’ve had one then you know what I’m talking about. “As soon as Ava said hi we ended up hugging, and it was probably the most amazing hug I’ve ever had. I fell in love right then. Every time I saw her after we’d hug so I call her my little bear cub” Ben Fuller tells us.
“Every time I see her, she always gives me the biggest hugs and always has a smile on her face” gushes Marisa McKaye.
“The joke is that you’ve got to go to chiropractor after Ava’s given you a hug” laughs Taylor Gayle.
When it comes to first impressions everyone agrees on one thing. They were blown away by her talent and her personality. “When we met in person, I couldn’t believe the dedication and work ethic that she possessed for someone her age. It was uplifting and also challenged me to be better” says Amy Taylor.
“Some people are blessed with talent. It’s what you do with that talent that makes greatness. Ava has an incredible work ethic. She’s always performing and writing and pushing herself to get better and to learn from those around her. That’s a recipe for greatness.” believes Megan Barker.
Paige is unique and stands out from the crowd of countless other young independent artists. “On the talent level she’s up there with anybody, but there’s also this humble person behind that talent that is a beautiful person. I’m just so proud to know her” confides John Miller.
“Ava stands out from other artists because I love the emotion in her voice, and you can tell she means what she’s singing and she connects with every song she sings” adds Marisa McKaye.
“Her work ethic at her age, her skill and talent level. Not even being her age but she has a way of writing and she’s so talented” Dalton Black comments.
“To see what she brings to the table. She’s not there learning. She’s teaching. That’s the first time I said when I walked out of a write. She’s something special” believes Rhonda Funk.
It’s been tough for the community to watch one of their own going through such a difficult time. Every day in the past month and a half that she has been at the hospital Ava has received so much love. A constant stream of visitors, friends, family, and artists have stopped by to visit and even to sing for her. It has been said that the hottest writers round was at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Superstars Carly Pearce, Michael Ray, and Ashley McBryde even stopped by to show their support.
“I knew she was going in for a test to see if she had a virus or possibly Leukemia and when I found out I was at a gig. I walked outside and I cried. And then I went back in and performed. It was a really angry performance, very loud but are we surprised?” confides Taylor Gayle.
“It hit Nashville like a train whenever we heard it and the whole community has come together to support and show their love to Ava. We’re her army and we’re going to keep on fighting it with her. She ain’t alone” confirms Landon Wall.
“It has been harsh to see her go through these tough times because no one deserves to go through something like this. On the other hand, it’s also been so inspiring to see her take on these obstacles with positivity and courage” Macy Tabor tells us.
Despite the circumstances, this girl isn’t letting anything stop her. We wholeheartedly believe that this bump in the road is going to only make her and her songwriting stronger. “Ammunition to write, ammunition to have hope to hold onto. She’s going to push through this because she’s not a stopper. She’s a fighter. Absolutely. I think this is going to do a whole lot not just for her, but she can use this to help others” believes Justin Love.
“She’s had very high hopes and her humor is still there. She’s still funny as ever and I know she’ll get through this and be better on the other side” amends Taylor Gayle.
If anyone can get through this it is Ava Paige. “It absolutely breaks my heart to see Ava go through all of this, but I know she’s such a strong girl and she always looks on the bright side of things” confesses Marisa McKaye.
“That’s why seeing her go through this challenging time has been heartbreaking because she, out of everyone, doesn’t deserve this. But if someone had to go through it, and beat it, it definitely would be Ava because she is the strongest person I know” adds Amy Taylor.
Artists have so many favorite memories with Ava, but we chose these because we feel they encompass her spirit and who she is best.
“Seeing her with her guitar on her back, her cowgirl hat on, and running down the sidewalk trying to make it to the next place to play. You can just see her doing it, her hair is going crazy” Ben Fuller recalls.
“Probably my favorite memory with Ava was when I wrote with her for the first time because I got to know her more. That day I also wrote one of my favorite songs with Ava which I will not ever forget” Macy Tabor tells us.
“I think one of my favorite memories of her, would be playing rounds and her playing rifts on the guitar and harmonizing with me. She always impressed me, surprised me, and kept me on my toes.” comments Amy Taylor.
“Ava always shows up to my weekly live show Jammin in Jammies decked out in a full pajama wear. She rocks onesies, slippers, robes. Her enthusiasm is everything” Megan Barker remembers.
“I was playing a round with Ava at the local and my microphone went out and she handed me her mic. And she held it out like a human mic stand” shares Landon Wall.
“It was my first show in Nashville and I was so nervous and didn’t know anyone. I sat and talked to her and her mom like I had known them forever. Ever since then they have become my family” adds Courtney Peveler.
Over 50 artists gathered to perform at 3rd and Lindsley the other night honoring Ava. The venue was packed with supporters there to enjoy music and raise money to help this family out with medical expenses. It’s been incredible to watch Nashville come together and have Ava and her family’s back during this difficult time. “In a town where we’re all chasing a dream, we never forget that we’re all family when it comes down to it. And we take care of our own” Megan Barker stands behind.
“I remember when Ava, Landon, and I were in the little “trio not trio” at 3rd and Lindsley Backstage and we were like ‘do you think we can fill this up?’ This takes the cake” Taylor Gayle gushes.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see. All these songwriters, they had 55 songwriters tonight all singing songs they wrote with Ava. That’s how hard of a worker she is. This is only a small fraction of how many people love Ava Paige” Landon Wall comments.
Are we surprised? “You know what? I’d love to say I’m surprised but I’m not surprised at all. Ava has such a heart and a special draw to her. She draws people in with her heart and her energy. It doesn’t surprise me at all that there’s 55 people here tonight singing their songs. There’s something special about being a part of Ava Paige’s life” believes Rhonda Funk.
“It’s people like Ava that make me love this town and all the people that showed up to support Ava and to celebrate Ava tonight was amazing” adds John Miller.
Here are just a few closing messages from Ava’s Army.
“I think that she is the most special girl I’ve ever encountered and I feel like a protective big sister sometimes and I love her family as if they were my own” shares Amy Taylor.
“I love you. I know so many people say that but I love you. In two years I will always be there, in five, in ten. Technically we’re almost the same age but your like a little sister to me” Taylor Gayle wants her to know.
“She’s a fighter and that’s really inspiring to Nashville, anyone in music. We love you Preston. All you guys, your incredible. Keep on fighting #avasarmy” adds Landon Wall.
“God bless you Ava. We’re praying for you. We’re behind you. We’re your army and we love you” shares Dalton Black.
“Ava, listen your attitude was unbelievable before. It’s unbelievable now. Just keep being you and your going to beat this thing” believes John Miller.
“I believe in Ava so much and know she will kick cancer’s butt” agrees Courtney Peveler.
“I’m so proud of Ava for her heart and her fight. I personally have lived through brain surgery where God healed me and I believe in miracles. I think she’s one of them. I know God’s doing something amazing and this is just a whole new beginning of songs for her” Rhonda Funk wholeheartedly believes.
And we do too. Keep on fighting Ava. We are happy to report that at this time it has been announced she is in remission and headed home! We know it’s going to be a rough next few years, but know your army has your back! #avasarmy #avastrong
The family has set up a GoFundMe account if you wish to contribute financially. There will also be another benefit at the George Jones museum where Ava spent a lot of her time on September 23rd.