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When Eastern Kentucky University students Katelyn and Samantha Daugherty released their first single, they could not have expected how well it would be received. Within hours, their song “What If” would reach #14 on the iTunes country music charts.

The identical twins, both sophomores, form the country/pop duo Magnolia Vale. On Sunday, Aug. 27, they released “What If’ with popular country music artist Taylor Ray Holbrook, an independent musician from West Virginia, best known for his songs “Tie Me Down” and “These Hands.”

“He is so talented and is able to connect with a lot of people through his music,” Samantha said of Holbrook. “We look up to him, and we cannot believe he wanted us to be a part of his journey!”

The release of “What If” was just the beginning for the rising duo. The following Friday, Magnolia Vale released its first EP, “Sunburn,” consisting of five original songs. “All of our songs are exactly what we were looking for to start off our music career. They're so young, fresh, fun, and different from today's country.” The EP was an immediate hit, quickly surpassing even their single, reaching #5 on the charts.

The Daugherty sisters’ interest in music began at a young age. Their first public performance came when the girls were in fifth grade. After a hopeful reception, they became regulars at local events and venues, but still yearned for something more. “We have always been pretty serious about our music but never knew where to turn or where to begin to get ourselves out there,” Katelyn explained.

Their moment of triumph came in the summer of 2016 when they secured a spot recording with the esteemed Sound Emporium in Nashville, Tennessee. Open since 1969, the Sound Emporium is known for recording such greats as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton, as well as modern artists like Blake Shelton and Kesha. “We are connected with some amazing and talented producers and co-writers that knew exactly what we wanted,” said Katelyn. “We couldn't be any more grateful!”

The pair is equally successful outside of the studio. Both Katelyn, an elementary education major, and Samantha, a pre-occupational science major, are dedicated students and members of the prestigious Lambda Sigma Honor Society.

In light of all their success, the two cannot express how eternally grateful they are for all of the support they have received from family, especially their parents. “They believe in us when we don't believe in ourselves,” said Samantha. “We couldn't do it without them, their love and support.”       

They also have found a second family in the people of their hometown of Lebanon. “There is no place like home to us,” Samantha continued. “We know our hometown has our back through everything and if nothing comes of this, we still know that people believe in us everywhere we go.”

While the twins aren’t sure what will come next for Magnolia Vale, they feel optimistic. “A career in singing has always been our dream. It has always seemed so out of reach, but now it doesn’t seem so far,” Katelyn said. “We are beyond blessed to even be at this point, and we are reaching for the stars.”

To learn more about Magnolia Vale, visit their Facebook page, twitter (@magnolia_vale) or Instagram, (@magnoliavale). Their music is available on all major music markets, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.

— by Yasmin White, Student Writer, EKU Communications & Brand Management