Victoria Blackie Brings Some Country to NMAI

Catch up-and-coming Navajo country artist Victoria Blackie this Saturday, June 11, outside of NMAI

Country artist Victoria Blackie (Navajo)
Country artist Victoria Blackie (Navajo) Photo courtesy of the artist

Country artist Victoria Blackie (Navajo) may only be 23-years-old, but she’s been performing for decades. This 5’1” Salt Lake City native packs a deceptively powerful voice, and likens herself to more traditional country greats like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. You can catch her this Saturday, June 11, performing outside the National Museum of the American Indian, with two other country singers, Rebecca Miller (Six Nations, Ontario, Canada) and Becky Hobbs (Cherokee) from 5-7 p.m.

Things started out early musically for Blackie. Her singing talent was first discovered by her aunt, Martha Chavez, who then ended up doubling as her babysitter and vocal coach. By the time Blackie was 1 and a half years old she was receiving singing lessons, and by the time she was 3 years old, she was performing in public. Blackie even got a taste of international touring at a young age, traveling to Japan with a teen pop band at age 13. Later that year she went on to perform at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Despite Blackie’s precociousness, mainstream country remains a tough industry to break into, and one where minorities have historically been under-represented. “Have you ever seen a Native American country singer?” Blackie responded to Utah’s City Weekly regarding the ease of acceptance into the country scene.

Regardless, 2010 was a big year for Blackie, as she was nominated in eight categories in the Native American Music Awards for her first album, Wanted Man, capturing the prestigious “Debut Artist of the Year Award.”

She’s currently working on a new album of originals as well as covers of traditional country songs.

Victoria Blackie (Navajo) will be playing along with Rebecca Miller (Six Nations, Ontario, Canada) and Becky Hobbs (Cherokee) outside of the main entrance of NMAI this Saturday, June 11, from 5-7pm.

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