Lila's shy no more

August 11, 1999

Lila McCannBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

Lila McCann's singing debut almost didn't happen.

Just 4 years old, she was supposed to sing "You Are My Sunshine" with her father's band.

When the time came, she hid in the bathroom. Her mother coaxed her out with the promise of a Barbie doll and a career was born.

[cont. from lifestyle]

Lila's favorites

Food: Mexican

High school subject: English

Author: Stephen King

Leisure activity: Spending time with friends

"I used to be a shy little girl," Lila said in a telephone interview from her home in Tacoma, Wash.

The country music singer got over her initial shyness, and by the time she was 8 or 9, she was singing at local Elks and Eagles lodges with The Southenders, her dad's band, every Saturday night.

Now 17, Lila has a gold record - her 1997 debut album "Lila." The album's single, "I Wanna Fall in Love," reached No. 1, and her contribution to the "Hope Floats" soundtrack, "To Get Me To You," went double platinum.

She'll perform at Red Run Park in Rouzerville, Pa., Sunday, Aug. 15, as part of the WAYZ Summer Fun Fest. Her show is at 4 p.m.

Since her shy debut, Lila's horizons have broadened considerably. She was a main stage performer in last summer's George Strait Chevy Truck Country Music Festival tour, performing for audiences of 60,000 in stadiums across the country.

Despite time in the spotlight, including a role on television's "Walker Texas Ranger" and appearances on "Good Morning America" and "48 Hours," the 1998 Country Music Association Rising Star nominee remains well grounded.

She's a cheerleader at Steilacoom High School, she went to her prom and will take her senior class trip to Mexico.

She'll do perfomances on weekends during the school year for the first time this year.

She said she wants to keep her band happy.

"It's important that they work," she says. They have families to feed, she added. Her entourage of 12 includes her mom.

She also has four older brothers who give her a hard time, she said. Back from a tour, she faced doing the laundry that had exploded from her suitcases.

Lila made her Grand Ole Opry debut last month. She drives a used 1998 red GMC "Jimmy," but said she'll earn a "brand-new Beamer" on a bet with a guy she met on the Strait tour last summer when she headlines her own tour at some unspecified future date.

Lila got co-writing credits on three songs on her second album "Something In The Air," "I Reckon I Will" and "Can You Hear Me."

In the "it's a small world category," Lila will share the Fun Fest bill with Michael Peterson, who also grew up in Washington.

He's a really nice guy, and he and her "awesome" history teacher were friends in college, she added.

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