Katie Armiger Brings Generations Together at Lay’s Stage

On a scorching Friday afternoon, most people are just trying to find some shade or get inside as quickly as possible — especially on a street as jam-packed as Broadway during CMA Fest.

But just before noon on June 10, passersby stopped in their tracks when they heard a powerhouse voice echoing from the Lay’s Stage at Bridgestone Arena. When they realized the voice was coming from a 19-year-old young woman, they pulled out their iPhones and cameras and began snapping pictures.

The only time Armiger’s performance betrayed her age was between songs. She introduced herself as a native of Sugarland, Texas, and several women in the front row cheered.

“Oh, hey!” Armiger said. “I didn’t even see you there.” She leaned into the microphone and told the crowd, “These are some of my stepmom’s Bunco friends.” A few mothers in the audience chuckled, as if to say, “Isn’t she cute?”

But when Armiger began her hit song “Leaving Home” a few seconds later, audience members were once again impressed by her mature vocal ability.

“She’s got a good voice for her age, that’s for sure,” said Tony Applegate from Wichita, Kan. Applegate had never listened to Armiger’s songs before he showed up at her performance. “I just came over here to see what she had to say,” he said. “I’m becoming a fan.”

Armiger concluded her set with her newest single, “Best Song Ever.” In the music video for that song, Armiger sings from inside a car radio while people of all races, genders and ages belt out the pop Country tune as they drive.

At the show, nearly every member of the audience was singing along as well — men, women and children. While it may not actually be the “best song ever,” Armiger, one of the youngest performers at the Lay’s Stage this year, seems to be on her way to becoming the best breakout female artist of the summer.

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