Mercury recording Artist Julie Roberts to Perform National Anthem at Darlington Raceway

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DARLINGTON, S.C. (April 10, 2007) – South Carolina native and Mercury Recording artist, Julie Roberts, will perform the National Anthem prior to the 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Roberts, the daughter of an engineer and an accountant, grew up singing country in Lancaster, S.C. "I started singing to country songs on the radio when I was about three," she says. "Mama had this big white truck, and we would all sit in the front seat and she would turn up country music. I learned all of these old songs, like Mel McDaniel's 'Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On'. When we hear them today I'll say, 'There's a white-truck song.'"

For what seemed like an eternity, blue-eyed country soul singer Julie Roberts sat just a few feet away from the man who could make all of her dreams come true. But she never uttered a word to him about it.

After moving to Nashville and graduating from Belmont University, Roberts took a job at Mercury Records to support herself while pursuing her goal of becoming a country singer. Unbeknownst to any of her co-workers, she spent her free time honing her songwriting skills and performing at various clubs around Music City. She spent her days as the assistant to Luke Lewis, Chairman of Universal Music Group Nashville, and her nights as a protégé of renowned producer Brent Rowan. She was always careful the two worlds never collided. "I needed to work and I was scared I was going to get fired if Luke knew," she says. "I knew my desire to be a singer was there, but I needed to be a devoted employee to him."

But as Roberts learned, you can't keep fate a secret for long. In 2003, Rowan met with Lewis to play some new songs from several artists in whom Lewis had expressed an interest. At the end of the session, Rowan played a few demos he had recorded with Roberts. Lewis said, "I want to know who this is. I want to meet this girl." Rowan said, "It's the girl right down the hall. It's your assistant."

So after an often-difficult journey that spanned several states and many years, Roberts was able to take those seemingly insurmountable final steps -- from her assistant desk to Lewis' office -- to ink a record deal that would turn her fantasy into an immediate reality.

Roberts’ latest album, Men & Mascara, is an impressive collection of songs certain to stand the test of time. After touring non-stop for two years, Roberts has honed her signature vocal style and developed a newfound confidence that she unleashes on her sophomore release.  

“It shows my maturity as an artist vocally and artistically, because I wrote on it,” says Roberts, who co-penned four songs—First To Never Know, Smile, A Bridge That’s Burning and All I Want. “I think it’s a step up, the next step.”

“I’ve been getting a great response to my first record on the road, people singing my songs and telling me, ‘Don’t change your next record much. We love it.’ So I knew I wanted it to be a lot of the same,” she says. “My mindset didn’t change that much. I started looking for songs that meant something to me, just like I did for my first album. Every lyric I sing has to mean something to me.”

Don’t miss your chance to see another incredible finish at Darlington Raceway when the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take on the track “Too Tough to Tame” in the Dodge Challenger 500 on May 10, 2008. The racing action kicks off with the NASCAR Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on May 9th. Order your tickets now by calling 1-866-459-RACE or logging onto http://www.racetickets.com.

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