The granddaughter of local couple Lon and Sharon Sinness has been signed to a record label and will begin recording country music in Nashville later this month.
Caitlin Sinness, 11, known by her stage name Caitlin, is the daughter of Candy Sinness, who is the daughter of Lon and Sharon.
Lon was a crop duster for over 20 years in the Dazey area, and Candy attended school in North Central, now known as Barnes County North.
Caitlin lives in Sebring, Fla. with her mom, and was discovered while singing at a competition called Heartland Idol in February. She took home the junior title, and recently signed a recording contract with Playback Records in Nashville, Tenn.
She will be recording 10 songs on her first CD, which is anticipated to go on sale in October. Songs on the album are written by well-known writers for many famous singers, who have come up with songs just for Caitlin.
One of the songs was written by Elton John's songwriter, Lon said. Caitlin's producer, Jack Gale, has also produced for Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.
Caitlin got her start in music when she'd sing karaoke with her mom and grandma.
"She's been singing since she was five-years-old," Sharon said. "She would go with her mom and myself and we'd go to karaoke, and that's how she got started in front of a crowd."
She also performs solos at school and performed at the republican banquet for the state of Florida.
Caitlin has even sung for a Valley City audience. She sang, a capella, God Bless America, at Music at the Barnes County Courthouse, during the Maasjo Sisters' intermission June 26.
"She received a standing ovation," Sharon said.
Caitlin, Candy and Sharon will head to Nashville Aug. 29, where Caitlin will record for three days and have a photoshoot.
Lon and Sharon live in Valley City during the summer and Sebring, Fla. during the winter. Caitlin's great-grandmother is Lois Sinness of Bismarck. Her brother is Tyler Sinness.
Read this story in Friday's Times-Record.