AKA Karson Karlisle
- It’s a Girl Thang
By Brandon Frazier (SHS)
Brandi Shurden is a Mississippi country singer who graduated from Starkville High School in December, 2001. She graduated early to pursue her dream in Nashville, Tennessee. Ever since she can remember, Brandi has wanted to sing. Gene Simmons, a music producer, saw Brandi on the Kay Bain Morning Show and decided to help Brandi’s career. He helped her release her first CD It’s a Girl Thang, which is currently selling well; and she is working on a second CD which will have many songs written by Brandi herself.
Brandi’s parents are Otha and Connie Shurden; and she has three brothers: Chris Shurden, Andy Shurden, and Brad Carson. She also has a sister whose name is Lynn Shurden.
Brandi’s name was changed to Karson Karlisle at the suggestion of a manager, Frankie Backus, who felt that Shurden was difficult to pronounce. The name was a combination of Karson from her brother and Karlisle from Coach Carlisle, a baseball coach at Starkville High School. However, she has now gone back to using her own name.
Brandi was seriously injured in a car accident about a year ago, but she has fully recovered and has been attending dental hygiene school in Nashville when she isn’t singing. She occasionally sings with her sister-in-law Valerie Clark as a duo called Gurls Next Door. They performed together at the 2004 Starkville Arts Festival.
She is currently working with Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors, and Tim (married to Mississippian Faith Hill) is producing her next album She now lives in Nashville and when not singing, she attends a dental hygiene school. One song she really likes is “Tennessee in My Mind, Mississippi in My Rearview Mirror.” In an interview with Brian Hawkins of The Starkville Daily News, she states, “It’s about a girl going to make it in the big time. The first time I heard it, I thought, ‘This is my song. This is about me.”
Biography of Brandi Shurden
by Brad Pettit (SHS)
Brandi Shurden was born to Otha and Connie Shurden on July 25, 1983, in Starkville, Mississippi. Brandi has three brothers: Andy Shurden, Chris Shurden, and Brad Carson. She also has one sister, Lynn Shurden.
Since the time that Brandi Shurden has been able to walk around and sing, she has been singing. Whether it was singing to herself or walking around singing into a coke bottle, she was always singing. Ever since Brandi has been able to dream of being a country music singer that has been her main goal. Brandi’s parents have been behind her one hundred percent of the time. Brandi says, “Without my mom and dad, I would not be where I am today. They have given me full support since day one.”
Every country music singer has a couple of people that have made some kind of impact on their music career. Brandi says, “My most important role models would have to be Tanya Tucker, Patsy Cline, Whitney Houston, and Tammy Wynette.”
Brandi Shurden attended Starkville Public Schools. She graduated from Starkville High School in December of 2001. Brandi graduated from Starkville High early because she wanted to pursue her musical career in Nashville, Tennessee. Incredibly, Brandi has never had singing lessons. She has been blessed with a naturally beautiful voice.
Brandi has also had the opportunity to sing on the local cable station WCBI. She sang on the Kay Bain in the Morning Show. Brandi says, ” I really enjoyed singing on the show.” Just the local television station might not be a big deal to some people, but that was just a small step to a hopefully long musical career. Brandi released her first CD in July of 2001. The CD, It’s a Girl Thang, sold nearly three thousand copies around the Starkville area alone.
Everybody has to start somewhere. It just so happened that Brandi’s first public outdoor experience was at the Maben Fair. Brandi says, “The Maben Fair was a real good learning experience.” Since her first public show Brandi has come along way. She has since sung the national anthem at many local events. As if that was not big enough, she has also opened for people like Montgomery Gentry and Andy Griggs. Brandi is currently working on her second CD. She says, ” I don’t really know what the name of the CD will be, but I am really looking forward to finishing my second CD.”
Date of biography: April, 2002
Update from Brandi Shurden (March, 2005)
I am still singing, but I am also going to school for Dental Hygiene. I am not going by the name Carson anymore; we decided to keep it plan and simple. 😉 I just wanted to write and tell you THANKS for all the hard work that ya’ll put into my web site. Everyone that has seen it loved it. It makes me feel so good to know that ya’ll would take time to write, design and put together a web site just for me. 🙂 I hope everything is going good for you. I am doing fine; I am still singing. Since high school I have opened up for Steve Azar, Andy Griggs (again), Terri Clark, Merle Haggard, and Tanya Tucker.
I am now working with Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors, and Tim (married to Mississippian Faith Hill) is producing my next album. Lately I have been writing more and more songs, so this next album will be all my original music.
“Thanks to all my supporters!”
- 1983–Born July 25 in Starkville, Mississippi
- 2000– It’s A Girl Thang released in July
- 2001–opened for Montgomery Gentry on November 2
- 2001–graduated from Starkville High School in Starkville, Mississippi, in December
- 2001– performed in Columbus, MS, at the yearly Christmas festival
- 2002–moves to Nashville, Tennessee, to work on new CD
- 2002–September, Brandi’s name is changed to Karson Karlisle by agent Frankie Backus
- 2004–name changed back to Brandi Shurden
- 2005–sings with Tim McGraw, who is producing her next album, and attends Dental Hygiene school
by Brad Pettit (SHS)
To whom do you contribute most of your success?
“I would have to say that my mom and dad have contributed the most to my success.”
Who are some of the country music stars that you look up to?
“I have always looked up to Tanya Tucker, Patsy Cline, Whitney Houston, and Tammy Wynette.”
Have you ever had singing lessons?
“No. I have never really needed singing lessons.”
How did you feel about singing with Kay Bain on the Morning Show?
“It was actually pretty fun.”
When was your first outdoor concert?
“It was at the Maben Fair.”
How would you describe being chosen to open for the Montgomery Gentry concert in West Point?
“It felt good. Singing for them just felt awesome.”