Kayla Slone was just 21 years old when her impromptu performance of a Dolly Parton classic went viral.
She was working as a cashier at Walmart in Logan, West Virginia when she decided to sing a song. Luckily, a friend of hers was there to record it and upload it to YouTube where it quickly went viral.
Slone had always dreamed of being a singer and even recorded an album with her brother at age 15, though she didn’t have any way of distributing it.
Since then, it was her goal to someday perform at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry.
But her random, on-the-job performance of Dolly Parton’s 1971 hit ‘Coat Of Many Colors’ opened up a world of opportunities.
After getting hundreds of thousands of views, Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher took a look at her video and invited her to perform on the stage of her dreams.
He told ABC News:
“Country music at its best is about real people singing real stories about real life… But it starts with a passion and we’re happy to give her a stage.”
After her shift one Friday, she and her husband – who works as a coal miner – drove to Nashville.
On Saturday, she was rehearsing at the Opryland Hotel when she got a surprise phone call from none other than country legend and coal miner’s daughter Loretta Lynn.
“I think talking to Loretta helped me a lot,” Slone told ABC News. “She told me that she loved me, and she said she would be watching and I said it was an honor to sing her song. That’s the music that I grew up listening to and that’s what I want to sing.”
The country music star wished her well and promised to watch the performance.
Slone sang both the Dolly Parton hit that made her famous as well as Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”
After that, she was invited by Diane Sawyer for an interview on ABC where she spoke about her experience as well as her ambitions for the future.
And that led to yet another television invitation, this time from Anderson Cooper.
While she was on Cooper’s show, none other than country music star Dierks Bentley called in to give her yet another huge invitation.
“I’m a huge fan. Like so many people, I saw the video, and, gosh, I just love your singing, your voice, you have such a traditional country voice. It was really refreshing and I enjoyed your story. I thought maybe it might be your first Las Vegas trip to come to the Academy of Country Music Awards this April.”
She was stunned to find out he has already made some arrangements.
“We got two tickets for you guys to actually go to the awards show, but we also got two tickets for the pre-show, that I’m headlining the day before, and two tickets for the afterparty… Hopefully you’ll be able to come.”
Of course, an out-of-the-blue trip across the country isn’t exactly in everyone’s budget, but Cooper took care of that. After she received the invite, he offered to cover airfare and a hotel for Slone and her coal miner, which left her near tears.
While Bentley planned to introduce her to record label bosses, it’s unclear what happened to her after 2014. She did go on tour with some country acts the following year but doesn’t appear to have released an album.
But, hey, that’s show business for you – it’s fickle stuff.
Be sure to scroll down below to see the impromptu performance that started it all as well as her Grand Ole Opry set.
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