Jade Flores’ Second Chance Worth Singing About

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Jade Flores singing with guitar
Photo courtesy of Jade Flores

Former American Idol Contestant Singing Across Texas

Six years ago, fate had a message for Jade Flores. It wasn’t ready for her to leave this world and take her talents with her.

Ever since she’s doing all she can to share her singing and guitar playing with as many people who will listen – and lots of people are listening.

“I am performing every weekend – either on a Friday or Saturday, at a honky tonk, winery, dive bar or Festival near you in Texas,” Flores said.

Among her upcoming gigs is the popular Texas Country Reporter Festival on Oct. 29 in Waxahachie. The event has attracted nearly 70,000 people in the past years from throughout the state and nation to come listen to the live music.

Switchyard Festival on November 5th

On Nov. 5, she will be playing in Carrollton at the Switchyard Festival as the only country music act. “We are so honored!” she said excitedly. “We will also be making our debut in Cowtown soon at the Fort Worth Stockyards outside the Rodeo Coliseum on the Outdoor Rodeo Music Stage. A date will be released in November.”

To keep up with her schedule, follow her on Instagram at @officialjadeflores.

Looking back, her career almost ended before it had a chance to start. In July of 2016, the truck she was driving during a rainstorm hit a ditch, flipped three times and ended up in a creek. With rising water coming, Flores thought that was the end for her.

Then, two men came along just in time and rescued her.

And when was chosen to perform on American Idol in 2018 – the first of two times – it was more than a chance to sing and play. It was an opportunity to tell her story.

Sharing Her Story

Jade Flores performing
Photo courtesy Jade Flores

“The outreach after my episode was aired was incredible. So many people resonated with my story and struggles that allowed people to share their own stories and how much it helped them knowing they were not alone. And that’s all I can hope for as an artist,” she said.

Suffice to say, 2022 has been a good year for Flores. In March she learned that she would once again be competing on American Idol in their historic 20th season.

While her return to the show never made it on air, she did advance to Hollywood Week for the second time singing a gospel song called “How great Thou art” during the genre round.

At the end of her performance, she received standing ovations from Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

Those are compliments from some pretty big folks in the music industry.

A Red Oak Native

Growing up in the small town of Red Oak, many folks came to watch her perform every second Saturday at the Red Oak Opry. But when she auditioned for American Idol, that shined light on her talent to the whole world, allowing her career to drastically change.

“I am very grateful for American Idol for giving me the chance to compete and perform on their show, and along that journey I have learned so much and been able to make a lot of friends along the way,” she said. “It truly did change my life being able to share my stories that really helped people.”

Flores jokes that she “came out crying in the key of D.”

“Momma always told me I was a songbird since I was young. My first ever performance was at a family reunion, and it was then I knew I had wanted to be a singer for the rest of my life,” she said.

Performing Since She Was 11

She began cutting her teeth in the local music circuit at the age of 11. By age 15 she was performing all around the Metroplex and all the opry’s around the state of Texas. Her father was her sound man, and her mother was her manager or as Flores calls her, “mommager.”

“We traveled everywhere, and I performed at venues such as Billy Bobs, Gilley’s, Six Flags and The State Fair of Texas,” Flores said.

“Because of this, my life as a teenager was a bit different. I didn’t get to go to all the homecomings, school dances or parties because right after school, momma and daddy were taking me to my next gig while I did my homework in the truck on the way to my gigs. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

How Flores came to play guitar is a story in itself. It actually stems from her days as a multi-sport athlete. She played outdoor/indoor soccer and was a boxer.

One night before she was scheduled to be in a Gold Gloves fight, she played in a soccer tournament. She injured her knee and ended up requiring surgery.

Learning To Play Guitar

“While I was on bed rest recovering from surgery, I remember watching Keith Urban play the guitar on Country Music Television and I was in awe,” she said. “I begged daddy to get me a guitar and I had promised to learn in two weeks if he did.

“Daddy and Grandpa got the money to buy my first Fender guitar. And I sure did learn to play in two weeks.”

Flores said country music is her favorite, hands down. She remembered that at age 5 her father, Richard Flores, taught her about its essence.

“He told me that if I listened real closely, I could hear about all the different stories and how it’s about real life. I also remember being at my grandpa’s house and we were cleaning out his shed. I stumbled upon my grandpa’s old records from Tammy Wynette and his all-time favorite Marty Robbins,” she recalled. “My daddy, grandpa and I sat around his dining table, and I begged him to slip in one of those records and so he did. As he played that Marty Robbins record, I fell completely in love. From the stories, to the western folk feel of every song as it played, it hit every one of my heart strings.”

Her momma, Rita Flores, on the other hand, was more into soul. Flores said being introduced to different genres helped carve out her career today. Now, whether it’s Johnny Cash or Aretha Franklin, she feels a connection.

“When daddy was gone at the Fire-station workin, momma would clean the house to Aretha Franklin. Growing up with those different genres was really a blessing and made me very diverse,” she said. “Structurally, both of those genres were fairly related, and because of this I loved them both.”

Music Runs Through The Family

Flores said nearly every person in her family has some form of musical talent. Her father sings, as does her mother. Her grandpa on her daddy’s side was a singer and so was her grandma on her mother’s side.

Nowadays, Flores has been busy writing some of her own songs and recording her own music. She has also put together a band to play with and they have been playing festivals, such as The Western Days Festival in Lewisville. She said while 2022 has been a great year, even bigger things are coming in 2023.

Among the original songs she wrote and has been recording is one titled “Country Christmas List,” soon to be released. It will be her first single released on social media platforms.

“I cannot wait to share it!” she said with excitement. “I also will be releasing more original music come 2023.”

Like singing, she began writing at an early age as well. She remembered something a veteran in the business said to her that inspired her.

“I remember him vividly saying, ‘Youngin, you know why you ain’t writing good country songs yet? Because you have not gone through life yet, my dear. Give it a couple of years, go rub in the dirt of life and it’ll come.’” she said. “He was so right. I later on realized what he had meant when I became a teenager going through my first heartbreaks and such.”

Big Goals Ahead

Look for her to be performing a lot more of her original songs at her shows now, she said.
Recently, she lost the opportunity to fulfill a wish. Her idol, Loretta Lynn, passed away on Oct. 4.

“My Holy Country Music Trinity consists of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn. When I had discovered Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, they were gone before my time so dreams of meeting them were out of reach, but I had always dreamed of reaching a level quick enough to be able to meet Loretta Lynn,” Flores said. “She was a huge inspiration for me in country music. I had always dreamed of being able to shake her hand or give her a big ol hug and thank her for blazin a trail for so many women in country music like myself. So now, I will keep her spirit in my heart as I continue this journey.”

Her next big goal in life is to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Flores said.

“I dream and pray every day of one day making it into that circle on that legendary stage. Because then, I can finally tell momma and daddy I made it,” she said. “Until then, I’ll be singing songs and workin’ my tail off till I reach my goal.”

 

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters

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