About Sarah Darling
A singer and songwriter with a voice that's clear, expressive, and adaptable to both country and pop sounds, Sarah Darling makes music that's honest and articulate without sounding pretentious, and can sing originals with an unaffected, small-time feel while covering Joni Mitchell or the Smiths with a thoughtful touch. On her debut album, 2009's Every Monday Morning, Darling showed she was a sure hand with radio-friendly contemporary country sounds, but after a recording hiatus, 2017's Dream Country found her revamping her style, adding a greater pop influence as well as adult alternative and contemporary folk accents that gave her a more emotionally mature sound.
Sarah Darling was born October 4, 1982 in Des Moines, Iowa. Growing up in a family of music fans, she listened to plenty of country and country-rock music, which informed her vocal style. In 2003, she was a contestant on The Entertainer, a reality show/talent competition program. She was one of the Top Three finalists, but while the judges were looking for a talent that would fit a Las Vegas showroom, one of them, Wayne Newton, told Darling before she was voted off that she was meant to be a country singer and should try her luck in Nashville. She took his advice and relocated to the Music City, and after several years of paying her dues, she landed a deal with the independent country label Black River Entertainment. Her debut album, Every Monday Morning, came out in early 2009; Darling co-wrote all 13 tracks on the LP, and it received positive reviews. A second album for Black River, 2011's Angels and Devils, included ten originals as well as covers of hits by Elton John ("Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word") and U2 ("With or Without You"). Darling enjoyed a breakthrough in late 2012 when she released the song "Home to Me." The track quickly found support on satellite radio, while terrestrial radio soon followed and the song rose to 34 on the Country Singles charts. A four-song Home to Me EP followed in early 2013, but by the end of the year, Darling had cut ties with Black River. In 2014, she took another chance on a singing competition show, the American edition of the international success Rising Star. She only lasted four weeks, but one of the judges, Brad Paisley, thought enough of her talent that he arranged for her to make her debut on the Grand Ol' Opry, where she would appear over 80 times.
After Rising Star, Darling married and with her husband made frequent visits to Great Britain, where she began performing regularly. Within a few years, her profile in the U.K. had risen to the point where she was opening shows for major acts such as Paul Simon, James Taylor, Carrie Underwood, and Kacey Musgraves, and appeared three times at the annual C2C Festival, an event that featured major British and American country acts. She also expanded her business interests, working with a major boot manufacturer to design a footwear line and putting her love of baking to work with Sweet Darling Patisserie, specializing in French macarons. Darling returned to the recording studio to make her third full-length album, 2017's Dream Country, which she released on her own Be Darling label. The album clicked with fans, and one of the songs, "Where Cowboys Ride," racked up over three million plays on leading streaming services, while many critics praised her cover of the Smiths' "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want." Before 2017 was out, Darling had brought out another album, a collection of Christmas-themed tunes called Winter Wonderland. A family member's struggle with alcoholism and the toll it took on their relationships inspired her 2018's single "Wasted," and in June 2019, she released her fifth LP, Wonderland, an ambitious and expressive blend of country, folk, and pop. ~ Mark Deming
HOMETOWNDes Moines, IA
BORNOctober 4, 1982