We watched as West auditioned for America’s Got Talent in 2014, receiving a unanimous yes in her audition from all four judges. She left viewers starstruck with her powerful melodies throughout the season, eventually earning the spot of runner-up. Since then, she has had much success. She has performed with stars such as Cyndi Lauper and even had a collaboration with Keith Urban.
Plus, she's absolutely gorgeous, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe as she showcases the same level of grace as women from that era.
SheKnows had the opportunity to chat with West in an exclusive interview. We discussed everything from first jobs to body issues to second chances. We got to know a few comical anecdotes about West as well as her opinion on a few topics, and of course, we loved her.
Her nephews have dyslexia, as does West, despite not realizing she had a problem until this year. Because of this, she said the dyslexia community is something she is really passionate about. Her love for her nephews radiated as she said, "They’re the most brilliant minds ever… we just kind of learn differently. Their learning is their tool to not be like everyone else; they’re still creative."
"My first job was working at a snow-cone shop in Waterloo, Iowa, and everyone quit, so I asked the owner if I got to be the manager and he said, ‘Yeah, sure, why not,'" said West.
When asked what was the biggest lesson she learned in her 20s, she admitted she was quite emotional. "I just feel like I was really emotional in my 20s, [and] made a lot of funny choices that have reflected a lot of my songs." We feel you on that one, Emily.
"I love elephants so much, they are absolutely the most beautiful animal ever," said West.
West received a record deal for country music from 2007–2010. After falling out of the music business, she decided to take the leap once more, based on a fan's letter. "I thought that, well, I already had a chance, so I don’t really need another one, I should just let it go. I didn’t really feel I was worth it to try again, and then I got a fan letter — an actual letter from a fan — that said, 'Your music inspired me and I had a really tough year. Your music is the only thing that helped me get through that part of my life.' And I was like, 'Wow, this is more about the fans than it is for me.' It helped people to give back, so I pursued it again because I knew that it helped people," said West. She admitted that giving herself a second chance was the biggest obstacle she had to overcome.
"We live in a world of perfection and, you know, low-carb this, do this to get skinner. And I'm all about being who you are, and if you gain some weight just dress it up and rock it. If you lost weight, then rock it — it doesn’t matter," said West.
Everyone needs their alone time, including West. "A lot of people think I’m this extroverted person, but I'm such an introvert at heart. I need that alone time. Prayer really helps, [and] writing in my journal and just being alone," said West.
"I just feel that when you’re scared, that’s usually when it’s go time," said West when referring to her fear of auditioning for America’s Got Talent. "It was a really, really scary feel for me to put myself out there on a reality TV show, having already had a record deal. I didn’t want people to think, 'Oh, she’s already had a chance.'" Luckily, she overcame that fear, and went on do to exceptionally well, earning yet another record deal.
"We live in a world that’s filters and iPhones, where you can really, literally take so many photos of yourself before you put about five filters on it. So we just live in a world of non-reality, and we're always trying to look better than we are via filters and Facebook… I find that I am more beautiful when I stand for something, and I am myself when I am just makeup-less," said West.
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