Country diva has a hankering for Jets

Winnipeg's Pearson ready to cheer for her team


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It has the makings of a hit country song: small-town Prairie girl follows her dreams and strikes it big.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/04/2018 (1865 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It has the makings of a hit country song: small-town Prairie girl follows her dreams and strikes it big.

For Leanne Pearson, such an accomplishment remains a work in progress. But one thing is crystal clear — she’s brought the Winnipeg whiteout to Nashville.

Born and raised in Charleswood, Pearson is now pursuing her musical career in Tennessee. But in between a busy schedule filled with recording sessions, music video shoots and promotional events, Pearson is keeping close tabs on her hometown hockey team.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Leanne Pearson, a singer from Winnipeg who lives in Nashville, is bringing the Whiteout to the Tennessee city.

“I’m a hockey fan through and through,” Pearson, 28, told the Free Press this week during a conversation on the famous Broadway strip. “Hockey was ingrained in my brain. My parents put a stick in my hand when I was really young.”

Clad head to toe in white, Pearson watched every Winnipeg Jets first-round game against the Minnesota Wild at a neighbourhood pub. She managed to convince a few friends along the way into rooting for the Jets.

“Seeing those street parties on TV… just insane. I wish I was there,” Pearson said.

Now she gets to watch the Jets up close with Games 1 and 2 in her own backyard. Of course, she stands out in a crowd clad in yellow Predators jerseys but doesn’t mind the good-natured ribbing that comes with it.

“People are more educated now (about hockey) in this town than they ever have been,” Pearson said. “Taking people to their first-ever Preds game is really cool. I get to explain the game to them and hear their questions.”

During last year’s run to the Stanley Cup finals, Nashville fans really embraced their team and came out in massive numbers for their own one-of-a-kind street parties. A similar wave is happening again this year — complete with their unique tradition of smashing up a car decked out in their opponent’s logo. Or, in the case of this series with Winnipeg, a small plane.

“It was a snowball effect, as people began to catch wind of what was going on there was more and more people,” said Pearson.

She’s been having lots of fun on her Twitter account this week (@LeannePearson) with plenty of discussion with fans about the series, while posting photos of herself in Jets garb at various Nashville locales. She even helped paint the Jets logo on the plane that Nashville fans smashed to pieces before Friday’s Game 1.

Pearson made the move south in late 2016 and has enjoyed some musical success to date. She’ll return to Manitoba this summer to play a couple of local events, Super-Spike and Dauphin’s Countryfest.

“I definitely knew this was where life was going to take me eventually. It was just a matter of when,” Pearson said.

Her debut video for I Wanna Be More was released earlier this year, and the song has more than 150,000 downloads on Spotify.

One of her first singles, Get Out Of My Heart, cracked the top 50 on the Canadian country music charts.

Her latest song, Rooster, was released last week and is a mix of country, pop and reggae.

“Being down here in Music City, when you’re in the right place at the right time, things just happen,” said Pearson, who routinely holds acoustic performance and writing sessions with other artists in Nashville to hone her craft.

“I’m just building every day, always learning and always growing,” she said.

Now Pearson hopes good things also happen to her beloved Jets during their time in Nashville.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.


Updated on Saturday, April 28, 2018 10:33 AM CDT: Final

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