Kelly Lang is a famous singer songwriter. I was blessed to be able to interview her after her song “I’m Not Going Anywhere” was released in a music video on 1/29. The song has been used as Ascension Hospitals national commercial campaign.
The song has been offering comfort in this time of Pandemic. She and her song are offering many hope. While the song has reached many, the question those that have listened to the comforting voice have been asking is, “Who is Kelly Lang?”
The answer, is a woman of faith with a story of her own.
Who is Kelly Lang – Farm Roots
Kelly Lang grew up in a music household. I was amazed when I listened to her song that she wrote, “Goodby Darlin” a tribute to Conway Twitty. Speaking with Kelly I learned, “My dad (Velton Lang) was Conway’s road manager for 25 years. That song came to my heart. I was going to give that to his family as a gift (after his death).”
She said they insisted on publishing it instead. Although she lives in Nashville now, Kelly could relate to my farm girl blog. She said, “I’m a farm girl too. I was born in Oklahoma. I’m a cow girl at heart. Dad had cattle, now that I’m not living on the farm it feels foreign.”
Kelly was surrounded by music legends. “George Jones, Loretta Lynn, all these celebrities were calling my dad asking for advice. He handled their concessions, they had fascinating lives ”
Kelly said the first time she recalls writing a song was when she was six. I was in the tub one day we had Delta faucets. The song “Delta Dawn” was famous and I wrote a song about it one day. Kelly recorded her first Billboard single “Lady, Lady” at the age of 15.
Over the years her biography states, “Having graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, Lang has performed with legends of entertainment spanning all genres of music including Sir Barry Gibb, Ronnie Milsap, Mickey Gilley, George Strait, Brenda Lee, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, TG Sheppard and many more. “
She has also been a frequent Television guest as well.
Kelly Knew She Was A Songwriter Early On
“I think it is something internal, I think we know what we are, I was already a song writer. We just have to grow into it. “
Kelly feels she writes best when the song comes to her naturally. “I can go to Nashville and have a writing appointment, but its not as enjoyable. I like it when songs come to me, I feel more inspired to write. When you meet with others its not as organic. It is not my best songs.”
“A lot of time songs come to me in my dreams. I wake up and the song is half-way written. God allows that to come to some people. Then you can make it into something,” Kelly said. “Sometimes I think people dismiss their intuition.”
Story Behind “I’m Not Going Anywhere”
Although this song is taking on new life, it is not a new song. Kelly explained. “About 16 years ago I witnessed a friend taking care of her husband. I kept saying to my friend, ‘Honey I’m not going anywhere.'”
The words stuck and she wrote the song and the words, “I’m not going anywhere” and lyrics like “take my hand” and more just resonate with all.
Her friend lost her husband. Kelly said, “I’m sensitive to widows, mom lost dad at 57.”
Shortly after her friend’s ordeal, Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rather than looking at this devastating news as a death sentence, she looked at it as a life sentence and tried to live each day to the fullest.
Dating her now husband, Country Music star T.J. Sheppard when she was battling breast cancer, she said he walked in one day when she felt very vulnerable and she said, “Please don’t look at me.”
He held her sharing her own words, “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’ve known my husband T.G. Shepard since I was 14, I was an opening act,” she shared. “We have been together now 20 years and dated for 7 . We were married in 2007.”
Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and had surgery and treatment in 2005. Today Kelly is a champion for women cancer survivors and encouraging women to get mammograms. She brings hope to many.
She shares that it is important to be sensitive to those with breast cancer because of the emotional aspects to appearance. “It’s one of these things that the emphasis for a woman’s breast it’s constant. People need to be more sensitive to that. Another thing is hair it’s the first outward thing. Twenty-one days after my first treatment it was just gone. “
The Faith That Sustains
The song that Kelly wrote came from a well of faith. “I felt God all around,” she said during her cancer.
She said she thinks faith is so important because, “Even after that I felt that people that don’t have a relationship with God are going to have a time when you will need Him.”
“I started looking at this as more of a life sentence, than a death sentence. The doctor said he knew who would make it by their attitude. In my history the songs have been a predictive of what would happen in my life. I would say why did I write that? I am careful about what I write now because I don’t always want to live through that,” she joked.
What The Song Is Doing Today
“I was thrilled that Ascension found this 16 years later. It is wonderful for someone to be comforted through this pandemic. I have had so many letters say they used the song for funerals or have been married to it. Some say it reminds them of “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone. I was very humbled by that. God can surely light you up.”
“My goal used to be to acquire fame, now it is that my music will touch someone’s heart or that something I might have written will comfort someone. “
Hall Of Fame
On the Huckabee Show recently, Kelly Lang was surprised with her induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Both the City of Nashville and Oklahoma City also declared September 18 Kelly Lang Day! “Lang released her album “Old Soul” on September 18th. The first two singles were “Drive” and “Every Breath You Take.” This 14 song album is a tribute to the pop hits of the 70s and 80s we all grew up loving. This is her 8thstudio album and encompasses the songs she grew up listening to.