Madeline Merlo: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Madeline Merlo

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Madeline Merlo is one of the first songwriters featured on NBC’s hit songwriting competition show Songland when it returns Monday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT for its second season. The upcoming season will feature guest artists that include Boyz II Men, Florida Georgia Line, Luis Fonsi, H.E.R., Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Julia Michaels, Ben Platt, Bebe Rexha and Usher.

In the premiere episode, Merlo competes alongside American Idol alum Tim Halperin, The Voice alum Ryan Innes, and R&B songwriter Steven Battey to see whose song will catch the eye of country trio Lady Antebellum. Here’s what you need to know about Merlo going into the episode.

WARNING: Light spoilers ahead for the premiere episode of Songland season two. Don’t read the fifth header if you don’t want to be spoiled.


1. Merlo Grew Up in Maple Ridge, British Columbia

Merlo is a Canadian country music singer, born on February 9, 1994, and raised in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. She revealed in a 2014 profile with the Maple Ridge Times that her father Dominic Merlo is a musician who “raised [her] on soul” and her mother Susan “raised [her] on country music,” so her “soulful country” is a combination of those two influences on her sound.

Madeline’s father Dominic is a songwriter/producer who played in a band called The Groove, a house band for the Roxy Night Club in Vancouver. You can see some of his performances on his YouTube channel.

Merlo’s mom is also her manager — or “momager,” as Merlo says in the profile — and she has a sister named Cheyenne with whom she is really close. Cheyenne is a yoga instructor in Vancouver. All three of her immediate family members were in the audience for her big concert, when she opened for Dean Brody at the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre on February 22, 2014 — and her mom filled a bus with 25 of her friends to attend the concert as well.


2. Merlo Has Won Several Awards in Canada

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In 2015, Merlo won Female Vocalist of the Year from the British Columbia Country Music Association and the Rising Star Award from the Canadian Country Music Association. She won the BCCMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 2016 as well.

She has also been nominated for three other BCCMAs, two other CCMAs and a Western Canadian Music Award for Country Artist of the Year in 2017. She has charted five Top 15 singles and is now based out of Nashville and hoping to break into the United States country music scene. At the 2017 CMA Awards, E! Online named her one of the best-dressed celebs on the red carpet, writing, “A velvet jumpsuit on the red carpet? Yes, please! The Canadian country music singer-songwriter serves as outfit inspo for our next holiday party.”

In 2019, Merlo made her first big foray into the U.S. Country Music Association limelight when she booked a spot at that summer’s CMA Fest, playing on the Spotlight Stage that is designed to showcase up-and-coming artists.


3. She Performed for the Troops in Kuwait

Madeline Merlo – Dear Me“Dear Me” by Madeline Merlo now available.   Listen: http://www.rgk.lnk.to/DearMe Merchandise: https://www.madelinemerlo.com/store Official Website: https://www.madelinemerlo.com/ Follow on –  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madelinemerlo/   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madelinemerlo/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/madelinemerlo #DearMe #MadelineMerlo #SelfLove   Written by Madeline Merlo, Maddie Larkin, David Fanning, Abram Dean   Hey Don’t forget you’ve got your mothers eyes They give all of your emotions away Don’t forget to not apologize, when it ain’t your fault anyway Hey And a little self-sabotage  Is natural in every way  But don’t forget that you’re a total babe, and everything is gonna be okay Okay   Chorus Dear me When you’re down you stand up taller Don’t forget to drink your water  You’re smart as hell, you’re your father’s daughter Oh, don’t you forget it Dear me We both know that you’re not flawless  That don’t mean you ain’t a goddess  If you still don’t believe you better re read   Dear me  Don’t compare yourself to nobody else The mirror’s not your enemy  You can make anything happen for yourself, with a little positivity    Dear me Stop wasting so much energy, living in doubt, worrying about anxiety How you’re gonna fit in those jeans, if you wanna fit into society    Chorus   Dear me  Keep your money right Your friends tight  Keep your head high Be who you wanna be Don’t forget to breathe   Chorus   Dear me Dear me Dear me — Powered by http://www.vydia.com2019-08-12T11:00:02Z

In a 2017 interview with Belles and Gals, Merlo revealed that a high point of her career up to that point was definitely getting to travel to the Middle Eastern country of Kuwait to perform for the Canadian troops stationed there.

“Travelling to Kuwait to sing for our Country’s troops was an experience I will never forget. It was so special to sing for those brave men and woman and get the chance to shake their hand and thank them in person. I will always remember standing with my feet in the sand in the Middle East thinking ‘Music brought me here’,” said Merlo.

She also revealed that some of her biggest inspiratons are Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Dolly Parton, Carole King, John Mayer, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars, and that her favorite TV show is Game of Thrones, her favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz and her favorite actor is Leonardo DiCaprio.


4. Merlo Starred in a Film About Country Music

Country Crush (2017) – Official TrailerCountry Crush (UFE Trailer) United Front Entertainment Ropes In Canadian Distribution Rights to Movie-Musical, ‘Country Crush’ The DVD/Digital and Soundtrack Releases will Ensure the Boot-stomping Tunes Don’t Stop with Country Music Stars Madeline Merlo and Jana Kramer TORONTO, CANADA (February 8th, 2017) — United Front Entertainment (UFE), a leading Canadian full service distribution company, have acquired the Canadian distribution rights for Country Crush, produced by Good Soldier Films and First Beacon Entertainment. The film starring Canadian country music sweetheart Madeline Merlo and singer/actress Jana Kramer (One Tree Hill), is set for home video and digital release in Canada on March 14th, 2017, which follows the films official soundtrack release on March 10th, 2017. “Country Crush is a demonstration of the power of music, the bond of brotherhood and the boundless possibilities of love. UFE is delighted to be distributing this film to a wide audience of country music fans and romantics of all ages,” said Susan Curran, President of Marketing and Development at United Front Entertainment. Also starring Canadian teen television star Munro Chambers (Degrassi, The Latest Buzz) and reality television star Sophie Simmons (Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, Shannon & Sophie), Country Crush is available for preorder on Walmart.ca and Amazon.ca. The Country Crush official soundtrack, which features Madeline Merlo’s new hit single ‘Crush’, will be digitally released worldwide. "The team is very proud of this film that incorporates all the best elements of country music. With a sweet love story, strong soundtrack and fun dance numbers, you can’t help but fall in love!" stated Brigitte Kingsley, Producer at Good Soldier Films. Country Crush opens with city girl and aspiring singer Nancy Taylor travelling to the countryside with best friend Ainsley for a weekend getaway. When Nancy’s car breaks down, fate introduces her to Charlie Bishop. Charlie, a good-hearted country boy, becomes immediately enchanted with Nancy and yet struggles to find the courage to ask her out on a date. After his older brother Cody is shipped out on another tour of duty, Charlie gains the courage to follow Nancy to the big city and pursue the romance. The relationship begins with promise, but the demands of Nancy’s budding career causes Charlie to question the relationship and to remember the importance of making the hard choices in life when staying true to oneself. About United Front Entertainment: United Front Entertainment (UFE) is a new Toronto-based innovative full service Canadian film distribution company. UFE develops, creates and acquires content to distribute across all Canadian broadcast platforms and retail outlets. For more information, please visit: http://www.unitedfrontent.com. Twitter: https://twitter.com/ufefilms Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unitedfrontentertainment/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitedfrontent About Good Soldier Films: Good Soldier Films is a film and television production company that develops, creates and produces high quality content for the global market. For more information, please visit: http://www.goodsoldierfilms.com Twitter:https://twitter.com/GSoldierFilms About First Beacon Entertainment: First Beacon Entertainment is a full-service film and television production company focused on North American and International markets. For more information, please visit: http://firstbeacon.ca -30- For more information or to schedule interviews with Madeline Merlo, Munro Chambers, or Andrew Cymek (Director) please contact: James Tessier, Account Manager, Ireland + Hall Communications Inc. james@irelandandhall.com (416) 846-6125 Madeline Merlo http://madelinemerlo.com http://twitter.com/madelinemerlo http://facebook.com/madelinemerlo http://instagram.com/madelinemerlo2017-02-10T21:35:15.000Z

In 2017, Merlo starred with Jana Kramer and Sophie Tweed-Simmons in the film Country Crush about a young woman who is trying to make it as a country star. Merlo played the yong woman, Nancy Taylor, whose car breaks down on the way to a party. She meets small-town mechanic Charlie (Munro Chambers) and a romance begins, but Nancy must then choose between following her budding music career and following her heart.

Merlo won Best Actress in a Feature Film for the movie at the Lake Charles Film Festival. It’s on Amazon Video if you are interested in watching it.

In an interview with Showtimes when the movie was filming, Merlo said of her first on-screen acting experience, “It has been amazing. I thas been long. Long hours, long days. I expected physically to be tired because you’re standing and moving and dancing and singing so much, but it’s mentally exhausting as well because you want it to be authentic, so you’re putting yourself in her shoes all the time. When there’s an emotional scene, you bring it home with you … I’m bummed out and hurting for a character that doesn’t even exist.”


5. How Does Merlo Do in Her Songland Episode?

Madeline Merlo Performs "I'll Drink to That" (Original Song Performance) – Songland 2020Songland songwriter Madeline Merlo sings the original song "I'll Drink to That." » Subscribe for More: http://bit.ly/NBCSongland » Songland Returns Monday, April 13th 10/9c on NBC! » Stream Anytime: https://www.nbc.com/songland/episodes SONGLAND ON SOCIAL: Like Songland on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NBCSongland Follow Songland on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBCSongland Follow Songland on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nbcsongland Find Songland trailers, full episode highlights, previews, promos, clips, and digital exclusives here. NBC ON SOCIAL: NBC YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/nbc Like NBC: http://Facebook.com/NBC Follow NBC: http://Twitter.com/NBC NBC Instagram: http://instagram.com/nbc NBC Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/NBCtv/ ABOUT SONGLAND NBC's new groundbreaking series "Songland" serves as a destination for music's biggest stars to find their next hit. Undiscovered songwriters are put center stage as they pitch their original creations to top recording artists and chart-topping music producers in the hopes of creating the artists' next big hits. Featured guest recording artists include Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am, OneRepublic, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore and Leona Lewis. Songwriters will perform their original tracks in front of the guest artist and three of the most sought-after producers in music: Ryan Tedder, the lead singer of OneRepublic and a four-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer; Ester Dean, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer for Rihanna, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj; and Shane McAnally, a Grammy-winning songwriter and producer for Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson and Sam Hunt. Madeline Merlo Performs "I'll Drink to That" (Original Song Performance) – Songland 2020 https://youtu.be/O8DxOi8JNQ4 Songland https://www.youtube.com/NBCSongland2020-04-10T13:00:11.000Z

Merlo auditioned with the song “I’ll Drink to That,” which she then reworked with the help of Grammy-winning country songwriter and producer Shane McAnally. They turned her song into a “fun summer anthem” and renamed it “Champagne Night.”

During Merlo’s final performance, Lady Antebellum said of the song, “That’s so fun. That’s a hit. When it gets hit city [is the line] ‘Doubles or bubbles, get in all kinds of trouble,’ whoa!”

After Merlo left, Dave Haywood joked that “Doubles or Bubbles” is the sweatshirt they’re going to sell on tour.

When they selected her song, Merlo said, “They just have an incredible reputation for releasing songs that are cool … it is really validating.”

“I can’t even tell you the kind of dream it was for me to get a Lady Antebellum cut, so today, to be a part of that with Madeline, it’s huge,” said McAnally.

Songland airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, following new episodes of The Voice.

READ NEXT: How to Watch ‘Songland’ Season 2 Online for Free