Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 27 was just the first in a series of challenges that country music star Julie Roberts has faced over the last seven years. While working on the release of her second album, Men and Mascara (2006), the follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut Julie Roberts (2004), the singer lost the backing of her record label, despite universal acclaim of her work, including an array of music award nominations and performances on NBC’s The Tonight Show, ABC’s Good Morning America and an In the Moment feature on CMT. Less than four years later, Roberts watched the 2010 Tennessee floods destroy her home and car. On top of that, she was injured leaping from the roof of her two-story house into a rescue boat.
None of this, however, could keep Roberts down — or away from her fans. She stayed close to them via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and created her own label, Ain’t Skeerd, to release her third album, Alive, in 2011. In the title song she wears her philosophy proudly on her sleeve:
I fall sometimes
I crawl sometimes
Lose it all sometimes
It makes me stronger
The years of struggle — and of rising to the challenges her life has thrown her — have paid off big. In October 2013 Roberts released her fourth, career-defining album, Good Wine and Bad Decisions, on the legendary Sun Records, home to Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and, of course, the early Elvis.
“I feel like I’ve finally found a place to be,” she says. “Where my music really fits. I’m really excited about that. It doesn’t seem real in a way. Maybe when I see the actual record with the Sun label on it.”
When the record hit stores on October 29, she was in New York City at the renowned Joe’s Pub to celebrate the release, and gearing up for a full-scale return to the road, with plans calling for nearly non-stop touring long into the indefinite future.
“I want people to know that I can still do whatever I want,” she says, when asked if she’s up to the hectic schedule. “It’d be way more stressful for me to not be doing what I love. I would worry more for my health sitting home than playing shows every night. That’s where I love to be.”
Roberts, who has shared her experiences living with MS at a number of Society-sponsored events to help build awareness about the disease, surpassed her pre-order goal through her partners at Pledge Music, and gave 5% of everything she brought in until the official release day of Oct 29 to the Society to support research and programs that help people living with MS move their lives forward.
Connect with Julie Roberts and get her tour schedule at JulieRoberts.com.