Tay Barton
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Tay Barton


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"Salt Lake City Native Aiming to be Radio Disney's 'Next Big Thing'"

Over the years, Disney has made stars of Hayley Mills, Demi Lovato, Annette Funicello, the Jonas Brothers, Bobby Driscoll and Miley Cyrus.

Will Tay Barton soon join the list?

The 15-year-old Salt Lake City native is one of five contestants in season four of Radio Disney's "N.B.T." (Next Big Thing), which will premiere on Radio Disney and the Disney Channel on Oct. 16.

"N.B.T." is a daily multiplatform music series that launched the careers of, among others, Allstar Weekend, which opened for Selena Gomez in her recent West Valley City arena show. Other winners were Kicking Daisies, which was part of this year's Vans Warped Tour, and Coco Jones, a recurring guest star on Disney Channel's "So Random!"

"Growing up in Utah has given me such a great foundation to draw from as I go down this journey in music," Tay Barton said in an interview. "I will always remember who I am and what I stand for and I always want to portray a wholesome image for all kids to see and say it's 'cool' to make good choices."

Contestants are judged on talent and charisma, plus a spark and passion for performing, according to Kelly Edwards, Radio Disney executive director of music and programming. "I saw such raw talent in Tay," Edwards said. "What convinced me she would be a great addition to 'N.B.T.' was when she performed 'I'm Invisible' in our conference room with just her and her guitar. She was able to evoke such emotion."

The winner of the 10-week competition will have a single released by Disney Music Group.

But in the end, it's exposure that will determine whether Tay will become a star, and if you are a Disney listener or viewer, you already know her songs.

Each of the contestants will receive equal play on Radio Disney, the nation's No. 1 radio network for kids, as well as on the TV network, and join on-air personalities Ernie D and Jake Whetter for interviews.

In addition, the five contestants have just wrapped up a nationwide tour that introduced the acts to young audiences, including a concert by Tay at the Utah State Fair on Sept. 12. Not least, new for season four is that each of the "N.B.T." artists' showcased first singles will be available on iTunes; the first went on sale Oct. 11, and the second will be available Oct. 25.

"I think everybody who has been chosen is already a winner," Tay said.

But Tay also pointed out that her country flair separates her from the other contestants. "I bring something different and unique by singing country/pop music and I feel my songs are relatable to everyday situations that are facing teens today," she said. "My country songs come from my heart and I hope everyone relates to them as I do."

Tay was born in Salt Lake City and became a Disney fan at a young age. "I grew up watching, listening and singing to Disney artists from Disney films like [Miley Cyrus in] 'Hannah Montana: The Movie,' " she said. "Disney Channel is constantly on at our home. Our family has grown up listening to Radio Disney because it follows our family's values."

She began singing at age 5 when her mother created a children's choir so Tay and her three sisters could practice singing their favorite Disney princess songs. Tay loved taking on the role of Ariel from "The Little Mermaid."

It was during a trip to Nashville at age 12 — when she was a student at Timberline Middle School — that Tay learned to play guitar and started writing songs.

That same year, she performed at several summer festivals and the Utah Valley University's Chocolate Extravaganza Charity Event benefiting children's hospitals. She was 13 when her family moved to New York City, where she attended the prestigious Stella Adler Academy. The family now lives in Laguna Beach, Calif.

The challenge begins in earnest this weekend, and Tay has built a get-out-the-vote campaign. "[I am] reaching out to my friends and the community where I have lived most of my life and through social networking," she said.

But don't worry about Tay forgetting where she came from. When asked to list her favorite things, it was obvious that she considers Utah home: "Hiking in the mountains. Snowboarding in the winter. Christmas lights in Salt Lake City. Gateway shopping. Benihana and Cafe Rio are my favorite restaurants. Park City in the summertime is a blast. Tubing at Lake Powell."

They don't have any of that in Laguna Beach.
- Salt Lake Tribune


Don't Know What You're Missing
Little Giants
Love Will Find Us
I'm Invisible
Live U, Love U, Breathe U
I'm Invisible
Nothing Without You
What A Girl Needs
All Your Life
Good Girl
Hey There Delilah
I'm Gonna Getcha Good
Leave The Pieces
This One's For The Girls
Live Like You Were Dying
Gunpowder And Lead
This Love

By Request



Tay Barton

Tay Barton was born Taylor-Ann Grace Barton on October 17, 1995 in Salt lake City, Utah. She and her family moved from Utah when she was 13 years old to New York and then California on her journey to develop her acting talent and musical career before landing in Nashville in 2011.

Tay grew up listening and singing Country music and admits she got her country “twang” from her mom, who grew up in Texas. At the age of 5, Tay was singing in her mom's children's choir and began to develop her talent for songwriting at an early age. In addition, she learned ballroom dancing and became a National Pre-Teen Dance Champion at an early age. Tay recalls that she and her three sisters would dress up and choreograph their own performances for the family.

“I have been singing for as long as I can remember," says Tay. "I sang over breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I am sure I drove everyone in my family crazy at times. Singing makes up the biggest part of me.”

The Barton family moved to New York City in 2008 and Tay studied at the prestigious Stella Adler School of Acting. During her time in New York, she continued to develop her musical talent.

The next stop on Barton family tour was Laguna Beach, California where Tay continued her singing and acting studies. She returned to New York to compete in the 2010 International Modeling and Talent Association competition among hundreds of girls from across the country. Tay was considered a quadruple threat by the esteemed panel of judges and landed the title of 2010 IMTA Best Actress of the Year for her age category in that competition.

While living in Laguna Beach, California Tay was honored to be selected as part of Disney's Next Big Thing TV competition as the only country/pop artist to be among the five vocal finalists/groups. As a finalist she toured with Disney across the country with her music airing on Disney TV and radio. She tributes her experience with Disney to confirming that she wanted to pursue a career in country music. In 2011, Tay and her family moved to Nashville and she is now working on an album of original music that she has co-written with some of Nashville's premier songwriters.

Tay admits she has been fortunate enough to live in different cities around the country that has allowed her to develop various talents and skills along the way.

"When we lived in Salt Lake City, I remember my first live performances were at the outdoor summer festivals and charity events around the area. Then the family moved to New York City, where I studied acting and on to California where I was honored to be part of the Disney family. Now that I'm in Nashville, I'm surrounded by some of the best talent in the world. I can't wait to see what lies ahead."

Tay is actively involved in the community and enjoys giving back to her fans. She is a volunteer member of the non-profit organization Musicians On Call where she makes visits to local area children's hospitals to brighten the day of those in need through her music. A fan favorite that is often requested is Tay's song Little Giants, about the courageous battle of childhood cancer.

While Tay is certainly considered a quadruple threat as artist, dancer, model and actress, she is humble, down to earth and cherishes the simple joys in life - family, friends and music. Be sure to follow and interact with her on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest music, news and events.