It’s no coincidence that Hope Cassity’s first name is usually associated with words like belief, optimism, faith, and love. Those are the very principles that have gotten her through the first six months of 2018. Jan 24, 2018 she was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer that occurs in only 1% of women her age. While her peers spent the first half of 18' touring, she's spent the last six months fighting boldly and bravely in a battle she never dreamed she would face. Ironically, Cassity heard news of her first major radio release exactly one week before her diagnosis. With only one choice to "cowgirl up" ( as she always says), family, friends, and social media followers watched, as she poured out her heart and touched thousands of lives. With an unwavering optimism and an unfiltered truth, she shared her trips to chemo dressed as a super hero. She made us laugh with her, cry with her, and we watched live when she first cut her signature long brown flowing curls. She shared intimate images of the evening she had to shave her hair, that gave us all a glimpse of her determination and courage. On the hardest days, she made herself enjoy life to the fullest, and she has become a true hero inspiring so many. Treating her real life battle with honesty, bravery, and transparency, Cassity received the good news June 5, 2018 that she is finally in remission. It was an unexpected turn in her story but the best one that could have happened!
Before cancer, Cassity lived in Tennessee for 6 years and graduated Nashville “hard knocks” school of music. Eventually, she earned her place as a respected songsmith on Music Row. Working alongside greats like #1 hitmaker Jim McBride and Grammy award winning writer Jerry Salley (Outlaw State of Mind, Chris Stapleton) , Cassity’s self awareness and maturity rival even the most experienced in the business.
With multiple cuts by the popular Indie Rock duo Penny Rae, Cassity proves that as a writer, she knows no boundaries or labels. In fact, her song “Closure” became the first single off their self titled album and consequently, her song “Alabama River” was chosen as the first single from their second Americana album. The videos for the Penny Rae songs aired on 40+TV networks nationwide alongside major label acts such as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Lady Antebellum. She also co-wrote “Out of My Mind" with Victoria Camp (one third of the rising female country group from Alabama, Sweet Tea Trio). So it’s no surprise that Cassity was a three time Nashville Country Music Association Nominee (NCMA), including a winner for NCMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 2015. She was a two time top 25 Finalist in the Nashville Music City Songwriting Competition and top 10 in Songwriter Serenade. That year she was also selected to perform at the World Sync Summit.
And to think—the poised artist who performed at the Biloxi Arena to a crowd of almost 30,000 was once a spunky eight year old captivating audiences on the TV show Star Search. But her first talent show was for her neighbors to the sounds of Patsy, Elvis, Loretta, and Johnny in the rural town of Repton, Alabama. And she owes it all to a dusty old 8 track tape player she found in her parents’ attic. Raised by devoted parents and a deeply rooted small family, Hope’s world came crashing down with the death of her father in 2015. Her emotional tribute, “Sting”, co written with McBride and Salley, originally vocally performed by Rebecca Lynn Howard, comforted her father. Being that it was his favorite song, he asked Hope to record a version with her voice on it. She hurried into the studio, with high hopes her Dad could go with her. He fell ill just prior to the studio session. Cassity and friends filmed the session in a behind the scenes footage, so her father would feel like he was there. The final cut came a few days before he passed. You can hear his proud and emotional voice at the end of video as he praises her work.
It wasn't easy to move forward after her father’s passing. In 2015, Cassity had another health battle with Multiple Sclerosis, it almost ended her career (before Ovarian Cancer tried to this year). She proved she would perservere when a second chance thanks to an experimental stem cell transplant from her own stem cells halted her symptoms 100% and gave her a new lease on life.
Traveling around the southeast, armed with only a guitar, her philosophy is simple: write and perform honestly. Her easy listening melodies and honest words are enough to break down the toughest of genre barriers with influences of rock, blues, and classic country. Her effortless tone is reminiscent of Patty Loveless and Emmylou Harris, while her evanescence and at times, rocker chicesque performances are enough to capture even the most distracted audiences of today. She brings audiences to tears while bringing them to their feet. She creates pin-drop silence in the chattiest of rooms, and she inspires budding songwriters with her unrelenting work ethic and her generous heart.
Encouraging the venues to use original music verses cover bands to connect with charities, she helped raise over $30k for charities with a monthly original music event she created and hosted for three years called “Tips For Tuscaloosa”. Hope Cassity gives back to others because she knows it’s not about how many times you get knocked down. It’s about having the courage to get back up. And with her new leadoff single,” If I Only Had a Heart" with a haunting melody she layered on top of Rob Redwine's already beautifully crafted tune , she is standing taller than ever and releasing the most intense, heartfelt music of her career. Having paid her dues singing in bars, living rooms, wineries, fairs and festivals, Cassity will continue to perform on any stage that allows her to share her story and her passion with listeners. And in a business that all too often shelves its strongest females, Cassity proves that she cannot be tucked away in a corner. Not when she has an open road to travel and the moon and the stars as her guide. Because after all, she will always be finding Hope.