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Adrianna Freeman Visits Sasha Bruce House

Black Country Singer Performs Hit Single

Stacy M. Brown | 8/21/2013, noon
Adrianna Freeman with Mark Hawkins at the Sasha Bruce House in Southeast on Friday, Aug. 16. Freeman penned the song “Just A Girl,” which addresses the many challenges that children who grow up in dysfunctional families face. Photo courtesy of Andy Reese

Adrianna Freeman has been called a sharecropper’s daughter and the new face of country, but the budding superstar’s passion goes beyond either of those descriptions.

Freeman’s passionate about young people having a safe place to live, surrounded by those who love them.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Freeman said, shortly after spending Friday, Aug. 16, performing for youth at the Sasha Bruce House in Southeast, a safe haven for homeless, abandoned, abused, neglected, and runaway children.

“When I heard about these children, tears fell from my eyes. I had been praying that I could do something in my life to make a difference in at least one child’s life. I got a call to come to Washington and I wanted to give something very special,” she said.

Helping to break down the racial stereotypes of Country Music, most often associated with white artists and fans, Freeman, 35, longed to achieve success within the popular genre. She grew up in Tallahassee, Fla., listening to country music primarily due to her father, Ed Freeman, who listened to Country Music on the radio and played songs on the jukebox in their home which included “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams of You,” and “Lonely Street,” by the late Patsy Cline, one of Country Music’s most beloved singers.

The up-and-coming singer hopes to emulate superstar Dolly Parton, and her idol, Loretta Lynn, she said.

Discovered in 2009 by Teddy Gentry, the bass player and co-founder of the country legends, Alabama, a group that holds the record for the most consecutive No. 1 singles, Freeman’s debut CD, “Either You Do or You Don’t,” hit stores in 2012 and led to the starry-eyed singer’s dream come true when she received an invite to perform at Lynn’s ranch in Tennessee, last year.

Freeman, who has opened for acts such as Shooter Jennings, whose 2005 CD, “Put the ‘O’ Back in Country,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Music Charts and Bo Bice, the runner-up to Carrie Underwood in the fourth season of American Idol, presented her hit song, “Just a Girl,” to the National Network for Youth (NN4Y), and the Southeast-based organization adopted the single as its theme song.

The tear-jerker, “Just a Girl,” paints a cautionary portrait of a neglected child whose father abandoned her, and currently being reared by a mother who abuses drugs and alcohol. It’s just one example of the kind of dysfunctional family environment that can cause children to run away, NN4Y officials said.

“The majority of youth who are homeless either run away or are kicked out of their homes,” said Darla Bardine, policy director for NN4Y.

“These youth leave home because they are being abused or they do not feel valued; not because they are bad kids or want to party with their friends. We believe the song offers a powerful message about the importance of love and safety in every child’s life,” said Bardine, 33.

NN4Y has served young people for three decades by championing the needs of runaway, homeless and other disconnected youth. Officials at NN4Y encourage community-based services to assist displaced children and promote federal policy advocacy.