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Walmart cashier who became Internet singing sensation heading to country music awards

By Candace Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Walmart singer who had her dreams come true at the Grand Ole Opry is now heading to Las Vegas for the 48th annual Academy of Country Music awards.

Kayla Slone, 21, rose to Internet fame after a customer recorded a video of her singing behind the checkout lane of her Logan store.

"I had no idea what would happen," she said. "People have videoed me before. It never blew up like that did. It was just the right time, right place."

The video quickly went viral, and she shared her dream of performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., on ABC's "World News with Diane Sawyer."

"Oh, it was amazing. Everybody was asking me if I was nervous. I was like 'no' — I found myself when I walked out there and seen all those people. I started off with 'Coal Miner's Daughter.' When I finished, I got a standing ovation," Slone said.

She also scored a spot on Anderson Cooper's TV show, "Anderson Live," and country music star Dierks Bentley called.

"When I was on Anderson, Dierks Bentley called in and invited me to the ACM," Slone said. "I'm just going to watch, I think. But we'll see how everything plays out."

Bentley is the third youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry, after Carrie Underwood and Josh Turner.

The Academy of Country Music Awards will be held this weekend in Las Vegas. The country awards music program will be co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The Matewan native will be take along her husband, David Slone, 22, and that's another dream come true.

"I come from a coal mining family; my husband is a coal miner," Slone said. "He'll only have to miss one day of work. I'm so proud of what he does. He makes me proud every day going underground to support us. I hope one day I won't have to worry about him, and he can just be with me."

She hopes this is all leading somewhere big for her in the future.

"I hope so. I really do believe with all the things I got already, I could make it. That's what I'm hoping for. I'm trying to keep my head on straight and see what happens for me," Slone said.

"I'd like to be like the rest of them — be like Loretta and make a lifelong career out of it."

Slone grew up listening to Loretta Lynn and other country stars, and that has inspired her to pursue a singing career.

"I actually got to Skype with her right before the Grand Ole Opry. She was like 'I love you' and I was like 'I love you, too!' She's so sweet; she hasn't changed with all the fame," Slone said.

As for the near future, she'll still be donning the dark blue and khaki.

"Well, I still got bills to pay," Slone said. "And I'm just like everyone else. I just sing a little bit. I'm blessed to have everybody I have in my life and all the supporters and fans that I have. I hope that I make them proud."

Contact writer Candace Nelson at or 304-348-5148. Follow her on Twitter


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