Jamestown girl named ‘Fan of the Year’Hayley John sleeps in a room with more photos of one country singer than a Country Weekly magazine. The 18-year-old decorated her room with 8x10 photos of Taylor Swift, magazine cut-outs of Sugarland, Sara Evans and Keith Urban as well as souvenirs and back stage passes from concerts she’d attended since she wore diapers and drank from bottles.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
Hayley John sleeps in a room with more photos of one country singer than a Country Weekly magazine.
The 18-year-old decorated her room with 8x10 photos of Taylor Swift, magazine cut-outs of Sugarland, Sara Evans and Keith Urban as well as souvenirs and back stage passes from concerts she’d attended since she wore diapers and drank from bottles.
But while John appreciates most country music, one country star stands out from the rest.
Miranda Lambert, best known for chart-topping hits like “Famous in a Small Town,” “Kerosene,” and “Gunpowder and Lead,” was awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female Vocalist in 2007 and ACM’s Album of the Year Award for her “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” album in 2008.
Lambert is one of her favorites, John said, because the singer/ songwriter is honest, edgy and true to herself.
And while Lambert wins awards, she gives them too.
This year, Lambert’s fan club, Ran’s Fans, selected John as its annual Ran Fan of the Year at a fan event that was part of the Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday.
Receiving the award was a shock, John said.
“I didn’t think it was me until she (Bev Lambert) called my name,” John said.
Bev Lambert, Miranda Lambert’s mom, chooses the Ran Fan of the Year along with Bev Lambert’s staff.
Bev Lambert said they chose John because she answers other fans’ questions, designs Miranda Lambert Web banners for them and helps with other fan club tasks.
But John also has a love for animals, a characteristic similar to Miranda’s, Bev Lambert said.
John helps her mother, Kaye John, who is one of the founders of Prairie Paws Rescue.
Prairie Paws takes in and cares for animals that might otherwise be homeless or sent to shelters where they could be euthanized.
John was an easy pick, Bev Lambert said.
“This year, we just didn’t even have any other names,” she said.
John is such a valued fan, Lambert’s band, family and Lambert herself even recognize her.
As part of her award, the fan club gave John an autographed copy of Lambert’s first CD “Miranda Lambert.” Lambert only released a few hundred copies of the 2001 album.
John’s admiration of the country singer is no secret.
In addition to her Miranda Lambert attire and guitar-charm necklace, John also adorned her bedroom with Miranda Lambert pictures, posters and even a sticker adhered to the bedroom light switch.
One of the photos is of Lambert and John together, striking a “Charlie’s Angels” pose at the 2008 Moondance music festival.
And although John has traveled to 14 of Lambert’s shows, she won’t attend Lambert’s concert along with Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney this weekend in Fargo.
Instead, John will be in Minnesota, attending the concert of another favorite artist, Collin Raye. Raye’s brother is a member of Lambert’s band.
But already, John plans to see Lambert at a Chicago concert this November.
“And if she comes any place closer, we’ll be there,” Kaye John said.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org