When golden-voiced Erika Jo became the winner of the USA Network's [RoviLink="VW"]Nashville Star, she was the youngest contestant to enter the three-season-old talent competition, her big win enjoyed the highest ratings yet, and she not only won a recording contract, but a fully loaded Chevy Silverado pickup. The recording contract she could deal with, but for an 18-year-old senior who had just gone to prom a week before her victory, the Silverado proved too much to handle. It was this same combination of charming innocence and stage confidence that took Erika Jo to the finals of [RoviLink="VW"]Nashville Star and onto every country radio station's playlist with her first single, the country-rockin' "I Break Things."
Born Erika Jo Heriges in Angleton, TX, Erika Jo and family moved to Nashville before she turned two. Two years later she was making guest appearances with her father's country cover band. School was always important, but when she reached her teens her role in the band went from cute guest to serious frontwoman. Performing with the band gave her the confidence to try out for [RoviLink="VW"]Nashville Star, but she was sent home first time out. Two was the charm for Erika Jo, since her second attempt put her with the other hopefuls on the 2004 season of the show. Over 20 million viewers watched her progress and 1.2 million votes were cast in the final battle between Erika Jo and finalists Jody Evans and Jason Meadows. With the win, the recording contract, and her high-school diploma behind her, the young singer focused her attention on her debut album. The self-titled full-length was released by Universal South in June of 2005. ~ David Jeffries
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