Country music star Terri Clark reflects on career, music industry as she’s honoured by National Music Centre

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WATCH: Country music star Terri Clark joins Global News Morning Calgary to discuss her induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and her appointment as the next Master in Residence at the National Music Centre – May 14, 2019

Alberta’s own Terri Clark celebrated her 2018 induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame with Calgarians on Tuesday.

Clark was formally inducted with a plaque ceremony by the National Music Centre and the Canadian Country Music Association.

‘I Wanna Do It All’

In her more than two decades as a country musician, Clark has won 19 CCMAs and three Juno awards.

Clark said there’s no formula for making it — everyone has their own journey.

“I moved to Nashville when I was 18 — lock, stock, and barrel — didn’t have a green card. I didn’t know anybody,” she said Tuesday in an interview with Global News Morning.

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I went on a leap of faith. My mom took me down and I got a job playing for tips at Tootsies Orchid Lounge on lower Broadway, which was a very, very dangerous place to be at the time — we didn’t know. We were just naive Canadians going to Nashville.”

Terri Clark’s induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame at the CCMAs in Hamilton, Ont., on Sept. 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Frank Arcuri

That “ignorance is bliss” strategy led to demo tapes, songwriting and eight years later, a record deal. As her Nashville hits crossed over into Canada, her staying power was proven, producing hits with every major label.

“It took a long time, but it’s that perseverance, determination — never giving up on the dream and just going after it,” she said. “I knew that I had something I wanted to share… It’s been an incredibly humbling and successful journey and I’m so grateful. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.”

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Clark is the first and only Canadian woman to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Industry changes

Clark released her 11th studio album in September.

“It’s not called Raising the Bar simply because there are a lot of drinking songs on it, which there are,” she said. “It’s about a coming of age, it’s about learning and getting better as you go, and constantly raising that bar in life as a person and trying to figure out how you can give back and what you’re going to leave behind in the world when you go.”

Terri Clark performs as part of “Toby Keith’s Big Throwdown Tour 2004.” The event was held at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif., on Aug. 29, 2004. Tim Mosenfelder/ABACA

It might be the last full studio albums she makes.

“The format has changed so much and the music business has changed so much,” she said. “A lot of people are just doing EPs and releasing singles digitally and things like that now. I kind of feel like the age of making full-length albums is kind of coming to an end, which kind of bums me out a little bit, but it is what it is.”

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LISTEN: Terri Clark joins The Morning News to look back at the ups and downs of her career in music

Clark won’t stop making music, though. She appreciates what it means to listeners.

“I have to make new music for my own creative development as well as my fanbase. They want to hear new stuff once in a while but they always go back to the tried and true — that’s just the way it is,” Clark said. “I’m really grateful to have those hits that I amassed over many, many years.”

WATCH: Terri Clark’s “Better Things To Do” was released in 1995.

She said there’s been a resurgence with her nineties tunes; a younger demographic seems to be discovering them.

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“Takes you right back to college and someone holding your hair up,” she said with a laugh. “The nostalgia.”

Clark kicks off her Master in Residence workshop with emerging artists at Studio Bell on Wednesday.

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