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Fargo 14-year-old Annabelle Maher gets national audience with 'Today' performance

Singer/songwriter plays for Hoda & Jenna on Tuesday

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Fargo singer and songwriter Annabelle Maher will appear on the Today Show on Tuesday, July 20. David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — At just 14, Annabelle Maher can’t legally drive alone, but she’s already putting her career into high gear.

The Fargo singer/songwriter will get her national premiere on the “Today with Hoda & Jenna,” Tuesday, July 20, t o talk about her upcoming record.

Maher says she’s looking forward to reaching a broader audience with her music.

The young artist has been singing and writing her own material for a handful of years, most notably a tribute to Landon Solberg .

She’s been posting videos to her Instagram account, annabelle.maher.music , which caught the ear of Kent Wells, producer and arranger known for his work with Dolly Parton. She’s been going to Nashville once a month since September to work on recordings with him. The record will be done by the time she turns 15 on July 31.

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The recordings have already been creating a buzz, earning Maher an appearance on the televised “Nashville Entertainment Weekly” earlier this summer. Soon after that, producers from “Today with Hoda & Jenna” came calling.

She recorded the interview and performance of her song, “Elizabeth Jones,” this week.

"I gave the ‘Today’ show producer a few songs to choose from and they chose that one because it has a good story line,” Maher says in an emailed response to questions. "This song is not about anyone in particular, but I wrote it for people to relate to. This song is for people that lack self confidence and feel like they don't fit in."

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14-year-old Fargoan Annabelle Maher is finishing her first album. Photo by Lisa K. Photography / special to The Forum

She says working on the album for so long taught her a little about herself.

“I learned that I'm not only good at working alone to create something, but I also have the ability to work with others to make my music even better,” she says.

Jared Maher says his daughter has done a good job balancing her music, her participation in sports and her school studies.

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“She’s motivated. She’s been working hard for the eight months we’ve been going to Nashville,” he says.

She’s performing at the side stage at the Red River Valley Fair on Wednesday and Friday nights and later at the Red River Market on Aug. 14.

Still, they carve out time for Annabelle just to be a teenager as she works on getting her driver’s license and heads into her freshman year at Shanley High School.

“I like to play basketball, swim and watch movies with my friends,” she says.

Jared says when the album is finished, they’ll look for a distribution deal, but may release a single to help stir up more interest.

As a soon-to-be 15-year-old, she’ll have an album under her belt and a performance on national television. You might wonder what she’ll accomplish by 18.

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Annabelle Maher performs a set inside the Schollander Pavilion at the Red River Valley Fair on Wednesday, July 15, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

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Not Annabelle.

"I have a hard time answering questions like this, because I try to take my music day by day and I don't really know what I am doing sometimes,” she says. “But I really hope that my music reaches a bigger audience.”

On TV

What: Annabelle Maher on “Today with Hoda & Jenna”

When: 11 a.m., Tuesday

Where: KVLY

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14-year-old Fargoan Annabelle Maher is finishing her first album. Photo by Lisa K. Photography / special to The Forum

Related Topics: MUSIC
For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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