Karen Hornsby

It’s O.K. when you find yourself crying day by day
You have prayed and prayed and nothing ever changes
You’re frustrated
It’s O.K. when you feel defeat and your faith is getting weak
And everything you see brings back a memory of suffering
Just keep on holding on
It won’t be too long
A new day will dawn

It’s almost morning
Yes it’s almost morning
Yes it’s almost morning

  • Karen Hornsby
  • Karen Hornsby
    Name of Band or Artist
  • Project Type:
  • Length:
    5 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2013
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Artist Biography

“It’s almost morning. Hold on!” singer/songwriter Karen Hornsby whispers the command with such white-hot intensity that listeners are compelled to obey.
“Hold on!”
It wasn’t all that long ago that holding on was all Karen could manage to do. Her journey of faith has included surviving a horrific collision with a semi tractor-trailer that left her vehicle engulfed in flames, enduring her husband’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, and perhaps most devastating, learning that her 2-year-old daughter, Gabi, had brain cancer. Standing in faith in those circumstances was out of the question for the young mother. All she could do was hold on. Yet in the midst of holding on, something unexpected happened. God began to birth songs in Karen’s spirit, songs that cried out for release.
“I never asked to be a songwriter,” Karen muses. “It is not something I ever aspired to be. I was happy being a worship leader at my little church. That’s when everything fell apart. We were living away from home, in the Ronald McDonald house, when the doctors told us they had done all they could for our little girl. The only thing left for them to do was to keep her comfortable. I prayed every prayer I knew, and God still wasn’t healing my little girl. When your heart is thrown into a meat grinder and all you can do is cry out to the Lord, it’s amazing what comes out of you. That’s when I started writing songs.”
It is from that place of such deep suffering that Karen writes songs of encouragement for the brokenhearted. “Though weeping may endure for the night, God promises that joy will come in the morning,” Karen declares. She recalls performing “I Need You, Lord,” a song birthed after hearing a grim report from Gabi’s doctor. “When I opened my eyes, people were standing with their hands and voices lifted high, tears flowing down their faces. My song had validated their pain, and had given their souls a way to voice what had been locked up inside. That was the day when joy began to strengthen me, and I saw a greater purpose to all the suffering. Somehow, God could use my sorrow to unlock the souls of men.”
Karen’s rich, soul-stirring vocals, which have been compared to a fetching mash-up of Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood, soon caught the ears of the producers of ABC-TV’s innovative reality show, Rising Star. While she wowed the judges with her remarkable voice, she also touched the hearts of millions viewers around the country with her poignant story, earning a standing ovation on the show and making fans out of the host and judges, including superstars Josh Grobin, Kesha and Brad Paisley.
“Kesha was so gracious and uplifting,” Karen says. “She asked to meet with me after I had been eliminated from the competition, she encouraged me to surround myself with people who understood the kind of music I want to make.”
Brad Paisley also offered encouragement and even extended an invitation for Karen to share the stage with him in concert. “He called me and said, ‘I’m in Florida for a show. Why don’t you bring your family?’ Then on the spur of the moment, he called me up on stage to sing. He asked me to sing “Natural Woman.” We hadn’t even rehearsed. But it was so much fun and I was so honored and humbled. It was definitely a moment to remember.”
Karen’s self-titled debut CD reflects her heart’s cry to God that first compelled her to write songs of surrender to the divine will.
“When I was writing songs for the project, we were in the midst of a lot of pain and suffering,” she remembers. “While I’m not completely past that, we’re in a much better place now. My husband’s cancer has been in remission for eight years, and our daughter Gabi is five years removed from her last treatment. Not that the journey has been easy or without consequences. Gabi is now blind and has lost her ability to speak. We’re helping her to learn Braille, and teaching her to walk again.”
“I realize that we are very blessed and I’m now in a season of rejoicing,” she smiles. “The devil thought he was going to use our situation to tear us down, but through God’s amazing grace we have turned that around. I’m here to tell this hurting world that there is a purpose for all the suffering. God is developing our character to catch up to our call so we can show the world that the best is yet to come!”
While singing remains Karen’s passion, she has frequently found herself in demand as a speaker at women’s events, youth conferences and even at the occasional fashion show. “I usually get to sing a few songs at the end of my speaking session,” she says. “People seem to be inspired by our story, and it takes the songs on my album to a whole new level.
“Now I’m trying be faithful to take my songwriting to another level, to be intentional about taking every thought captive,” she continues. “I couldn’t do that when we first started walking through the heartache. I couldn’t see the favor of God back then. But now, God has surrounded me with so many amazing people. I just want to encourage and inspire others who are going through hell on earth, who may be sitting in a hospital room, or who may have just received bad news about a loved one. This is the message I believe God has charged me to deliver: There is victory in the midst of suffering. It’s almost morning. Hold on!”

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Artist Statement

Outside of being a wife and a special needs mother, there is nothing that brings me more joy or fulfillment than singing. It is my passion and first love, one of the few things that makes me feel I have a purpose. Singing has been an outlet for me all of my life, but even more so over the last 5 or more years while watching my little girl battle brain cancer. My music has been birthed through the struggles we have faced since her diagnoses in 2005. She is currently in hospice care, and I have made it my life's mission to never let her "voice" die. Her story will live forever and she will be the source of my strength until I draw my last breath. God has been faithful to us through this journey it is the least that I can do to write and sing music to Him.