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Mackenzie Porter

Mackenzie Porter

MacKenzie Porter first made waves in her native Canada as an actress when she was in her late teens, and while she never gave up acting, she pursued a simultaneous career as country singer. Porter leaned toward the pop side of country, which was enough to get her single, "Never Gonna Let You," close to the Canadian Country Top Ten in 2013, a success that earned her a Rising Star nomination that year from the Canadian Country Music Association. Other accolades, including a 2015 Juno Award nomination for Country Album of the Year for her eponymous 2014 debut, followed, but Porter's big breakthrough came toward the end of 2010s, when she teamed with producer Joey Moi for "About You," a 2018 single that became her first Canadian Country chart-topper.

Porter was raised on her family's ranch outside Medicine Hat, Alberta. It was a musical household. She learned how to play piano and violin at an early age, and the entire family, including her brother Kalan, played together in a band. Kalan was the first family member to receive a big break, winning the second season of Canadian Idol, which aired in 2004. His success inspired MacKenzie to pursue a career in show business, so she headed to Vancouver and soon landed a starring role on the children's program Dinosapien in 2007. Several other TV movies and television shows followed, and she spent her spare time playing music, including in a band called the Black Boots with fellow actor Andrew Jenkins.

By 2010, Porter had launched a solo career. The following year, she wound up winning the Nashville North Star competition and her first single, "I Wish I'd Known," arrived in 2012. "Never Gonna Let You" became her first genuine hit in 2013, reaching 11 on the Canadian Country Charts. "If You Ask Me To" went to 17 in 2014, the same year her self-titled debut was released. After it became a success in Canada, Porter relocated to Nashville.

"Rodeo" came in 2015 but it went no further than 32 on the Canadian Country Charts. By 2018, she'd struck up a collaboration with Joey Moi, who'd previously helmed tracks by Florida Georgia Line and Jake Owen. "About You," the first song from those sessions, rocketed to number one in 2018 and "These Days" reached the same position in 2019. "Seeing Other People," the first single from the EP Drinkin' Songs; The Collection, arrived in 2020, reaching 19. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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