Madison Ryann Ward stole the show with Letterman and Jay-Z is out with her brooding music video for "Mirror."
Inspired by artists from many different genres, Madison Ryann Ward combines bluesy, soulful melodies with folk, rap and gospel influenced lyricism to create a classic sound that remains all her own. Having grown up in a creative family in Oklahoma, Ward was exposed to music at a young age, which would come to inform her distinct style. Gospel hymnal songs were her first experience with music as she listened to her mother play piano in the church choir until age eight. When she was twelve, her father opened a BBQ and blues joint where she spent her teenage summers waiting tables while the likes of Billie Holiday, Etta James and Bessie Smith bumped through the restaurant speakers.
However, music was not always the path Ward had in mind. Having played sports all her life, excelling in volleyball, basketball, golf and track, she decided to play collegiate volleyball at Oklahoma University and planned to play professionally overseas after graduation. But when a group of athletes heard her singing Aretha Franklins Chain Of Fools in the cafeteria and posted a clip on Twitter, the video went viral after being picked up by WorldStarHipHop. The response Ward received prompted her to consider a shift towards making music professionally. Ward took songwriting trips to Nashville, eventually moving there for a year before splitting her time between the studio in New York and Los Angeles, where she signed with management followed by a label deal with legendary producer Rick Rubin. Mirror sets the stage for more new music from Madison Ryann Ward in 2018.