Janelle Arthur (@JanelleOArthur) is perhaps best known, at this time, as a contestant from Season 12 of American Idol. A true beauty, inside and out, the Tennessean country singer and guitarist left her life behind and embarked on the journey that so many hope to experience, but a mere few ever will. After placing fifth in a season of the most epic singing competition to ever land on American television, Janelle has been hard at work launching her solo career. We were fortunate to catch up with the incredibly sweet, personable, and inspiring artist to discuss her childhood, Idol journey, and what her bright musical future holds.
Janelle was born in Oliver Springs, Tennessee and began singing certain words before she could even speak them. Immediately it became clear that music was going to be a huge part of Janelle’s life. From that point forward, Janelle began performing around her hometown and in school, which led to a gig that most country-loving kids would be beyond honored to land. At eight-years-old, Janelle was cast as a young Dolly Parton at the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Janelle’s mom was instrumental in her landing the part, as, after seeing an advertisement for the show in Country Weekly, she called Dollywood and inquired as to whether a child performer was needed. The phone call took place at just the right time, as production was looking for a little girl Janelle’s age to portray Dolly. Janelle’s mom asked if she could bring her to the audition, and thereafter, without hesitation, Janelle was immediately cast in the role.