Tattooed trailblazer Cherish Lee is no stranger to life in the limelight. She’s the daughter of entertainment icons Johnny Lee (Urban Cowboy’s “Lookin’ for Love”) and Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing on hit TV show “DALLAS”) though, if you ask her about growing up with them she insists, “they were just my parents.” Truthfully, growing up was anything but ordinary for this country artist. Cherish fondly recalls attending school on the set of Dallas with her mom and seeing the country through the window of her Papa Bear’s tour bus. Even seemingly normal child activities like digging holes in the backyard and climbing trees were given a glamorous twist — she even donned her mother’s Emmy Awards dress to her old pet rabbit's funeral. Now a mother herself, Cherish is instilling the same sense of wonder in her young son. This eccentric upbringing provided early exposure and access to the arts which continually shaped Cherish Lee into the entertainer she was destined to be.
Originally born and raised in California, Cherish was exposed to and evolved through many musical styles as a kid. It didn’t matter the genre, if the music was soulful and thoughtful, she listened. She notes influences from the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson to Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. These eclectic artists inspired Cherish to begin writing down her own words early on. Though she had easy access to her dad’s finest instruments, she preferred to focus on carefully crafting lyrics and melodies. Naturally, she became involved in dance and theater in school where her love of performance would blossom. She attended the prestigious Hamilton High School in Los Angeles with many notable classmates. The atmosphere fostered a desire to learn and create which only strengthened Cherish’s love for entertaining. For example, their theater department often received sets and costumes from Broadway national tours and when they performed Singing In The Rain — it really rained.
After graduation, Cherish followed in her parent’s footsteps and began to dabble in acting and recording. It was in L.A. that she recorded her debut, self-titled album. For her, it was both humbling and inspiring to know that others were interested in what she was creating. The transition was relatively smooth due in large part to her parents who continue to be her biggest supporters. They allowed Cherish to forge her own path under the condition that she give it her all. This mentality had been instilled in her since childhood and was something she had always admired her parents for; the unwavering love for their craft and the astounding work ethic they brought to it.
All the hard work in the world could never make Los Angeles feel like home. Eventually, this country girl at heart moved away from the bright lights of the city to a farm in Texas. She gathered up a few new animal friends and dove head first into a brand new music scene. She played weekday gigs and took to the road every weekend playing as many bars as she could also traveling with her father. With him, she got to tour the nation, playing infamous venues such as the Ryman Auditorium and The Grand Ole Opry. This experience left Cherish longing for Music City more than ever and in an effort to solidify her own name, she moved to Nashville a few years ago.
At the beginning of 2018, Cherish was named one of Billboard’s 15 Country Artists to Watch and shortly after, she released her introspective and acclaimed album Tequila Cowgirl. The album was written and recorded in Nashville and ultimately landed her a sponsorship with the luxuriously crafted G4 Tequila. Her second release from the album and current single, Ones You Leave Behind, is an intimate look at life after loss, a far too familiar feeling for so many. In 2014, Cherish’s beloved younger brother lost his life to a heroin overdose. Since then, Cherish has used her platform to stand as an advocate for overdose awareness — encouraging anyone that is struggling with addiction to seek the proper help. “I wanted to let people know they are not alone,” she says. “There is help out there, there are hotlines you can call and people that will listen.” She hopes the song can unite and comfort those that know this same pain firsthand. You can view the official music video for Ones You Leave Behind here. She has performed this song and others at countless renowned venues and festivals such as the Bluebird Café, Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival and CMA Music Festival and most recently she performed and earned the title of Female Entertainer of the Year at the independent Josie Awards.
Cherish has also found her niche writing songs of all genres, including French, for film and television. Taking it one step further, Cherish teamed up with Co-Writer Shay Watson and released a second album in 2018, A Cherish Lee Christmas ft. Shay Watson.
Though Cherish is thankful for all the opportunities and accolades, by far the greatest gift Nashville has bestowed is her two-year-old son, Wyatt.