Jana Kramer Biography


Jana Kramer photo by Bryan Allen, courtesy of Warner Bros. Nashville.

If you asked Jana Kramer to describe her life in this very moment, she would say "Dreams really do come true." Indeed, this singer, songwriter, and former One Tree Hill actress has every reason to keep her head in the clouds, as her first single "Why Ya Wanna" has climbed the charts at a record pace. Growing an audience over 10 million in only 10 weeks after its country radio debut, the song quickly moved to the Top 25 on the charts (Currently No. 21). Now, Jana is poised to release her self-titled debut album, available June 5 on Elektra Nashville, which she recorded with multiple award-winning producer, Scott Hendricks (Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton). It seems there’s no dream too big for this honey-voiced Nashville newcomer. It’s just that some dreams take a little more courage than others.

Jana grew up in suburban Michigan with a dad who played in "every type of band that exists, including polka" and a knack for entertaining others that was revealed during an infamous performance of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" – the rock version – at age 5. Her musical upbringing included singing, playing guitar and piano, but it didn’t last long. "Honestly, my dad was really hard on me," Jana confesses. "I didn’t feel like I was good enough to keep it up." Instead, she channeled her performance abilities into 13 years of competitive figure skating. "In my house, that was rebelling," she says with a laugh. And after exploring the possibility of being a TV anchor, she eventually decided to pursue acting. "I figured it would be easier to hide behind a character than actually be myself," she admits. "Music was the thing I wanted to do, but was terrified."

Jana moved to New York the day she graduated from high school. "I just knew that I had to get out of Michigan," she explains. "I wanted to do bigger things than I thought I could accomplish there. I’m not the kind of person to live with regret, so I moved as soon as I graduated." It quickly became clear she’d made a difficult, but ultimately, worthwhile decision. After landing a bit part on the soap opera All My Children in 2003, Jana followed her dream to Los Angeles, her mother joining her there, the two living off frozen taquitos to save money as Jana struggled to launch her acting career.

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