Whether it be caring for a loved one, or promoting her music, Dee Hilligoss is in it for the long haul. Currently on the road promoting her new single, "Too Soon," she is excited about the impact the song has had thus far.
"We just released it, and it's available on iTunes, and we are on about 50 radio stations across the country, and adding more each week. People have really responded great to it," she says.
The song immediately struck a chord with the Indiana native. "It's something that as soon as I heard, I knew I wanted to cut it. It seems that everyone goes through a struggle in their life, whether it be a divorce, or the loss of a loved one, or a child getting sick, or a challenge that you go through. I think it's those moments that really define us. We figure out how strong we are as human beings. If we can get through these tough times, that's what really counts. The song is really motivating to me, and speaks to what I had gone through with my divorce and my son."
And, what she has gone through has been very amazing. "I was singing, dancing, and acting growing up, and had spent time in New York and Los Angeles growing up. In the summer of 2001, I was in the process of moving back to New York City to jump start my career where I had left off. I had my son, and he was two. I was signing a lease on 9/11," she says, adding that the emotion of the moment made her return home. "I packed up and went back to Indiana. My plan was to go back to New York in the winter of 2002. But, in December, my son was diagnosed with autism."
That was a game changer, the singer says. "At that point, everything stopped and nothing else mattered. I went on a research mission to find out what I needed to know to take care of my son."
When it comes to her earliest musical influences, she sums them up with one-name artists. "There was Dolly, and as I got older in junior high, I was a huge Prince fan. The first concert I ever went to was in the seventh grade at the Indiana State Fair. It was Tiffany, with New Kids On The Block opening for her. You never forget things at that. In my high school years, I listened to more country. I was a huge Travis Tritt fan. Reba. I listened to everything."
Hilligoss has appeared in commercials, on stage, and even on the football field. "I was an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader," she says gleefully. Getting back on the stage was a course she knew she would have to take. "I knew that as he got better, if it was possible, I had to get back to what I loved. My child is a huge music fan. He loves having his mother sing."