Country star Chely Wright is appealing to fans to help fund her first album in four years by launching a campaign on Kickstarter.com.
The “Shut Up and Drive” hitmaker is seeking to raise $175,000 by Oct. 9 to cover the costs of the project, which she aims to release next year, and she is offering up a series of special “experiences” to thank fans for their support.
Among the prize packages available to generous devotees include a private, 30-minute phone call with Wright for pledges of $300 or more, lunch with the star in a top New York City restaurant for $1,500 and a private concert in the comfort of the fan’s home and 20 guests for $6,500.
Explaining the reason for going independent on the crowd-funding campaign page, the star writes, “This year marks my 20 year anniversary of making records. I have been really fortunate to have dedicated fans who’ve been with me since very early on in my career and together we’ve accomplished great things.
“I have always considered myself lucky to have been able to make records in Nashville with the best musicians, producers and record labels in the business and to have relationships with some of the greatest radio stations in the country. I cherish the hit records and triumphs that I was blessed to have.
“But the thing that I’ve always been most proud of is my relationship with the fans. We accomplished so much together. Let’s make some new memories! This is the new chapter of my life and my career and I can’t thank you enough for your support.”
Wright, whose last album, “Lifted Off the Ground,” was released in 2010, had raised over $4,500 so far.
She isn’t the first musician to turn to the public to fund an album – Dresden Dolls rocker Amanda Palmer successfully raised over $1 million online in 2012 for her “Theatre Is Evil” project, while punk-pop veterans Devo recently unveiled their own crowd-funding initiative to help them release a new live album.