McKINNEY (Sept. 29, 2014) — Local singer-songwriter Crystal Yates will celebrate the release of her new CD, “I Believe,” by hosting an evening of music and storytelling at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) on Sunday, Oct. 5.

McKinney Online - Crystal Yates CD Cover

Yates won the top $100,000 prize and title of Best New Act in Country Music in the Texaco Country Showdown held in Nashville, Tenn., in January, the final competition in a journey that took her through multiple qualifying rounds over several months last year. That prize money allowed Yates and husband/manager Will to take the two songs from the competition, as well as three of her other songs, to Nashville. While in the studio, she worked with Grammy Award-winning music producer Charlie Peacock to fashion the five songs into her debut Nashville CD.

“Working with Charlie Peacock was a dream of mine,” Yates said, explaining that Peacock had produced albums for The Civil Wars, a duo whose songs the Yates sometimes cover when performing live and to whose style they are sometimes compared, and Holly Williams, among other artists across multiple musical genres.

“It costs a lot to produce a CD the right way – to make beautiful music, the artwork, photograph, the promotion involved – and prize allowed us to work with Charlie and produce the kind of record we wanted,” Yates said. “Working with him was the most fantastic experience and I learned so much in the process.”

The full CD releases officially on Amazon, GooglePlay and iTunes on Oct. 21. The first single, “Goodbye Letter,” released on iTunes on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Radio play will begin soon after that.

“We’d love everyone to call their favorite radio stations to request it,” Yates said, adding, “People can email and post on their favorite station's Facebook page, too.”

Yates chose to produce and release this album independently rather than through a label, which allows for more artistic freedom and control. This also means the promotion of the album falls on the artist to drive and manage, something that excites Yates.

“This release is something I know we can do organically, to bring it home, share it here with the community we love in McKinney, to see what a community can do to make a difference in supporting local musicians and help me make ripples as an independent artist,” she said.

The Yates family moved to McKinney from Florida in 2009 on the invitation of Jennie Riddle, a McKinney-based Christian music songwriter and Dove Award winner with whom Yates first worked here. Shortly after their move, Crystal and Will (on guitar, keyboard, and harmonizing vocals) began actively playing local music venues all around the area and have built quite a following in North Texas, performing in cities including McKinney, Denton, Paris, Plano, Dallas, Fort Worth, among others. They even performed this summer in historic Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, a venue where many new country artists as well as country “royalty” have performed during its 136-year history.

“One of the things we love so much about McKinney is that it’s a great place to live and make music as a singer-songwriter. We’re so grateful to be here,” Yates said. “The McKinney and North Texas communities have been so supportive of our music and we want to share this important time for us with everyone here, to have a purposeful night and release this music together.”

Sunday’s family-friendly event starts at 6:30 p.m. and will feature performances of Yates’ music and stories about the journey through the Texaco Country Showdown and the Nashville recording experience. Admission is $12 which includes the newly-released CD ($8 without a CD); tickets are available from the MPAC ticket office.

Also coming up this fall for Crystal Yates:

  • Sept. 30 – “Good Morning Texas” (WFAA Ch. 8) at 9 a.m. Click here to view the video report.
  • Oct. 4 – The Cottonwood Arts Festival, Richardson, 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
  • Oct. 18-19 – The Boggy Bayou Festival in the Yates’ hometown of Niceville, Fla. (“We’re so excited to be invited to open for Martina McBride on Saturday night of the festival and Neal McCoy on Sunday,” Yates said.)

To learn more about Crystal Yates and her music, visit, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.


About the McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau

The McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB) strives to bring visitors to the community to generate economic impact by promoting and developing McKinney as a destination for business and leisure travelers alike. We hope to help them fully experience McKinney's historic charm and friendly unique atmosphere, to enjoy themselves so much, they can’t wait to bring their family and friends back with them again. For more information visit