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The Henningsens: Go Big or Go Home

Go big, or go home. That's The Henningsens' philosophy and it doesn't just apply to their supersized family of 12.

The new country trio, made up of brother Aaron, sister Clara and father Brian, were all musical, but individually. Aaron had been involved in music in college, Clara had tried writing songs with her sister and Brian played in bands around the rural Illinois community they lived in. A chance meeting with a songwriter resulted in an invitation to try their hand at writing, and the first meeting produced a country song. It was good enough that the songwriter urged them to take the tune to Nashville's iconic Bluebird Cafe—the launching pad for artists like Garth Brooks—to audition for an open mic night.

"The first time we ever sang together was on the Bluebird stage," explains Clara. "It was funny because we were standing up there singing, not as a group or anything, and people came up to us after and said, 'That’s so cool that you sing together as a family.' And I’m like, 'It’s cool that we’re in a band with our dad?'"

That performance earned them a meeting with producer Paul Worley and, eventually, a record deal and a new hit single, "American Beautiful."

So yes, Clara, it's definitely cool that you're in a band with your dad.

For more on The Henningsens, pick up this week's issue of Country Weekly.

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