INSTANT KARMA

Jessica Andrews on fate and hitting the big 1-8

Jessica Andrews' latest song is called "Karma" - that's the notion that life rewards or punishes you based on the things you do. So, since Jessica has a hit about karma, does she believe in it?

"I do now!" she declares with a laugh.

Seriously, Jessica does practice what she preaches on this topic. "I do believe that what comes around goes around," she explains. "I think what you do comes back to you."

If that's so, Jessica must have been pretty well-behaved in a past life, because she's having an awfully good run of luck in this one. Her song "Who I Am" was one of last year's biggest hits, and her album of the same name went gold.

But now she's making even greater strides in her personal life. She turned 18 in December - a pretty big milestone, although Jessica doesn't make a big deal about it. "It doesn't really feel any different," she shrugs.

Nonetheless, Jessica marked her official entry into adulthood by taking a very big step. "I moved out on my own," she reports. "I love it. I've been living in an apartment with my parents for the last few years, and it was time."

So Jessica got her own place in Nashville and bought her parents a house near the family's hometown of Huntingdon, Tenn. It was Jessica's way of repaying her mom and dad for the sacrifices they made for her in leaving Huntingdon behind six years ago to support her singing career.

"And nothing's that different now," she figures, "because I was never at home anyway!"

That won't change anytime soon: Jessica will spend much of her time this year touring, and she's already busily working on a new album, due for release this fall. In her new music, fans will be able to hear how far she's come since Who I Am.

"It seems like every record I make takes that next step up," she says. "Each one is more mature. I think it just naturally happens like that."

She's also considering stretching out in another direction: acting. "I want to do movies someday," she acknowledges, quickly adding she wouldn't want to just play a singer. "I don't want it to have anything to do with my music," she notes.

Nonetheless, Jessica promises that wherever her career goes from here, singing will always be her first priority. "I just want to make music for a long time," she concludes, "and get it out there for as many people as possible."

-- Chris Neal

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