(Above Left) Ashlee Hewitt (left) and Whitney Duncan formed their musical group “Post Monroe”. They will be performing in Thief River Falls at RiverFest Saturday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m. (Above Right )- Ashlee Hewitt and Jordan Coon, whom Ashlee chose on the reality television show, The Proposal. The Proposal is on ABC on Monday nights at 9 p.m. You can see past shows at https://abc.go. com/shows/the-proposal. (Photos Submitted)
By Linda Andersen
Some Kittson County residents who tuned in to view the second episode of the new dating reality show, “The Proposal,” were surprised to see some familiar faces – those of Ashley Hewitt (formerly of Caribou Township) and her parents, Jim and Kelly Hewitt (currently of Caribou Township).
According to Kelly Hewitt, she and Jim enjoyed an all expense paid trip to Hollywood where they stayed in the “swanky” Sheraton Universal Hotel, experienced the behind the scenes action as the episode was filmed, and even got up on stage to asked the prospective beaus a few questions. Appearing on national TV was not a totally new experience for the Hewitts as they had been on stage with Ashlee 10 years ago when she was a contestant on Nashville Star.
Kelly also mentioned that Ashlee had starred in the 2010 film, “Elle: Today’s Cinderella Story.”
In email communication with Ashlee, she shared about the beginnings of her singing career in Kittson County, highlights of her life in Nashville, her experience on “The Proposal,” and her upcoming show in Thief River Falls.
Asked about people in Kittson County who influenced her decision to pursue a career in singing and acting, she responded, “I think my mom was my biggest supporter and cheerleader. But, I remember my first gig with my sister, Katrice, and our band at the city hall in Lancaster when I was 13. I remember trying to perform every chance we could. It all started there. From the county fair, to local clubs, and eventually it expanded to all over the Midwest. We were playing almost 170 shows per year throughout my high school days. I knew I wanted to make it my profession from day one. The whole community was always supportive of us and I will be forever grateful for that support and encouragement that pushed me to pursue my career in music. I would have to say everyone in Kittson County was influential!”
Ashlee moved to Nash-ville in 2007 and, with the exception of a short time in Los Angeles, has been able to pursue what she loves there. Here’s an overview of those past 11 years in Ashlee’s words: “One of the first gigs I got when I moved to town was playing guitar and singing background vocals for a girl named Katie Armiger. We flew all over the U.S. on her radio tour and I learned so much about how the music industry works – all the ins and outs of radio, record labels, management, etc. Shortly after that I was on Nashville Star which was a big highlight for me. I moved to L.A. for a little while and did some acting, which was also where my management company was based out of at the time. I came back to Nashville and I toured with Lorrie Morgan for about four years. Then I met Whitney Duncan who I was a fan of since she had a song on the radio called “Skinny Dipping.” We met for coffee and were instant friends. We started writing together and decided we wanted to start a band together which we have been in for almost four years now, called Post Monroe. It’s been quite the journey. We’ve played the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry (which has always been on my bucket list).”
“One of the biggest accomplishments thus far was becoming a published songwriter at Sony ATV. I think that’s the thing I’m most proud of because the creative side of the business is my favorite part. It’s a great feel to see your words and music come to life, from the lyrics and music to production. Writing is therapy for me. With a publishing deal you get paid a certain amount of money to write songs, and you share part of the ownership of the songs with the publishing company in return. They also help pitch your songs to major label acts. It’s definitely a dream job. I’ve been with Sony for three years now.”
In Ashlee’s recent appearance on “The Proposal,” she had to choose one guy from a panel of 10 suitors. Before long, she had narrowed her choices to three (Sam, Jordan, and Jeremy), at which point parents, Jim and Kelly, were allowed to ask a few questions. The host of the show first asked Jim how he felt when he heard Ashlee was going to be on the show.
Jim responded, “We were happy for her … We want her to find the right guy.”
Jim then explained to Jeremy, who is from New York, that Ashlee is “at the verge of going a long ways in her career.” He then asked Jeremy how he would be able to “help her fulfill her dreams in Nashville.”
Kelly asked Jordan, “What are you looking for in the woman of your dreams?”
Finally, Jim asked Sam about how his faith would affect his family life.
In the end, Ashlee chose Jordan Coon, an advertising agent from Los Angeles and, though he didn’t turn out to be the man of Ashlee’s dreams, she said she is glad she made the appearance on the show. “It sounded fun and seemed like a good opportunity to meet someone I wouldn’t normally meet. My music keeps me so busy that it’s hard to meet people outside of my work space,”
“I didn’t fall in love on the show and it didn’t work out with Jordan especially because he lives in L.A. and the distance made it hard. I believe it can work for some people, but it wasn’t the right thing for me. I am thankful for the experience though,” she added.
Ashlee will perform close to home Saturday, Aug. 4. 7 p.m. when she and Whitney Duncan (Post Monroe) will entertain at RiverFest. Asked what people can expect from the upcoming show, Ashlee responded, “We like to mix it up and keep things interesting at our shows. We’ll sing a lot of songs we’ve written, some that are released and some new ones that nobody’s heard yet. We like to throw in some covers, too, to give people something to sing along to!”
Readers can find Post Monroe at www.postmonroe.com and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
“I’m so excited and cannot wait to see some familiar faces in Thief River Falls!” Ashlee concluded.