TODAY | August 25, 2012
>>> you probably haven't heard edda briggs' name before, but chances are you've heard her voice. once a backup singer for country music 's top names , she never grasped the lead mike until recently. she landed a record deal at 53 years old, proving you're never too old to get your first break. i'm packing my bags
>> front and center on a new york city stage, etta brit acts and sounds like a natural. a voice so seasoned and so soulful, you'd never guess that she signed her first record deal at age 53.
>> aside from the voice and "america's got talent," record labels just aren't handing out record deals to older artists. i really proved that dreams do not die.
>> it's been a long road to the spotlight for etta . growing up in louisville, kentucky, when she fantasized about becoming a singer, she never wanted to be front and center.
>> i would stand in front of the mirror for hours and sing the supremes, and i would always be the supreme, not diana ross . you can't hurry love , no, you just have to wait
>> etta went from singing backup in her bedroom to performing backup on stage with the country band dave and sugar. she even sang in the studios of nashville, but never the lead, and before she could go solo, she became part of a duo, marrying guitarist bob brit.
>> as soon as my first one was born, it was automatic. all i wanted to do was sit and hold her.
>> with a growing family, etta and bob couldn't afford to have both of them pursue their music careers, so she set hers aside while bob soared with top acts like wynonna judd and the dixie chicks .
>> always wished that she was doing what i was doing, and you know, and maybe i was staying home taking care of the kids.
>> but etta still had dreams of making it in the music business .
>> never gave it up. it was always right there in the front of my mind.
>> over the years, she kept writing music, all while she was raising her daughters, and then her life changed forever. etta grabbed the attention of wrinkle records, a start-up label looking to sign older artists.
>> and she said, i want to sign you to the label. and i just turned around and looked around a couple times to see if she's talking to somebody else, and then i said, okay, sure, why not?
>> her debut album is appropriately titled "out of the shadows," and on a recent summer night at the b.b. king 's blues club in new york, she stepped into the biggest spotlight of all.
>> a little nervous, you know. i'm in new york city ! i've never played new york city before. this is my first time. wish me luck. was i lost, was i dying, maybe i couldn't see
>> taking center stage like she's been there all along.
>> sending a message with every song.
>> if there's something you want to do and there's something you've always wanted to do, go on and take a leap of faith and step out there and do it.
>> i love her story.
>> yeah! i like that and i like a singer who's lived life, so when she sings soulful songs, you know it's coming from somewhere.
>> means something.
>> been there, done that.