By Adam Wadding
On Friday afternoon, Mickie James sang on the same Hard Rock Cafe Stage as an array of Country artists, most of whom she could probably beat up if she felt like it.
James spends much of her time in the wrestling ring, as the Women’s Knockout Champion for the Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling organization. But she can command the stage as effectively as she does a hapless opponent.
Kicking off her performance at 4:15 PM, Cowboy Troy, who introduced himself as “the oddball of Country and Western music,” welcomed James onstage.
“You all may not know me, “she mentioned before she singing. Even so, the fans welcomed her music. Some began to dance, especially when she started performing her most recent single, “Hardcore Country.”
“I didn’t know her, but she sounded awesome,” said Kadar Ulwin, 22, a first-time Festival visitor from California.
James also surprised listeners by covering two popular songs from the past, Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” and The Beatles,” Come Together.” Both covers warmed the crowd up to James. After only one year into the Country Music scene, she already looks like a winner.