Bria Kelly (The Voice) Records and Films Powerful New Music Video for Anti-Dog Chaining Song “Why Me?”


Bria Kelly, famous for top 10 finish on The Voice last year, and top 20 stint on America’s Got Talent, the year before, was the obvious choice to record the vocals for the new song “Why Me?” When asked what this song means to Bria, she replied, “I am humbled by the opportunity to support such an amazing cause. Written by Amy Havens Hines and Donna Hughes, this song should be an eye opening reality check to those who turn a blind eye to animal cruelty.”

Amy Hines reached out to Donna Hughes, an Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter and Animal Rights activist. Hughes has recorded a series of anti-chaining songs including the first, “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain,” that appears on her album From The Heart, and the follow-up “One Less Dog In The Cold.”

“When Amy Hines sent me her haunting lyrics, I immediately had a vision for the melody, and after reading her haunting lyrics, I knew the title had to be what all dogs on chains are thinking, ‘Why Me?’ Dog chaining is legal in my area, so after many sleepless nights, tossing and turning, worrying about all the dogs who live all around me on chains, I knew we had to get this song recorded by someone special! I am honored and sincerely grateful Amy chose me as her partner to complete this song. I have true admiration for her and all the happy hearts and helping hands at Dogs Deserve Better, as they rehabilitate dogs from a lifetime of suffering,” said Hughes.

The song “Why Me?” came together in one day. They then reached out to Bria Kelly to perform it knowing that her powerful vocals and huge fan following would certainly help bring global attention to this powerful tune.

The lyrics then traveled to Nashville where it was professionally recorded and mixed by musician Scott Vestal who also played acoustic guitar and bass on the recording. Vestal’s impressive career includes stints with Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Donny and Marie Osmond, Sam Bush, David Lee Roth, Ricky Skaggs, and many other high profile artists. He has also appeared on numerous national TV shows.

Other musicians on “Why Me?” include the amazing talents of: Jenee Fleenor, (currently performing with Blake Shelton) on Violin; Josh Shilling (lead vocalist with Mountain Heart) on Piano and Harmony; Chris Brown (Belmont University, Sam Bush, Linda Rondstadt) on Drums; and Bob Williams (has played Rhythm and Blues with the Peptonz, American folk music with Carey Creed, Bluegrass with the Grass Menagerie, and classic Rock and dance music with Scott Young and Steppin’ Out) on Guitar.

Cetre Peques (Music Video Director) and the entire Who’s Johnny Creative production team immediately jumped on board to produce the music video for “Why Me?” in hopes of raising awareness and showing the correlation between animal abuse and crimes against humanity. Dr. Sheri Bias, Liquid Talent Agency joined the team by providing over 50 professional actors.

On July 25, 2015, the actors, writers, producers, and Bria Kelly showed up on 1915 Moonlight Rd. in Smithfield, Virginia. Once the home of Michael Vick’s “Bad Newz” dog fighting compound, it is now home of Dogs Deserve Better that operates the Good Newz Rehabilitation Center for Chained & Penned Dogs. After what can only be described as a “surreal” experience, the 22 hours of filming took place on the very property where dozens of dogs had been fought and died. No one left without having a life altering experience.

The “Why Me?” video can be viewed at

The song can be purchased for download on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and all major distribution sites. A portion of every song will benefit the dogs at the Good Newz Rehabilitation Center for Chained & Penned Dogs (
More information about “Why Me?” can be found at

Radio programmers worldwide can download “Why Me?” at Airplay Direct:

More on Donna Hughes:
donna-hughes-400wDonna Hughes, an award-winning Singer-Songwriter and Animal Rights activist, is using her voice to help un-chain dogs. She started a petition, which has now grown to 35k signatures, and has also set up a page a “Dogs Without Chains” Facebook page where she posts all the new tethering ordinances being passed around the nation.

She also set up a page called “Flying Hound Fences,” aptly named after her Publishing Company, (Flying Hound Publishing) to organize volunteers to build fences in her area, for those who need help.

Due to her efforts and many other organizations, more and more people have begun filing into their Local County Courtrooms, to argue a ban on chaining dogs. Both “One Less Dog In The Cold” and “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain” have extremely sad videos on YouTube, difficult to watch, but necessary to educate. Both songs have been shared by celebrities such as Wynonna Judd, some of The Real Housewives in Hollywood, Broadway Stars, Pulitzer Prize Winners, and more.

Donna’s songs and efforts have been covered widely in the media in global publications and high profile social sites like “The Little Things,” with 3+ million fans.

For more information on Donna Hughes, please visit

IBMA World of Bluegrass Performances – You are invited!

ibma-hoperiverCongratulations to Lonesome River Band, Sammy Shelor, Larry Cordle, Volume Five, and Adkins & Loudermilk on their 2015 IBMA Award Nominations and to Detour and Donna Hughes as Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Artists!  We invite you to this week’s performances during the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh including some exciting showcases with Trinity River Band!

Tuesday, Sept 29
10:20pm – Donna Hughes and Jacob Burleson at Convention Center, Room 304

Wednesday, Sept 30
11:30 am – Lonesome River Band performing at the Momentum Awards Brunch in Convention Center

2:00pm-5:00pm – Mountain Home’s Welcome Home Party at Convention Center, Rooms 305 A&B (Sammy Shelor performing around 4:00 pm

7:00 pm – Donna Hughes Band at Convention Center Master’s Workshop Stage

9:00 pm – Donna Hughes Band at Tir Na Nog

11:00 pm – Detour at Lincoln Theatre

11:00 pm – Donna Hughes Band at The Pour House

12:30 AM – Trinity River Band at IBMA After Hours Showcase @ Raleigh Convention Center, University Room

1:00 am – Lonesome River Band at Crooked Road Ramble at the Architect Bar

Friday, October 2, 2015
12:45 pm – Orthophonic Joy Showcase with Larry Cordle, OJ House Band, Ashley & Shannon Campbell, Corbin Hayslett, The Virginia Luthiers, The Shotgun Rubies, and The Church Sisters at the Red Hat Amphitheater

2:45 pm – Larry Stephenson Band at Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival, Davie Street Stage

8:00 pm – Volume Five at Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival, Davie Street Stage

11:00 pm – Trinity River Band at After Hours Showcase Event presented by National Media Services and Orange Blossom Records at Raleigh Marriott City Center, Congressional Room.
Be sure to visit DETOUR and DONNA HUGHES at their trade show booths and TRINITY RIVER BAND at the National Media Services booth in the Convention Center

Tonight in Raleigh – Pickin in the Plaza

pickintheplazaRaleigh, North Carolina area music fans are invited to the free Pickin’ in the Plaza concert at City Plaza downtown tonight. A Bluegrass Open Jam will be held from 5-6pm, a performance by Big Fat Gap from 7:15-8:15pm, followed by the multi-award winning Donna Hughes who will take the stage from 8:40-9:55pm.

Donna Hughes is a Trinity, North Carolina native and was chosen as one of this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) official Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Artist. She will perform with her band next month during the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. For more information, please visit

Before the big IBMA week next month, music fans can check out some of Donna’s other area shows that include:

• Saturday, August 15 – Linville Falls Winery, Linville Falls, NC
• Wednesday, August 19 – Steak Street, High Point, NC
• Wednesday, August 26 – Steak Street, High Point, NC
• Saturday, August 29 – Donna Hughes will be Judging the “Davidson’s Got Talent,” for the Davidson County Humane Society @ High Rock Outfitters, Lexington, NC

Please visit for more information.

New Songwriting Contest Announced


Judges Include Award-Winning Songwriters:
Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Donna Hughes, Brink Brinkman and Jenee Fleenor

The popular Dogs Deserve Better organization has launched a new songwriting contest on behalf of chained dogs. Songwriters who believe that dogs deserve a better life other than living at the end of a chain, are encouraged to submit their original tunes at before June 30, 2015.

An estimated 4-5 million dogs are still living outside 24/7/365 on chains and in pens all across the nation. In most areas of the country chaining is not banned or even limited.
The contest will be judged by some definite music and shakers in the music biz including the award-winning and chart topping writers Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Donna Hughes, Brink Brinkman, and Jenee Fleenor.  Applicants should inspire with their songs about freedom from chains, love for your best friend, or how a dog can change the world.

More on the Judges:

• Carl Jackson, Grammy-winning Producer & Songwriter of many hits in Nashville
• Jenee Fleenor, band member of the Blake Shelton band, (co-writer of Blake’s latest single “Bringing Back the Sunshine) formerly with Martina McBride, and & played on recordings by Rascal Flatts, & many other superstars.
• Brink Brinkman, writer of countless Bluegrass hits.
• Donna Hughes, writer of “My Poor Old Heart” by Alison Krauss & Union Station, a song from her Grammy-winning album “Lonely Runs Both Ways,” a song she performed at the CMA Awards. Donna’s songs have also been recorded by artists around the world, including Grammy nominated Seldom Scene. She currently has written over 500 songs, with 189 of them on iTunes.
• Larry Cordle, most famous for his song “Murder on Music Row”, which was recorded by George Strait and Alan Jackson and received the CMA Award for Song of the Year in 2000. He has written songs for Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks, and many other giants in Country & Bluegrass.

Confirmed Prizes (more to come):
• Celeb-Signed Guitar
• Guitar Lover’s Gift Box: Includes Guitar Strings, Picks, Guitar Strap, Tuner
• Winning Song will be uploaded to Airplay Direct for global distribution to Radio Programmers.
• Photo shoot with Steve Routh Photography or Rashell Wright Photography, if willing to travel to, or near the NC area.
• $25 Gift Card to Musicians’ Friend
• Autographed copy of Donna Hughes latest CD, and Free Songwriting Consultation
• Free Consultation with Brink Brinkman
• Dogs Deserve Better swag
For more information on Dogs Deserve Better and the Freedom Songwriting Contest, please visit

Donna Hughes Wins 2015 Canine Freedom Musician Award from Dogs Deserve Better


cfawardslogo-winners2015Multi-award winning Singer-Songwriter and Animal Rights Activist, Donna Hughes has won the 2015 Canine Freedom Award in the Musician category from Dogs Deserve Better – a nonprofit organization that has been freeing chained dogs since 2002. For a complete list of winners of the 2015 Canine Freedom Awards, please visit

Dogs Deserve Better announced, “Each year, more laws are made limiting or banning chaining, and more groups get involved in making a difference for chained dogs. These formerly forgotten dogs’ plights are written about, their rescues applauded. While we spend so much time focusing on the negative and harsh realities involved in the fight to free Man’s Best Friends from chains, we realized we need to take a moment to CELEBRATE the good, too. There are so many people who HAVE stepped up to make a difference on behalf of chained dogs, who have come together to fight for them and say “No More.”

Donna Hughes’ original song, “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain” has certainly caught the attention of people around the world as she brings important awareness to dogs being kept on chains and living a life of suffering. The heart-wrenching tune appears in different two versions on her current albums, From the Heart and Fly. The song has received significant airplay, charting on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Bluegrass Songs and on AirPlay Direct’s Global Radio Indicator Chart’s Top 50 Bluegrass / Folk Singles. Due to the heart-wrenching lyrics and video for “Dog On A 10’ Chain”, Hughes has since penned a happy follow up song, “One Less Dog In the Cold” that can be viewed on YouTube.

The Animal Rights Advocate continues her passionate mission to change tethering laws around the country. Hughes recently launched a petition to change tethering laws around the country and in her home state of North Carolina. Her grassroots efforts through social media have also made an impact and caught the attention of high profile celebrities, especially on Twitter, who are now lending their support.

Donna Hughes, along with the award-winning talents of Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Brink Brinkman, and Jenee Fleenor, will be judging a new Songwriting Contest hosted by Dogs Deserve Better. For more information including prizes to be award, please visit The deadline for submission is June 30, 2015.

For more information on Donna Hughes’ impressive catalog of music including lyrics, please visit

Donna Hughes Tugs on the Heartstrings with her Original Song “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain”

See the Video and Lyrics below

donna-hughes-two-albumsDuring last year’s brutal winter months, North Carolina Singer-Songwriter Donna Hughes penned the heart wrenching and powerful song, “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain” that has certainly pulled on the heartstrings. The song, and her YouTube video have been featured and shared on numerous popular sites including, LoveMyDogBlog, and the wide-reaching Dogs Deserve Better Facebook page to name a few. Donna has also started a new Facebook community page hoping to bring awareness to animal cruelty.

Early next year, Donna will announce her 2015 tour that will include performance dates overseas and around the country. While she regularly performs and speaks at elementary schools, she will soon announce more public speaking engagements as an Animal Rights Advocate continuing her passionate mission to change tethering laws around the country.

Donna plans to publish the lyrics, in addition to a happy ending for the dog, in a children’s book, with sheet music to the song in the back of the book. She also has a couple of other dog songs that she feels will make great children’s books as well – helping to educate children to love and cherish their pets.

“Dog On A 10 Foot Chain” appears on both of Donna’s current albums, From the Heart and Fly. The dog song, along with three of her other originals (“Gone,” “The Red Oak Tree,” and “Where The Good Daddies Go”) have been nominated for Strictly Country’s 20th Annual Spirit Awards in the Song of the Year category.

Since the late summer release of these impressive albums, Donna continues to receive media support including recent album reviews in Power Source Magazine, coverage on Bluegrass Today and many other popular publications – both online and in print.

Radio success has been tremendous for Donna this year. The first single release, “The Way I Am” is currently #1 on the Roots Music Report Top 50 Bluegrass Song Chart with “Dog On A 10’ Chain” at in the #2 spot for the second week in a row. “The Way I Am” is also on the Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction Most Played Tracks for November; Bluegrass Today’s Monthly Chart for December; Power Source Magazine’s Top 35 Bluegrass Songs for November; Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s Top 30 Songs for December to name a few.

From the Heart and Fly are available to radio stations worldwide on AirPlayDirect (APD) and as previously announced, was the first winner of the Beyond The Song Contest. She recently added her all of her albums to APD including: Gaining Wisdom produced by Tony Rice on Rounder Records; Hellos, Goodbyes, and Butterflies produced by J.D. Crowe on Rounder Records; and her first two self-produced albums Somewhere in Time and Same Old Me on her label Running Dog Records.

She has received tremendous APD chart success for these projects with 5 albums appearing on: the APD Top 50 Bluegrass/Folk Albums this month; From The Heart at #13 on the APD Top 50 Bluegrass / Folk Albums and at #46 on the APD Global Indicator Top 50 Albums All Genres for All Time; Fly at #7 on the APD Top 50 Americana Albums this month; 10 songs on the APD Top 50 Bluegrass / Folk Singles this month; 4 songs on the APD Top 50 Americana Singles this month including two with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Tony Rice; and 5 songs on the APD Top 50 Christian Gospel Singles this month.

Donna Hughes’ music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and many more outlets. To view lyrics for “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain” and her vast catalog of original music, please visit Fans are invited to join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Pandora, and many more sites.

Lyrics to “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain”

Nothing to look forward to
Watching cars go by all day
Nothing to play with, nothing to do
Shivering in the cold hard rain

They forget to bring me water
They forget that I am here
They don’t know how smart I am
They don’t even see my tears

What did I do wrong, what did I do?
I just want someone to love me, because I love you
Whatever it is I did wrong, maybe I can change
No one knows how hard it is, how hard it is to be………. a dog on a 10 foot chain

Sometimes it’s hard to stay cool
On a blazing hot summer day
I dream of crossing the stream
And catching a fish as the sunlight fades

It’s hard to stay warm in the winter
Some nights it’s hard to be strong
I dream of chasing butterflies
And rabbits all day long

What did I do wrong, what did I do?
I just want someone to love me, because I love you
Whatever it is I did wrong, maybe I can change
No one knows how hard it is, how hard it is to be………. a dog on a 10 foot chain

The world is big and beautiful
But I’ll never see it all
Maybe when I go to Heaven
Someone will love me and throw me a big red ball

What did I do wrong, what did I do?
I just want someone to love me, because I love you
Whatever it is I did wrong, maybe I can change
No one knows how hard it is, how hard it is to be………. a dog on a 10 foot chain

The John Boy & Billy Show to Feature Donna Hughes’ “Walmart Checkout Line”

Donna-Hughes-DSC_9819-red-porch-sit-slogo-johnboy&billyradionetworkDonna Hughes’ original song “Walmart Checkout Line” will be featured on the nationally syndicated morning radio program, The John Boy & Billy Big Show on Tuesday, December 9. The hilarious song video, that has received over 63,000 YouTube views so far, will be featured as the “Video of the Day” on the show’s website. The John Boy & Billy Big Show airs mornings from 6-10 Eastern across the country and is available via live stream. Listeners can view stations in their area here.

albumcover-donnahughes-fromtheheart2014“Walmart Checkout Line” appears on Donna’s From The Heart album that includes 18 other original songs on the 21 track project. Her songwriting talents certainly shine on the album with haunting tunes like “Red Oak Tree,” to the heartbreaking “Dog On A 10’ Chain”, to other funny tunes like “Facebook (Was Made In Hell).”

Donna’s impressive catalog of music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and many more outlets.

All of Donna’s albums are now available to Radio Stations worldwide at She recently hit the #1 spot on the site’s Global Indicator Chart and was also the first recipient of the Beyond the Song contest.

To view lyrics and get more information on Donna Hughes, please visit and join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Pandora, and many more sites.

Donna Hughes Continues to Garner #1s from Two New Albums

donna-hughes-two-albumsSince the recent release of her two new albums, Singer-Songwriter Donna Hughes continues to garner #1s on a variety of radio charts’. She has also received significant media attention including gracing the cover of Americana Rhythm Music Magazine.

donna-hughes-americana-rhythmIn the past two weeks, Donna reached the #1 spot on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Bluegrass Song Chart with two songs – “The Way I Am” and “Dog On A 10′ Chain.” Both songs appear on her album FROM THE HEART, and the heart wrenching “Dog On A 10′ Foot Chain” also appears on her piano album FLY.

Another impressive milestone was achieving the top spot on AirPlay Direct’s Global Indicator Top 50 Albums Charts several times with FROM THE HEART. The chart covers all genres of music. She is currently #15 on the site’s All-Time Top Bluegrass Albums Chart.

beyondthesongAs previously announced, Donna was the recipient of the first “Beyond The Song” contest winning a consulting and advertising package with Beyond The Song and AirPlay Direct worth $2,250. “I was impressed not only with Donna’s talent and art, but just as importantly with how she is running her career… like a business,” said Gary Bradshaw, Executive Director – Beyond The Song.

“The Way I Am” has also consistently appeared on the Bluegrass Today (BT) Weekly Top 20 since its release, landing at #9 this week along with charting at #17 on the BT Monthly Top 20 for December. Donna recently sat down with John Lawless of Bluegrass Today to chat about both albums.  Fans can view the video here.

“The Way I Am” also appears at #20 on this month’s Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine Top 30 National Bluegrass Survey Song Chart, at #18 on the NMW Country Internet Top 30 Indie Chart, .#19 on the NMW Top 85 Country Main Chart and more.

Please visit and join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Pandora, Spotify, and many more sites.

Donna Hughes Wins “Beyond the Song – APD” Contest

airplaydirectCongratulations to Donna Hughes, the winner of the “Beyond The Song” contest. Donna has won a consulting and advertising package with Beyond The Song and AirPlay Direct worth $2,250…!

$750 Beyond the Song Consultation Package – 10 Hours
$1,500 APD “Marketing & Awareness” Campaign

albumcover-donnahughes-fromtheheart2014-300w“I was impressed not only with Donna’s talent and art, but just as importantly with how she is running her career… like a business. I look forward to working with her.” – Gary Bradshaw, Executive Director – Beyond The Song

Please visit and join her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, Pandora, Spotify, and many more sites.