Marked with a passionate and dynamic vocal range, Karen Lee Batten memorized her father’s vocals as she watched him in concert at the age of four. Hailing from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Batten sang in choirs through her elementary and high school years and participated in vocal competitions, using Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” as her go-to.
Later on, she bounced between serving jobs, hosting karaoke shows, and performing gigs until she felt an overwhelming drive to devote her time fully to music. Gaining national recognition from her time on Canadian Idol as a Top 10 finalist, she became drawn to the country music community and the rock and soul elements that often contribute to the genre. Her debut album Every Moment then led to her first music video on Canadian Country Music Television.
With her newly released single, “Drinkin’ Song”, Batten adds her own heart and soul to the classic country tune. Bold and confident, the energy oozes out of her powerful vocals and has you walking down the lively streets of broadway. Telling of a love that broke, the party single gets you wishing you could wash your pain away as the story unfolds, singing “He made a pawn shop promise to never be untrue, well that dream it got bought and sold, and the lies couldn’t be untold, so leaving was the only thing left to do”.
Hitting #1 in album sales and #40 on Billboard Soundscan in Canada in the first month of its release, her 2014 sophomore album Cause a Scene brought her on numerous stages, with her strong and commanding stage presence leading her to Rockin’ River, Sunfest, Gone Country, Merritt Mountain Festival, Williams Lake Stampede, and a showcase during Canadian Country Music Week. She also became an anthem favorite at NHL, CFL, and MLS games.
Batten’s third record, Under the Covers in Muscle Shoals, was produced by CCMA award-winning Mitch Merrett (MDM Recordings) and Michael Pyle (Bobby Wills). The project was composed of hand-picked covers from the Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, featuring the beloved “Sweet Home Alabama”. As the 2018 album hit #2 on Billboard Soundscan and #4 on iTunes, her seventh BC Country Music Association Award for Female Artist of the Year was earned.
“Too Strong” was her contemporary country release of 2020 right after winning the BCCMA Fans’ Choice Award. Adding a modern twist while keeping her country twang and rock edge, Batten displays her resilience in the storytelling of not giving up easily on a relationship.
As “Drinkin’ Song” lays the foundation for her new 2021 EP produced by Merrett and CCMA Award-winning Jeff Johnson, Batten’s timeless sound creates a bright future ahead as adoring crowds come to stay.