Story and Photo by Nicole Dohm
Bowen, a 17-year-old South Carolina native, is known for her rendition of the song “Holding Out for a Hero,” recorded for the 2011 remake of “Footloose.”
She was the only unsigned artist for the soundtrack.
The Student Activities Board (SAB) booked Bowen for a concert after hearing her sing at a yearly convention.
SAB President Natalie Larson said the Student Activities Board discovered Ella at the Regional and National Conferences through an orientation called NACA (National Association of Campus Activities).
Over 60 students attended the concert expecting to hear sweet country music.
What they weren’t ready for was the powerful meanings and sentimental stories behind each song.
Bowen said she wanted to be a singer her entire life.
However, she wasn’t able to learn the guitar until age 12 because it was too difficult for her.
She said she overcame every obstacle with the help of her best friend, her grandfather Sam, who passed away when she was 11.
She said from that moment on, she never gave up.
In 2011, Bowen performed at the Grand Ole Opry.
Her voice and music have also gained recognition with big name country artists like Keith Urban and Hunter Hayes, whom she currently is touring with.
She admitted she still gets stage fright even after opening for Hayes.
Bowen said all of her hard work paid off because she now gets to perform all over the country, traveling with her mom.
She said she loves Iowa and can’t wait to come back to Drake to perform again.
“The people that rise to the top are the people that work the hardest,” Bowen said. “Be mindful of who is helping you. Believe in yourself, and do not take any introductions for granted. Have an open mind, and always be kind. That is my key and your key to success.”
First-year Abby Fleischmann said, “My favorite song was ‘His Name Was Sam’ because it was really sweet and sentimental,”
“The concert was enjoyable and I absolutely thought it was a fun thing to do on campus. I would definitely come back to see her again.”
Bowen is working on her debut album, set for release next year.
The concert was originally set to take place at the agora, but had to move inside due to rain.