By Rick Coates
While American Idol and the soon-to-debut American version of The X Factor
look for the next big pop stars, Traverse Citys Courtney Argue has her
own plans. The 2008 TC West High School graduate has a big-time producer,
a major music deal in the works, and a reality television show in
Northern Michigan has caught some glimpses of Argues talent in the
past. As a teenager she performed at the National Cherry Festival and
Friday Night Live several times. She has sung the National Anthem a few
times at sporting events, including at Joe Louis Arena for the Red Wings.
She dropped off the local radar, however, when she signed a management
deal with a New York based company that was representing some top music
I was first approached by them when I was 13, said Argue. I made a demo
of cover songs and my father sent it out all over. Eventually this New
York company signed me.
Those cover songs that attracted the management deal were inspired by
music she grew up listening to from her parents CD collection.
I showed interest in singing when I was in diapers, said Argue. As I
got older I would listen to my parents music and loved Tom Petty and other
classic rockers. I eventually ended up performing a bunch of classic rock
and country covers.
Argue, who participated in several music programs and classes while in
elementary and middle school, had her heart set on becoming a dance music
When I got into high school I had to make a decision -- either continue
on the path of taking the classical and choral music classes or follow a
different path, said Argue. Obviously, I chose a different path. I
continued taking voice lessons from Jayne Sleder locally, so I am
classically and opera-trained and am grateful for that. I have a great
appreciation for many musical styles.
While Argue wanted to sing dance music songs her management company wanted
her to become a pop/rock star.
It was very frustrating because what seemed like a good deal at the time
was quickly becoming a bad one. They wanted to control everything and I
had no say, said Argue. Even though I am only 20 I have already seen so
much about this industry, how controlling people want to be and how
everyone wants a piece of something you are doing. I have to be very
careful about the contracts I sign in the future. I am at a crucial time
in my career and one bad contract could ruin me forever.
ENTER SLY DOGGIE
Argue had to sue to get out of her contract and was successful. As this
was going on she learned that a big time music producer Sly Doggie
(Christian Davis) who has worked with Christina Aguilera, Destinys
Child, Youngstown, and Backstreet Boys wanted to work with her.
It was funny because my website and social networking site manager who
was based in Houston was connected with Sly Doggie. She told him about me
and he liked what he heard and started sending music to my management
company but they never told me about it, said Argue. Eventually my
website designer called me directly and asked why I hadnt responded to
the music sent to me. I didnt know what she was talking about because my
management company never told me. So she sent me the songs and one I just
loved it was called Download Me. This was exactly what I was looking
But because she was still under contract she couldnt act on the songs
until after the lawsuit was finalized with her management company.
When I was free, I contacted Sly Doggie about the song I wanted to
record, he said he had just sold it to Britney Spears. I was upset, said
Argue. He told me he wanted to work with me and that I should come out to
LA and write and record with him right away.
Argue did just that and after spending a few weeks with her, Sly Doggie
knew that he was working with the real deal.
GOT IT ALL
The things that make Courtney a star is that she is gorgeous, very sexy,
tall, long legged so she has the whole visual look down and she is a great
singer, said Sly Doggie. What she has that surpasses what other people
have is she can be diva when she needs to be but equally impressive is she
is very humble and she realizes that she has to always work on her craft.
She has all the makings of a star. She knows when to own a situation and
when to pull out a notepad and take notes on what she needs to work on and
her ability to transition between those two things sets her apart from so
Sly Doggie says that despite her young age what he likes about Argue is,
she will come into the studio and take direction like she does not know
anything and that is the way you should go about it to fully be an open
He is currently producing her debut album and a distribution deal is
pending with Universal. When Sly Doggie flew out to Traverse City last
year to meet Courtneys family and work on additional recording with her,
he immediately saw another opportunity.
Courtney is a very talented and driven performer. In hanging with her
and her family in Traverse City and I was like wow, if there was ever a
family built for a reality TV show it is the Argues, said Sly Doggie.
So right now I have interest from a few different networks and the next
step will be to shoot a pilot (starting next week in Traverse City). This
show will raise awareness for the record coming out and in this day of the
music business you kinda have to have the triple threat, TV, Film and
They expect her first single Play Me to be released soon and her album
to be released at the time of her reality TV show airs possibly this
Argue has a younger sister and brother and her parents are successful MMA
(cage fighting) promoters. She is grateful for her parents support and
sees her days in Traverse City numbered.
I am very fortunate that as a kid after watching the Spice Girls I told
my parents I wanted to become a performer. They have supported me every
step of the way, said Argue. For now I am in Traverse City and the
reality show is going to be filmed here. But the music I am singing, the
scene and the people I need to work with are in LA so eventually I am
going to have to move there.
Courtney Argue wont be competing on American Idol or The X Factor and she
doesnt need to -- it appears she has found her own way to the top. But
she does have a message for the top female competitors of those shows,
just listen to her songs Nothing On Me and Play Me at her website
www.courtneyarguemusic.com and you will get the message loud and clear,
Courtney Argue is the real deal.