At 36, Kelly Lang’s life changed. Diagnosed with breast cancer, the country singer felt like she was given a death sentence until her perception changed after a chat with an old friend.
Videos by American Songwriter
“He had heard me say that a cancer diagnosis could sometimes feel like a death sentence, but I decided to change the way I looked at it,” shared Lang about her conversation with her friend the late country music songwriter Bruce Burch, who penned Reba McEntire hits “Rumor Has It” and “It’s Your Call,” along with songs for artists including George Jones, Barbara Mandrell, The Oak Ridge Boys, John Anderson, and Wayne Newton, among others.
“I began looking at it as my ‘Life Sentence,’” added Lang. “By that I mean, I am more appreciative of everything in my life.”
Now a 17-year survivor, Lang renewed her faith, she found a new appreciation for the little things and documents her journey in the new single “Life Sentence.”
Released by Lang in advance of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, the accompanying video features Lang along with a number of breast cancer survivors, a collection of friends and followers on social media, holding up signs stating how they intend to live their lives to offer hope to those still battling cancer.
“One said ‘I choose to smile even though,’ and another said ‘I choose to live more boldly,’” said Lang. “I was very blessed to call the late Dame Olivia Newton-John my friend and mentor. I have dedicated this video in her memory.”
Newton-John also wrote the foreword for Lang’s new autobiography titled I’m Not Going Anywhere. The book, titled after her 2008 song, documents her 17-year journey through breast cancer, along with her own personal love story and union with her husband, country music star T.G. Sheppard.
Lang, who recently performed at the 29th Annual A Tennessee Waltz annual fundraiser at the Tennessee State Capitol, released a cover of the 1986 Berlin pop ballad “Take My Breath Away,” off her upcoming album Old Soul II, out Nov. 11. The album is a follow up to her 2020 release Old Soul and a continuation of her reimagining of multi-genre hits, including The Cars’ 1984 hit “Drive,” Bonnie Raitt’s “Let’s Give ‘Em Something To Talk About,” and the 1975 Eric Carmen classic “All By Myself.”
Now, nearly 20 years after her life seems like it was coming to a close, Lang is still living her new “sentence” to the fullest.
“I encourage others to use the good china and burn your candles,” said Lang. “We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so live life to the fullest and more boldly while you can.”
Photos: Courtesy of 2911 Media