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Contributed photo / Elle King, perhaps best known for her hit "Ex's and Oh's," will perform Friday night at Riverend on the Budweiser Stage.

Growing up as the daughter of "Deuce Bigalow" actor Rob Schneider and model London King, singer/songwriter Elle King spent a good deal of her early life traveling. She also had a backstage pass, so to speak, to a lot of people and events that the average person doesn't always get to see.

Now 32, she has embarked on her own career and said in a telephone interview that those early experiences definitely informed who she is and how she approaches her own life and music. They help explain why her songs have a blend of pop, hip-hop and plenty of country.

King, who will perform Friday at the Riverbend Festival at 8:30 p.m. on the Budweiser Stage, said in a telephone interview that country is her current favorite genre because country fans today are like her when it comes to blurring the lines between genres. Country artists and fans like King and Chattanooga's own Kane Brown are part of a movement to open things up.

"I'm an Appalachian girl with gold teeth and leather boots. I'm a girl who is not a size 6 and I'm happy to be part of it."

Mike Dougher helped book the Riverbend lineup this year, along with Chris Cobb. Dougher said King is one of the artists he is not only looking forward to hearing perform, but to maybe meeting.

"I love Elle King music and video," Dougher said via text. "It's my hope that I get to drink a beer with her!"

King said she isn't sure whether her openness to things is the result of nature or nurture, but growing up with the parents she has played a role, she said.

"Because of the nature of my parents and who they are, they never got babysitters," she said. "They both moved around a lot and I went with them.

"My mother was always traveling around at concerts backstage and my dad was a big movie star at the time, so I did movie sets, also.

Riverbend Schedule for June 3

4:30-5 p.m. - Opening ceremony with Leslie Jordan

5:15-6 p.m. - Kendell Marvel - Coca Cola Stage

6-6:45 p.m. - Rick Rushing - Chevrolet Stage

6:15-7 p.m. - Devon Gilfillian - Budweiser Stage

7:15-8:15 p.m. - Jenny Lewis - Coca Cola Stage

8:30-9:30 p.m. - Elle King - Budweiser Stage

8:15-9:15 p.m. - Bexar - Chevrolet Stage

9:45- 11 p.m. - Brothers Osborne - Coca Cola Stage

"Traveling shapes a person. I've always believed people are made to be on the move or not."

Music has been a constant in her life thanks to both parents, and also because of them, her influences have been just as eclectic. Her mom signed her up for her first violin and then piano lessons, and King said she plans do the same for her now 1-year-old son.

"The reason I love country music is because my mom's family is from Southern Ohio and they all love country music," King said. "My mom's husband is super into rock 'n' roll and my dad is a huge Elvis [Presley] and Beatles fans who used to spend a lot of time online buying up memorabilia.

"He's gotten better," she said with a laugh.

King said she was never "super present" at the time when she was around celebrity actors and musicians, but admits she did have some moments that even she knew were not the norm for many people.

"When I was 14, I got kicked out of school and my mom kicked me out of the house," she said. "I went to live with Dad in Amsterdam, and being a kid in Amsterdam was different."

Among the things she did while living there was to go out on her own and play music on the streets, playing a variety of music.

"I love hip-hop, but I love country music," she said. "I'm never going to be one thing, because I'm not one thing. I'm so many things."

King said the reality is that she has met and hung out with "cooler" musicians since becoming a full-time performer herself. Her song "Ex's and Oh's" reached the Top 10, and earned her two Grammy Award nominations. She has also toured with acts such as Of Monsters and Men, Train, James Bay, The Chicks, Heart, Joan Jett, Michael Kiwanuka and Miranda Lambert.

She and Dierks Bentley will co-host the Country Music Association's "CMA Fest," Aug. 3 on ABC.

"I am a singer and a songwriter first and foremost, and I don't let a genre put a ceiling on me," she said. "That is what is so beautiful about music."

She said record labels and even some radio stations are starting to realize that fans, like her, enjoy a wide array of musical types. Country, especially, is leaving behind its narrow view of what might get played on the radio, and the timing is perfect for her, she said.

"They messed up and let me in because I'm wavy," she said with a laugh.

"Radio had to keep up with Youtube. The entire industry has changed and I just got here and I love country music fans. They want to listen to the whole album. [Country] fans are open and ready and if I'm part of that evolution, I'm happy to be part of it."

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Follow him on Twitter @BarryJC.