Kourtney Rea remembers the first time she sang “Jesus Loves Me (This I Know)” to someone she loved. It was 1998, Kourtney was 4 years old, and as she held her newborn baby brother Christian, who was born with Potter’s Syndrome, she sweetly sung to him as he lived his one brief day on this earth. The Rea family watched helplessly as Christian slipped out of this world mere hours after he arrived in it, and Kourtney says that as her father reassured her that “God is in control”, the message of the gospel hymn that she sang to her baby brother brought her immense comfort.
Kourtney Elise Rea began singing to bigger audiences by the age of 6, at Parkview Baptist Church in Lakeland, FL. Also writing her first song the same year, a tune called “Holy God”, on a paper plate, little did she realize at the time that this would be the start of a passion for singing and songwriting.
“I started playing the piano before I could walk”, Kourtney explains. The 16-year old now also plays guitar and ukulele.
Kourtney says that she has always wanted to do music as a career, but has really pursued it seriously over the past 2 years. She left Lakeland Christian School to be homeschooled in order to pursue music, and in doing so, also sacrificed her second passion...soccer. Having played competitive sports since the age of 9, she became a star athlete and made it to the #1 ranked state team in Florida. She even went so far as to try out for, and briefly played with, the Olympic Development Team for the Olympic Development Program (ODP), but walked away from scholarship offers and other opportunities because she felt called to pursue music ministry.
Today, the adventurous teenager still enjoys high-endurance outdoor sports like four-wheeling, rock-climbing and rappelling. She attends The Rock, a non-denominational congregation in Lakeland, where she helps lead worship in the youth praise band every Wednesday. She also says that her weekly performances at Summerland Suites Assisted Living in Lakeland bring much joy to the residents as well as to herself, and she has also just begun mentoring young girls at the Florida Baptist Children’s Home, also in Lakeland. After returning from two mission trips to Guatemala in 2010, Kourtney is now working on becoming fluent in Spanish, and plans to learn several other languages in order to minister in foreign countries, teaching people how to worship God in their own language and within their own culture.
Regarding her music, Kourtney explains, “I love what I do and I hope my lyrics help and inspire people. It’s who I am.”
Kourtney's debut single, "I Found Christmas", will be available digitally at iTunes, AmazonMP3 and many other online stores starting on November 22, 2011.
Kourtney says that “I Found Christmas” was one of those songs that clearly puts Christ back into Christmas. “People focus on the material, especially in a material world where possessions mean everything to some people. That is not what Christmas is about, and this song says that in a very clear way.”