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Q: The Stella sisters, Lennon and Maisy, singing the song "Telescope" on the "Music Of Nashville" CD, are just awesome. They are so talented. When I first heard them sing the song on the show, my mouth just dropped open.  What can you tell us about t

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Author: 
Adam Thomlison / TV Media

A fair bit, actually -- they're among the most well-covered grade-schoolers in the media today.

Though they're based in the city of Nashville (in real life as well as on the show), the two are actually from Ontario, Canada. They moved to Tennessee with their equally musical parents, a country duo who perform under the name The Stellas.

The sisters found fame as YouTube sensations -- which seems to be how young artists get "discovered" these days -- after posting their country-style cover of the pop hit "Call Your Girlfriend," originally by Swedish sensation Robyn.

Other equally popular YouTube videos followed. However, before all of that, they had already landed the roles of country-singing sisters (hardly a stretch, but it's their first time on screen, after all) Maddie and Daphne Conrad.

Series producer R.J. Cutler said they won the roles based entirely on the strength of their auditions, which "literally brought tears to our eyes." It was only later that they found fame on YouTube (they now have a whole YouTube channel devoted to their innovative covers).

Though they are only six and 13 years old, the two are already accomplished musicians -- in an interview with the Huffington Post, they talk about the many instruments each can play, and about their surprisingly mature process for choosing songs to cover.

"We look for how much we can change it," said Lennon, the elder sister. "Because that's one of the most fun things about getting to cover a song is making it your own."

Of course, they didn't have a lot of choice with "Telescope," the song they perform on the "Nashville" soundtrack album, and in the ABC drama's third episode. The song figures into the plot -- it's originally done by Hayden Panettiere's character, Juliette Barnes, who is a rival of their mother, Rayna James (played by Connie Britton).

The song was in fact written by none of these people, of course. "Telescope" was penned by Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter Hillary Lindsey and her frequent writing partner Cary Barlowe (the two also wrote the Lady Antebellum hit "American Honey" together, along with fellow writer Shane Stevens).

 

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