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Calgary-born country star Lindsay Ell reveals rape, launches movement to support survivors of sexual assault

Country musician Lindsay Ell in Calgary in 2019.
Country musician Lindsay Ell in Calgary in 2019.

Calgary-born country star Lindsay Ell has revealed she was raped at ages 13 and 21 in an exclusive interview with People Magazine.

The singer, who now lives in Nashville, also wrote about being sexually assaulted as a young teen in a new ballad called make you, which she co-wrote with singer-songwriter Brandy Clark.

She told People that a man who knew her parents groomed her and raped her when she was 13. She confided in her parents when she was 20, she said. They had “no idea it happened and they were absolutely horrified.”

The 31-year-old musician told People Magazine that she is launching the Make You Movement under the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to support at-risk youth, and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Proceeds from the single will go to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

On her Facebook page, Ell wrote: “I have never shared this with you guys . . . but through healing, we reach new levels of honesty with ourselves and what made us who we are. Our stories can help create hope and change for other survivors . . . and we can turn our pain into something good. I’ve started my own foundation. It’s called the # MakeYouMovement .”

Ell’s interview with People Magazine will run in this week’s edition, which is out Friday. In it, she says her parents helped her get therapy. She does not go into detail about the assault that happened when she was 21, only that the situation was “different” and “a lot more violent.”

She was inspired to share her story after visiting a Virginia-based organization nearly three years ago called Youth for Tomorrow, which supports young victims of sexual abuse. She helped launch their music program and sat down with 12 girls to tell her story and listen to theirs.

“I still carry shame and guilt, but I’m taking the hand of my 13-year-old self and my 21-year-old self and fighting every day together,” she told People.

Ell was discovered by The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman at the age of 15. She moved to Nashville nine years ago. Her debut full-length album, The Push, came out in 2017. On Aug. 14, she will release her new album, heart theory. Last summer, she was one of the headliners of Country Thunder at Prairie Winds Park in Calgary.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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