Kimberly McAdoo songwriting award

From Health Care to Heartstrings: Kimberly’s Songwriting Triumph

Jun 6 2024

Kimberly McAdoo, a social worker in the obstetrics department at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital in our Paducah market, recently gained recognition that transcends her vital health care role.

In 2023, Kimberly was honored with the Songwriter Achievement Award at the Josie Music Awards for her poignant song, “That Was Mama,” co-written with fellow artist and friend Michelle Leigh. This touching piece serves as a tribute to Kimberly’s late mother, Debbie Pearson Young, weaving personal grief into a universally relatable narrative of love and remembrance.

“The Songwriter Achievement Award is a special recognition for songwriters,” Kimberly explains. “This is based on lyrical and musical composition and the hook of the song and judged on the song’s quality.”

Reflecting on her award-winning moment, Kimberly says, “It was such a great honor and I experienced an overwhelming amount of emotions. I remember wishing that my mother could have witnessed me in this moment – she would have been so proud.”

In the past year since her win, Kimberly has recorded “That Was Mama” at MC Music Sound Studios in Nashville, Tenn. The song creation involved a team of skilled professionals, including Michelle Leigh, who also helped compose the piece, and Robert McGilpin, who handled the arrangement, production, instrumentation and background vocals.

The Josie Music Awards are the largest independent, multi-genre, privately-owned music award show globally. They celebrate all those in the independent music industry, and thousands join in every year to celebrate from around the globe.

Kimberly submitted the recorded song for the 2024 Josie Music Awards in several categories. On May 31, she received news that her song was nominated for Song of the Year – Country Duo/Group.

Kimberly’s ability to oscillate from health care professional to acclaimed songwriter illustrates how passion and dedication can bridge diverse fields, creating moments of profound personal and professional achievement. Her story is a powerful reminder of music’s ability to heal, honor and connect us to the ones we’ve lost.

And although Kimberly’s mother is no longer with her in life, she knew she wasn’t truly gone.

“I realized she was still with me throughout the entire journey,” Kimberly says. “I could not even talk; it felt like the room stood still in silence. As the room was filled with artists who have been doing this their whole lives, they were tearful, clapping and cheering me on. It was definitely a lifetime moment.”

Read more stories from our team members at Mercy Health.

Related Posts

Please review our Terms of Use before commenting.