Zoe Luenissen

Zoe Luenissen

ASHLAND A local singer has won an international award.

Zoe Leunissen won Best Music Video 2020 at the Red Carpet Awards Show in Holland.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leunissen wasn’t able to attend the show, but she and her family watched it on YouTube.

“I thought it was awesome,” the 18-year-old said. “It’s the first award I ever won.”

The video for the song “A Thing Called Life,” shot at Boyd County High School, has an anti-bullying theme.

The program uses 120 judges worldwide to examine submissions in different genres and cateories of female and male artists, duos, trios and bands. Leunissen’s mother, Colleen Clarke Short, also was nominated for an award for sharing the most music videos on social media.

Just before the awards were announced, Leunissen had completed the RiseUp tour. Traveling on a bus donated by 64 Audio, she performed with four other up-and-coming musicians in a one-week tour that took her to Portland and Salem, Oregon, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She said each performance of original material lasted about 13 minutes. Because of the pandemic, the performance venues were small, but well-attended. She performed at restaurants, cafes and music studios, she said.

“There were different rules at different venues,” Leunissen said. “At some, you could take if off if you were drinking and you wore it when you were walking around. You could take it off when you were singing.”

Filming was done during the tour, which will be presented as a reality show in December on Roku. “I felt like we became friends,” she said of the relative strangers on tour with her.

Leunissen is working with her label, White Lion Audio, and her manager, Salter-Gann Universal Promotions and Management LLC, on a new album that is set to be released in early 2021.

Leunissen has performed in the area at open mic nights at Callihan’s American Pub and Grill in Cannonsburg. She even posted videos of her singing on YouTube and won first place in her age group at the local A Night at the Apollo talent show.

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