Country and Western singer-songwriter Kimber Clayton was born Kimberly Ann Easterling on Christmas Day 1964 in Montgomery, Alabama. The youngest of three children and the only girl, Kimber initially studied acting, later moving to Las Vegas to further her studies and gaining a part time job as a cocktail waitress in a casino. It would be her father's friendship with Hank Williams Jr and his manager, Merle Kilgore, which ultimately launched Kimber's singing career. Her father and Merle went to Las Vegas to see Kimber sing in a karaoke contest, which she subsequently won. From here she moved to Nashville where she began singing at Buddy Killen's "Stockyard". It was here that Mike Curb of Curb Records heard her perform, and quickly signed her to his label. Kimber's first album and hugely successful video single "I Know That Car" followed, along with a dance club and radio tour. Around the same time, Curb had signed the young, fast rising and phenomenally successful LeAnn Rimes to their label. To her frustration, with all Curb's attention on their new star, Kimber was put on the back burner. Never one to waste an opportunity, Kimber embarked on a tour around the US, armed only with a radio mic and a backing tape, delivering energetic and high-octane performances which were very well received by her audiences. Curb at the time made it known that they disapproved of Kimber's style, citing her navel-baring outfits and bright lipsticks as examples; they felt that a "girl next door" image would be more appropriate. However, within a very short space of time a huge star doing the same thing for a different label erupted onto the country music scene in the shape of Shania Twain. Kimber left Curb after 4 years and began working with other producers in an efffort to gain more exposure for her music. Although Kimber never really "made it big" on the international country music scene, she developed a loyal and enthusiastic following among linedancers, especially in Europe and most of all the UK, where she would find her biggest and strongest fanbase. Kimber received numerous awards, including Linedancer Magazine's "Dance Track of the Year" in 1997 and "Best Independent Single" from the European Country Music Association, both for "Jose Cuervo" and was also awarded "Independent Female Artist of the Year" in 1997, again by the ECMA. Kimber's life and career were all too brief. Her life was tragically cut short by kidney disease, and she died on August 14th 2006 at the age of 41 due to complications. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.