Okeechobee roots in go-go boots: Kendall Rucks at OMF

OKEECHOBEE — In 1958, Emmett Rucks purchased land off of U.S. 98 in Okeechobee which he developed into a dairy farm named Dry Lake Dairy. For almost 50 years, his wife, Glen, and his three sons, Boyd, Sutton and Charlie, ran what was one of the top dairy operations in the state. Emmett’s descendants, as well as additional branches of the Rucks family, continue to raise their children in Okeechobee and the surrounding area.

Kendall Rucks, the great, great-granddaughter of Emmett and Glen Rucks and granddaughter of Boyd and Mary Alice Rucks, is set to perform her festival debut on Saturday, March 7, at Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. The camping festival runs over the weekend for four days with an impressive lineup filled with Grammy nominees Vampire Weekend, Bassnectar, Machine Gun Kelly and many more. A powerhouse of rock, blues and dream pop, Kendall creates music that is deep, thought-provoking and combines soul with a sultry edge. With only six singles to her discography and her latest release “Bloom,’’ which is out on March 6, Kendall has garnered over 60K streams on Spotify and continues to soar with her music and online presence.

Growing up in Martin County, Kendall has always had a huge passion for music and at the age of 5 began taking classes in piano, vocals and guitar at Stuart’s Starstruck Theatre and The Stuart School of Music. At the age of 13, she was offered a part in a teen singing group that was being pitched to Disney but later dissolved. Continuously diving into anything musical, Kendall and her mom began traveling back and forth between Stuart and Los Angeles in order to advance in any music opportunity that would help Kendall pursue her dreams. Later, Kendall attended the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where she formed her band, The Zodiac Mafia. They have been performing regularly in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas to share their music and build their fan base and are currently planning a national tour for the fall of 2020. As the 2020 Destination Okeechobee grand prize winner, Kendall is honored to get back to her family roots and perform at Okeechobee Fest this year.

Kendall proclaimed: “I feel like everything has come full circle by performing in Okeechobeefest — it’s a festival that I have always wanted to be a part of because it’s right in my back yard. I’m beyond excited to perform there. I sang my first national anthem in Okeechobee at a rodeo when I was about 10 years old, so now at 20, I’m at Okeechobee fest and it’s all very surreal.”

Kendall voices her sensuality and femininity in her music as well as exploring darker themes others may be facing in order to create an accepting space. With multiple new releases on the way, Kendall is poised to make 2020 a year to remember.

Kendall can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @kendall.rucks.

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