Growing up on a horse farm north of Toronto, Shannon Ella brings her country flare to iHeartRadio Canada’s first-ever national country music brand, Pure Country, as host.
At just five years old, Ella was given a Shania Twain album and Sony CD Walkman for Christmas and the rest was history. “Not to be intentionally punny, but ‘from that moment on’ I was hooked on country music because even at a young age I could relate to it,” said Ella. “Ever since Shania, country music has been a part of my life.”
Along with country music, Ella grew up training and competing in horse shows across North America. Ella remembers spending time in the barn and being surrounded by horses, which naturally became her safe haven. Ella’s love for horses took her to Kentucky, a place she once visited with her Dad. She knew the rolling pastures and horse farms of the bluegrass state would eventually become her new home.
“When I was about four years old I said ‘one day I am going to live here,’ to which my mom and dad laughed off and thought was a joke,” remembers Ella. “When I turned 18, I knew I was going to move to Kentucky soon after, which I did, much to my parents initial disapproval.”
After moving to Kentucky for four years and studying communications, Ella returned to Canada to pursue a career in broadcast and country music. Ella has lived a country girl’s dream, travelling to some of the biggest country music festivals, concerts, and award shows, and interviewing some of the hottest country artists including her idol Shania Twain.
“I remember thinking when they said she [Twain] was coming to me next I thought. ‘Am I really about to talk to Shania Twain?’” recalls Ella from the 2018 CCMA Awards. “I panicked because I thought all my words had escaped my brain, but when she came up she was so kind, calm, and humble. It was like I’d talked to her a million times.”
Now, after on-air roles at London’s Today’s Country BX93 and KHJ in Fredericton, Ella joins Pure Country as host of a nationally syndicated midday show, airing across all 13 Pure Country stations. Ella will be playing all the biggest country hits, keeping listeners up-to-date on the latest music news, and chatting with some of country music’s biggest artists from Bell Media Studios in Toronto.
Ella claims she “lives and breathes country music and wouldn’t have it any other way.” When she’s not hitting the airwaves, interviewing country artists, or traveling to music festivals across the country, you can find her winding down on the farm with friends, family, her dog Phoebe, and of course some great country tunes.
Tune in to Pure Country on 13 radio stations across Canada, on the iHeartRadio Canada app, and PureCountry.ca