GALLERY: Clare's hitting it big Stateside

She has appeared in All Saints and Home & Away but many Australians may not yet know the name Clare Bowen.

That is about to change for the former Coalcliff and Minnamurra resident who is so famous in the US she was invited to sing before Barack and Michelle Obama a few days before Christmas.

After taking Cate Blanchett's advice to go to the United States, the young singer and actress secured a role in a new western.

But it is a musical drama television series called Nashville that is making her famous worldwide.

Bowen is regularly invited to sing and appear on television talk shows, such as The View with Whoopi Goldberg, and at many special events such as the invitation-only award presentation to recognise Condoleezza Rice for the important work she did after the Boston bombing.

Clare Bowen with First Lady Michelle Obama, US President Barack Obama and her manager Matt Maher just before Christmas in Washington.

At that event Bowen was not only asked to sing but was also granted a private audience with Mr Obama, who told her he loved the show and the character she played.

Bowen was due to come home for Christmas but demand for her time became too great. Nashville is due to start screening in Australia on January 22.

Her parents Kathleen and Tony Bowen could not be prouder of their daughter, who plays a waitress called Scarlett O'Connor looking for her big break. The story centres on tensions between an ageing country music legend and a young up-and-comer.

"The President told her he was a great fan of the show," Mrs Bowen said.

"Her character is very similar to her own life when she lived here. She plays the part of a girl who works in a cafe in Nashville called the Blue Bird Cafe. She is a poet ... and writes music."

Brother Timothy Bowen shares his sister's passion for music and recently spent six weeks with her in the US working on songs for her debut album.

After completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong in 2006, Ms Bowen appeared as the female lead in the Australian drama film The Combination in 2009.

She appeared in The Cut, All Saints, Gangs of Oz, Chandon Pictures and Home and Away. Then in 2010 she was cast in the leading role in the Australian production of Spring Awakening.

"She broke her wrist in the middle of that show but kept performing and did not miss a beat," Mrs Bowen recalled.

The Sydney Theatre Company production was artistically overseen by Cate Blanchett who told Bowen "you have got to go to America".

Her mother recalled her daughter saying to her "when Cate Blanchett tells you to do something, you do it".

On arrival in the US, Bowen auditioned for and secured a lead role in a western called Dead Man's Burden. She sang a song in the movie which attracted so much attention she soon landed the role in Nashville, written by Callie Khouri who in 1992 won an Academy Award for his screenplay for the film Thelma & Louise.

"Nashville is really popular over there to the degree that the President and his wife love it," Mrs Bowen said.

"The series ... has been running for 18 months and it starts on TV here on the 22nd of January. We are very excited and just so proud. She has also sung with people like Elvis Costello. And

T Bone Burnett has taken her under his wing and is helping her produce her own album.

"Last Sunday we tuned in and listened to her perform at the Grand Ole Opry. She sang her new song she has just written with her brother Tim. It was just magnificent. Tony and I sat here cried with excitement. It is a dream come true.

"The song was dedicated to her US boyfriend Alex Fasching who she actually met when they both studied at UOW."

Bowen's day generally starts at 4am and she often does not finishing filming until midnight.

In her free time she goes to cities like New York to appear on talk shows or perform with other artists such as the Zac Brown Band.

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