‘Is this for real?’ Yes!

Duo Hollywood bound after national TV fame
Reporter Editor

It dawns on Curt Jones and Hannah Prestridge they’ve been ‘discovered’ in a big way. 
Photo courtesy Tiffany Prestridge It dawns on Curt Jones and Hannah Prestridge they’ve been ‘discovered’ in a big way. Photo courtesy Tiffany Prestridge “I just have one question,” a tearful Hannah Prestridge of Rockdale asked in front of a national television audience Friday night. “Is this for real?”

It is. A “fellow singer” she and husband Curt Jones got to know while appearing at an Austin barbecue joint was actually superstar Darius Rucker in disguise.

It was part of the CBS hit television series “Undercover Boss.” And Rucker was giving the Rockdale couple—who sing under the name ‘Treble Soul”—a quarter million dollar scholarship to the finest music school in Hollywood.

He’s also paying for their apartment and is providing $20,000 so they can move from Rockdale to Tinseltown and afford day care for the couple’s two-year-old daughter.

And, by the way, Rucker promised to record one of their songs.

11-year-old Hannah debuted March 30, 2006, in Rockdale. 
Reporter file photo 11-year-old Hannah debuted March 30, 2006, in Rockdale. Reporter file photo ‘JACK IE’—Prestridge, who has sung at numerous functions in Rockdale since she was a child, and Jones recently sang at Stubb’s Barbecue in Austin along with a fellow entertainer they knew only as “Jackie.”

Jackie couldn’t seem to keep his focus on hitting the notes but everyone was polite to him. That’s good since Jackie turned out to be Rucker, who was appraising the talent on stage as part of the “Undercover Boss” Show which aired Friday.

Rucker, a Grammy-winning superstar who began his career as lead singer of the legendary Hootie and the Blowfish, revealed himself after hearing Treble Soul perform. After fans of the couple heard what he had to say, there was hardly a dry eye at any of the numerous TV “watch parties” held by friends and family, including one at the Piano Bar in Rockdale.

Darius Rucker Darius Rucker Rucker, also with tears in his eyes, praised Treble Soul and called Prestridge’s voice “a force of nature.”

He gently told Jones he could hear Jones’ guitar going out of tune, then presented him with a new Fender Hummingbird.

The shocked couple wasn’t through thanking the superstar when he reached back and presented one to Prestridge too.

That was when he announced the $250,000 scholarship to Musicians Institute in Hollywood. “You will learn everything you can about the business,” Rucker said.

He also announced he would pay for their apartment and provide $20,000 for moving expenses and day care for the couple’s daughter, Presley.

Named for...oh, you know.

‘CHANGED LIVES’— Almost speechless, Jones and Prestridge were able to respond by gasping “why?”

“Because you’re special,” Rucker replied. “I love you guys.”

Rucker also said he plans to record Treble Soul’s song “Addiction” and promised to mentor them “until you make it.”

After hugging Rucker, Jones and Prestridge embraced. “I guess we can play (music) and have babies too,” Prestridge said to her husband.

“You just changed our lives forever,” Jones told Rucker.

More than 150 cheered at a watch party Friday in Hutto’s Downtown Hall of Fame and Tiffany Prestridge, Hannah’s mother, said there were other watch parties in honor of the couple in Belton, Huntsville, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

“After the show, we received messages from Australia, Canada, Great Britain and eight states,” she said.

‘BIRTH OF A STAR’— Hannah Prestridge has sung at numerous venues in the Rockdale area and her mother traces it all back to the night of March 30, 2006, when 11-year-old Hannah stepped onstage at the junior-high commons to sing before a crowd of 375 at the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

“It was her first time on stage,” Tiffany Prestridge said. “Her daddy was so nervous he kept asking if I really thought she could do it.”

“I knew she was born for that. She stepped out there like it was nothing. She brought people to tears.”

Tiffany Prestridge believes “a star was born that night.”

So does Darius Rucker.

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