Simone Simonton is an award-winning songwriter, recording artist, and performing drummer. During her 20+ years in music, Simone co-founded and wrote for well-known indie rock bands, toured with nationally known acts as a drummer, and helped form one of country music's hottest groups. Her drive, passion and creativity reflects growing up in a family surrounded by love, authenticity, hard work, having dreams and making those dreams come true. These ingredients come alive as Simone works with clients in her songwriting workshops and drumming lessons.
Simone was given her first drum kit when she was seven and she wrote her first song at age 17. She trained herself to master timing, dynamics, and song structure by playing and singing along to her parents' albums. She is a dynamic, high-spirited stage persona, with a deep-pocket groove and the ability to craft and produce a hit song.
Simone is a co-founder of the multi-platinum group Sugarland and co-wrote the songs “Baby Girl,” “Down in Mississippi,” “Speed of Life,” and “Fly Away,” all from their debut album, Twice the Speed of Life. Released in 2004, on Mercury Nashville Records, the album peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top Country Albums charts. It was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Prior to Sugarland, Simone toured with singer-songwriters Emily Saliers and Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, where she earned album credits as a drummer/percussionist. Simone also founded the indie rock band LIFT, and recorded, toured, co-produced and co-wrote music and lyrics for three critically acclaimed albums. During this time, she also co-wrote and recorded five Coca-Cola™ radio ads.
Following her time with Sugarland, Simone started her own country rock band, South 70, where she was the primary songwriter. Simone produced three albums, including one she co-produced with Mark Bryan, lead guitarist for Hootie and the Blowfish. South 70 opened for major musical acts such as Zac Brown, Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Miranda Lambert.
In 2013, Simone joined country artist Drew Baldridge as band leader, drummer and collaborating songwriter, touring throughout the United States and abroad. Simone and Drew shared the stage with Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, and Old Dominion. They played at the prestigious Grand Ole Opry and other celebrated venues such as the CMA Music Festival, Country USA, CMC Rocks in Australia, Tortuga Music Festival, and Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Simone has donated her time and talent by playing for children in need as part of the Songs for Kids Foundation and St. Jude’s. She also has participated in songwriting workshops with high schoolers through Grammy in the Schools, the educational section of the Recording Academy Grammy Museum.
Based in Southwest Florida, Simone works with drumming and songwriting clients throughout the United States. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.