Lauren Fennelly Brown was born to Theora Jones Fennelly on November 7, 1980.
Her family could tell that young Lauren was musically gifted, and they signed her up for piano lessons at age five. She was a prodigy and was soon playing songs that had been considered too difficult for someone so young.
When Lauren was seven years old, the only father she had ever known died after a tragic fall down the stairs. To cope with her grief in the aftermath, she became even more devoted to her music and seldom socialized with her peers or communicated with anyone other than her mother and her teachers.
A studious girl, Lauren was shy and quiet in high school. She was first chair flutist in the school orchestra and planned on applying to the famed Julliard School of Music to continue her education with hopes of pursuing a career as a professional musician.
With her reserved nature, Lauren rarely dated, but during her senior year, she started going out with a trombone player in the school orchestra named Gary Burnhart. Before they knew it, they were in love and daydreamed about their future together.
When they graduated from high school, Lauren and Gary moved in together while Lauren worked to save enough money to apply to Julliard. After a few months, Lauren was stunned when she realized she was pregnant. Her plans of becoming a professional musician were over.
Devastated, Lauren packed her music away and refused to play the flute again. Instead, she went to work in a music store as a piano teacher, a job that allowed her to bring the baby to work with her every day.
The couple, who never married, found the trials of young parenthood severely tested their relationship, and before Katy was a year old, Gary left town without a word. Lauren was equal parts heartbroken and furious, but she vowed that Gary's betrayal would not ruin her life.
As Katy became a toddler, Lauren noticed that she seemed to be drawn to the piano. One day, Lauren was shocked to find four-year-old Katy picking out tunes that she had heard her mother play on one of the keyboards in the store. She began to teach Katy to play and found the child had a natural talent for the piano.
Lauren met Richard Brown when he signed up to take piano lessons from her. After a five-month courtship, they got married and soon welcomed a son, Cody. Lauren tried to teach Cody to play the piano also, but the boy didn't have Katy's innate talent.
With young Katy's bi-monthly recitals and the ensuring accolades, Lauren saw her dreams of musical performing fulfilled, and she reveled in the ever-increasing number of trophies that soon filled their living room shelves.
When Katy entered junior high, she wanted to become a cheerleader, which her mother reluctantly permitted as long as Katy continued her piano lessons. But by the time Katy started high school she didn't want to play the piano anymore, preferring to focus on cheerleading which provided more social interaction with her friends and classmates. Lauren suspected teenaged Katy was doing it just to spite her.
Tensions grew at home as Lauren urged her daughter not to overlook her talent and pressured her to stop wasting her time on "a sport as silly and useless as cheerleading."