Singer says she's living dream

A decade ago, singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins was singing backup with Charlotte bands and performing covers in small local venues while studying art at UNC Charlotte.

Today the 29-year-old singer-songwriter’s activities read like a music industry up-and-comer’s dream résumé – appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” a feature on NPR’s “World Café,” a spot at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo 2008 festival, and the starring role in an American Express commercial.