Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House
(as of 2/28/14)
Born into a family of musicians in Kingston, Jamaica, Tessanne Chin has been a performer for most of her life. Her 2006 song “Hideaway” was a Jamaican radio hit. Before competing on the NBC singing competition show The Voice, which she won in 2013, Chin had already collaborated with multiple reggae artists, including Third World and Shaggy. Along with favorite opera, R&B, and soul artists, Chin cites her parents, who first exposed her to music, as among her biggest influences.
A 15-time GRAMMY Award nominee and two-time winner, Etheridge is a prominent American rock music singer/songwriter. In 2007, Etheridge won the Academy Award for Best Song for “I Need to Wake Up,” for the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Etheridge supports a number of causes, including gay rights, cancer research and the environment. Her latest single, “Uprising of Love,” was inspired as a call for unity in response to the Russian government’s recent treatment of the LGBT community. She also formed a coalition by the same name.
A singer, songwriter and actress, Ariana Grande is one of the 21st Century’s fastest-rising superstars. Her ubiquitous double-platinum smash “The Way,” featuring Mac Miller, ushered in Grande’s 2013 debut album, Yours Truly, which topped the Billboard Top 200 upon release. With an immense vocal range and irresistible charisma, she kicked off her career on Broadway with the musical 13. Now, Grande’s readying her second full-length album for a 2014 release and preparing for the biggest and best chapter of her career yet.
A legendary entertainer with more than 50 years of success in show business, Patti LaBelle has garnered countless honors including two GRAMMY Awards, two American Music Awards, five NAACP Image Awards and millions of records sold worldwide. She is lauded for her work as both a solo artist and as a member of the groundbreaking groups Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles and Labelle. In addition to her accomplishments in music, LaBelle is an actress, successful entrepreneur, best-selling author and supports various charitable organizations and initiatives.
A GRAMMY Award -nominated singer-songwriter, performer, producer and CoverGirl spokesperson, Janelle Monáe is known for her unique style and groundbreaking sound. In 2010, Monáe released the highly-anticipated and critically-acclaimed album The ArchAndroid, which earned her two GRAMMY Award nominations. In 2013, her celebrated album The Electric Lady reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The video for the album's first single, “Q.U.E.E.N.,” received a coveted MTV VMA Moonman. Monáe also received Billboard’s prestigious 2013 Rising Star Award.
A celebrated poet, actress, and singer/songwriter whose neo-soul sound blends jazz, R&B, and spoken word, Jill Scott began her artistic career as a poet in her hometown of Philadelphia. She has gone on to become a GRAMMY and NAACP Image Award-winning musical artist, admired for her heartfelt, honest lyrics and her silky soprano vocals. Additionally, Scott demonstrates a passion for giving back to her hometown through her Blues Babe Foundation, which provides financial assistance and mentoring for college-bound students of color from the Philadelphia region.
Greg Phillinganes, Music Director
A native of Detroit, Greg Phillinganes is one of the world’s most prolific keyboard artists. His music career began in 1975 with Stevie Wonder as part of the Wonderlove band. Since 1979, he has gone on to record, perform, tour and/or write with a staggering array of GRAMMY Award-winning artists that include Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger, Usher and Diana Ross. Among his credits as a musical director, Phillinganes led Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson’s first solo tours and The 60th EMMY Awards.