Redd Velvet

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Redd VelvetRedd Velvet (born December 29, 1968, Omaha, Nebraska) is an American blues and soul singer, best known for her unconventional entrance into the music industry .

Redd velvet grew up in Monroeville, Alabama singing in her grandfather's church. Early experience singing gospel gave her a powerful, earthy voice compared to Gladys Knight and Mavis Staples. A local choral teacher discovered her at age 12 singing in the school chorus and encouraged her to pursue classical training. At 18 Redd began intense vocal coaching under the tutelage of Mildred Allen, a principle artist with The New York Metropolitan Opera and world renowned baritone Andrew Gainey who encouraged her to pursue a career in classical music.

During a visit to 'Memphis in May' in 2009 Redd met songwriter Earl Randall and legendary Hi Records producer Willie Mitchell. Mitchell and Randall heard a demo of Redd's cover of O.V Wright's 'Searching' which had been penned by Randle himself. On their advice she relocated to Memphis, Tennessee and launched her career. Upon her arrival in Memphis she founded Big Daddy's Baddass Band as her backing band and garnered the attention of the local blues community as the first African-American woman to lead a band in the Memphis Blues Challenge. She advanced to the finals of the 2010 competition and again made local blues history as the first African-American woman to lead a band to place in the band category.

Redd Velvet recorded and released her first album 'Womanhood 101' in December 2010 on the Banana Pudding Music label she founded when she refused to sign a conventional recording contract. 'Womanhood 101' was critically acclaimed as the beginning of an interesting and potentially important chapter in contemporary blues by Living Blues Magazine.

Although Redd is most noted for her rebellion against conventional music industry practices, she has also been recognized for her work as both a registered nurse and social activist for causes such as domestic violence, women's rights, and child abuse. In 2010 Redd Velvet founded Music Heals Memphis, Incorporated,a non profit organization focused on providing health and social services for musicians, promoting racial harmony and the preservation of blues and soul music.

In March 2011 Redd Velvet became the first blueswoman to create and host a radio talkshow. The show was created to meet public demand from loyal followers of her posts on a social networking site. The Little Redd Schoolhouse debuted on March 3, 2011 on WMQM a Memphis based radio station.

Redd Velvet has been nominated as 'Best New Female Artist of The Year' for 2011 by the Jus' Blues Foundation.

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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