Tagged with "lady"
Lady Sings the Blues - Classic Movies & Television Tags: classic movies television lady sings blues word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Lady Sings the Blues is a 1972 American biographical drama film directed by Sidney J. Furie about jazz singer Billie Holiday loosely based on her 1956 autobiography which, in turn, took its title from one of Holiday's most popular songs. It was produced by Motown Productions for Paramount Pictures. Diana Ross portrayed Holiday, alongside a cast including Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan, and Scatman Crothers.

In 1936, New York City, Billie Holiday is arrested on a drugs charge.

In a flashback to 1928, Billie is working as a housekeeper in a brothel where she is raped. Sheruns away to her mother, who sets up a job cleaning for another brothel in the Harlem section of New York. The brothel is run by an arrogant, selfish owner who pays Billie very little money.

Eventually, Billie tires of scrubbing floors and becomes a prostitute but later quits and returns to a nightclub to unsuccessfully audition to become a showgirl. After "Piano Man" (Richard Pryor) accompanies Billie "All of Me", Jerry, the club owner, books her as a singer in the show.

Billie's debut is unsuccessful. Louis McKay (Billy Dee Williams), arrives for her debut and gives her a fifty dollar tip. Billie takes the money and sings "Them There Eyes". Billie takes a liking to Louis and begins a relationship with him. Eventually she is discovered by two men: Harry and Reg Hanley, who sign her as a soloist for their southern tour in hopes of landing a radio network gig. During the tour, Billie witnesses the aftermath of the lynching of an African-American man, which presses her to record the controversial song "Strange Fruit". The harsh experiences on the tour result in Billie taking drugs which Harry supplies. One night when Billie is performing, Louis comes to see Billie. He knows that she is doing drugs and tells her she is going home with him. Billie promises to stay off the drugs if Louis stays with her.

In New York, Reg and Louis arrange Billie's radio debut, but the station does not call her to sing; the radio sponsors, a soap company, object to her race. The group heads to Cafe Manhattan to drown their sorrows. Billie has too much to drink and asks Harry for drugs, saying that she does not want her family to know that the radio show upset her. He refuses and she throws her drink in his face. She is ready to leave, but Louis has arranged for her to sing at the Cafe, a club where she once aspired to sing. She obliges with one song but refuses an encore, leaving the club in urgent need of a fix. Louis, suspicious that Billie has broken her promise, takes her back to his home but refuses to allow her access to the bathroom or her kit. She fights Louis for it, pulling a razor on him. Louis leaves her to shoot up, telling her he does not want her there when he returns.

Billie returns to the Harlem nightclub, where her drug use intensifies until she hears of the death of her mother. Billie checks herself into a drug clinic, but because she cannot afford her treatment the hospital secretly calls Louis, who comes to see her and agrees to pay her bills without her knowledge. Impressed with the initiative she has taken to straighten herself out, Louis proposes to her at the hospital. Just as things are looking up, Billie is arrested for possession of narcotics and removed from the clinic.

In prison, Billie goes through crippling withdrawal. Louis brings the doctor from the hospital to treat her, but she is incoherent. He puts a ring on her finger to remind her of his promise to marry her. When she finishes her prison sentence, Billie returns home and tells her friends that she does not want to sing anymore. Billie marries Louis and pledges not to continue her career, but the lure of performing is too strong and she returns to singing with Louis as her manager. Unfortunately, her felony conviction has stripped her of her Cabaret Card, which would allow her to sing in NYC nightclubs. To restore public confidence and regain her license, Billie agrees to a cross-country tour. Billie's career takes off on the nightclub circuit.

Louis leaves for New York to arrange a comeback performance for Billie at Carnegie Hall. Despondent at Louis' absence and the never-ending stream of venues, Billie asks Piano Man to pawn the ring Louis gave her in exchange for drugs. While they are high that evening, Piano Man's drug connections arrive; he neither pawned the ring nor paid for the drugs. Piano Man is killed by the dealers. Within the hour, Louis and her promoter call Billie with news that they got Carnegie Hall. Louis returns to find a very fragile Billie who is traumatized and has fallen back into drugs. Louis takes her back to New York.

Billie plays to a packed house at Carnegie Hall. Her encore, "God Bless the Child", is overlaid with newspaper clippings highlighting subsequent events: the concert fails to sway the Commission to restore her license; subsequent appeals are denied; she is later re-arrested on drug charges and finally dies when she is 44. Nevertheless, the Carnegie triumph is frozen in time.

Source: Wikipedia

Gladys Knight is known as the “Empress of Soul" Tags: gladys knight empress soul music hall fame word life production feature blog

Born in Georgia in 1944, Gladys Knight began singing with her siblings at age 8, calling themselves "the Pips." The group opened for R&B legends in the 1950s, then headed to Motown and crossed over to pop music. As Gladys Knight and the Pips, they recorded their signature song, "Midnight Train to Georgia." Knight left the Pips behind in 1989, and continued to perform and record as a solo artist. Today, she's known fondly as the "Empress of Soul."

Early Years

Talented singer and actress Gladys Knight was born Gladys Maria Knight on May 28, 1944, in Atlanta, Georgia, and started out on the road to success at an early age. She made her solo debut at the age of 4, singing at the Mount Mariah Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Not long after, she won a prize for her performance on the televised Ted Mack Amateur Hour.

In 1952, an 8-year-old Knight formed "the Pips" with her brother and sister, Merald ("Bubba") and Brenda, and two cousins, Elenor and William Guest (another cousin, Edward Patten, and Langston George later joined the group, after Brenda and Elenor left to get married; George left by 1960). With young Gladys supplying the throaty vocals and the Pips providing impressive harmonies and inspired dance routines, the group soon earned a following on the so-called "Chitlin Circuit" in the South, opening for popular acts such as Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke.

The Pips

While their first single, "Whistle My Love," was released by Brunswick in 1957, the Pips didn't score a bona fide hit until they began recording with Motown Records in the 1960s, where they were teamed with songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield. In 1967, the Pips' version of Whitfield's "I Heard it Through the Grapevine"—later a huge hit for Marvin Gaye—crossed over from the rhythm and blues charts to the pop charts. Their popularity increased with the success of singles like "Nitty Gritty," "Friendship Train" and "If I Were Your Woman," combined with touring performances with the Motown Revue and numerous TV appearances.

Knight and the Pips left Motown in 1973 for Buddah Records, a subsidiary of Arista (the group later took Motown to court for unpaid royalties). Ironically, their last Motown single, "Neither One of Us Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye," became the Pips' first No. 1 crossover hit and a Grammy winner for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1973.

The group—now known officially as Gladys Knight and the Pips—was riding higher than ever during the mid-1970s with a smoother, more accessible sound, a hit album, Imagination (1973) and three gold singles: "I've Got to Use My Imagination," "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" and the Grammy Award-winning No. 1 hit "Midnight Train to Georgia" (Best R&B Vocal Performance). In 1974, the group recorded the soundtrack for the film Claudine, with songs written by Curtis Mayfield; the soundtrack album spawned the hit single "On and On." Their next album, I Feel a Song (1975), included Knight's hit version of Marvin Hamlisch's "The Way We Were," also popularized by Barbra Streisand; the album's title track became a No.

1 soul hit.

Knight and the Pips hosted their own TV special in the summer of 1975, and in 1976, Knight made an appearance in the film Pipe Dreams, for which she and the Pips also recorded the soundtrack album. She later co-starred opposite comedian Flip Wilson on the 1985-86 sitcom Charlie & Co. Due to legal problems with Buddah, Knight and the Pips were forced to record separately in the last years of the 1970s, although they continued performing together in live gigs. After signing a new contract with Columbia, the group released three reunion albums during the early 1980s, About Love (1980), Touch (1982) and Visions (1983), scoring hits with such singles as "Landlord" (produced by the ace songwriting team Ashford and Simpson), "Save the Overtime for Me" and "You're Number One".

Moving to MCA Records in 1988, Knight and the Pips released their final album together, All Our Love, which included the Grammy-winning single "Love Overboard." The next year, Knight left the Pips to launch a solo career, recording the title song for the James Bond film Licence to Kill (1989) and the album A Good Woman (1990), which featured guest stars Dionne Warwick and Patti Labelle.

Recent Years

Throughout the 1990s, Knight continued to tour and record, producing the successful 1994 album Just For You and earning acclaim for her consistently strong vocals and hardworking performance style. In addition to her musical career, she also acted in a recurring role on the 1994 TV series New York Undercover. Knight has also appeared on Living Single and JAG. On the big screen, she had a role in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself in 2009.

While no longer a chart-topping success, Knight, known fondly today as the "Empress of Soul," has continued to make records. She once stated, "Since I've been so wonderfully blessed, I really want to share and to make life at least a little better. So every chance I get to share the gospel or uplift people, I will take full advantage of that opportunity." Knight collaborated with the the Saints United Voices for her 2005 gospel album One Voice, which did well. Knight's 2006 album Before Me also received a warm reception.

In 2012, Knight decided to take on another kind of role by joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars, the popular television competition, and strutting her stuff against the likes of actress Melissa Gilbert, actor Jaleel White and TV personality Sherri Shepherd.

Personal Life

Knight married her first husband, an Atlanta musician named Jimmy Newman, at age 16. The marriage produced two children, James and Kenya, before Newman, a drug addict, abandoned the family and died only a few years later. Her second marriage, to Barry Hankerson, ended acrimoniously in 1979 after five years in a prolonged custody battle over their son, Shanga. Knight married author and motivational speaker Les Brown in 1995; that marriage ended in 1997.

In addition to a tumultuous love life, Knight suffered through a serious gambling problem that lasted more than a decade.

In the late 1980s, after losing $45,000 in one night at the baccarat table, Knight joined Gamblers Anonymous, which helped her quit the habit.

Since 1978, Knight has lived in Las Vegas, close to her mother, Elizabeth, and two of her children and their families. She continues to perform frequently in Las Vegas and beyond, and published a memoir, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story, in 1997. With the Pips, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in 1998.

In April 2001, Knight married William McDowell, a corporate consultant she had reportedly met 10 years earlier, but had only begun dating the previous January.

© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.

Ella Fitzgerald is Dubbed "The First Lady of Song,"
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: ella fitzgerald first lady jazz music word life production jazz music feature blog

Dubbed "The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums.

Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella.)

She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common - they all loved her.

Humble but happy beginnings

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Va. on April 25, 1917. Her father, William, and mother, Temperance (Tempie), parted ways shortly after her birth. Together, Tempie and Ella went to Yonkers, N.Y, where they eventually moved in with Tempie's longtime boyfriend Joseph Da Silva. Ella's half-sister, Frances, was born in 1923 and soon she began referring to Joe as her stepfather.

To support the family, Joe dug ditches and was a part-time chauffeur, while Tempie worked at a laundromat and did some catering. Occasionally, Ella took on small jobs to contribute money as well. Perhaps naïve to the circumstances, Ella worked as a runner for local gamblers, picking up their bets and dropping off money.

Their apartment was in a mixed neighborhood, where Ella made friends easily. She considered herself more of a tomboy, and often joined in the neighborhood games of baseball. Sports aside, she enjoyed dancing and singing with her friends, and some evenings they would take the train into Harlem and watch various acts at the Apollo Theater.

A rough patch

In 1932, Tempie died from serious injuries that she received in a car accident. Ella took the loss very hard. After staying with Joe for a short time, Tempie's sister Virginia took Ella home. Shortly afterward Joe suffered a heart attack and died, and her little sister Frances joined them.

Unable to adjust to the new circumstances, Ella became increasingly unhappy and entered into a difficult period of her life. Her grades dropped dramatically, and she frequently skipped school. After getting into trouble with the police, she was taken into custody and sent to a reform school. Living there was even more unbearable, as she suffered beatings at the hands of her caretakers.

Eventually Ella escaped from the reformatory. The 15-year-old found herself broke and alone during the Great Depression, and strove to endure.

Never one to complain, Ella later reflected on her most difficult years with an appreciation for how they helped her to mature. She used the memories from these times to help gather emotions for performances, and felt she was more grateful for her success because she knew what it was like to struggle in life.

"What's she going to do?"

In 1934 Ella's name was pulled in a weekly drawing at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. Ella went to the theater that night planning to dance, but when the frenzied Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. "They were the dancingest sisters around," Ella said, and she felt her act would not compare.

Once on stage, faced with boos and murmurs of "What's she going to do?" from the rowdy crowd, a scared and disheveled Ella made the last minute decision to sing. She asked the band to play Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy," a song she knew well because Connee Boswell's rendition of it was among Tempie's favorites. Ella quickly quieted the audience, and by the song's end they were demanding an encore. She obliged and sang the flip side of the Boswell Sister's record, "The Object of My Affections."

Off stage, and away from people she knew well, Ella was shy and reserved. She was self-conscious about her appearance, and for a while even doubted the extent of her abilities. On stage, however, Ella was surprised to find she had no fear. She felt at home in the spotlight.

"Once up there, I felt the acceptance and love from my audience," Ella said. "I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life."

In the band that night was saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter. Impressed with her natural talent, he began introducing Ella to people who could help launch her career. In the process he and Ella became lifelong friends, often working together.

Fueled by enthusiastic supporters, Ella began entering - and winning - every talent show she could find. In January 1935 she won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. It was there that Ella first met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb. Although her voice impressed him, Chick had already hired male singer Charlie Linton for the band. He offered Ella the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.

"If the kids like her," Chick said, "she stays."

Despite the tough crowd, Ella was a major success, and Chick hired her to travel with the band for $12.50 a week.

Jazzing things up

In mid 1936, Ella made her first recording. "Love and Kisses" was released under the Decca label, with moderate success. By this time she was performing with Chick's band at the prestigious Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, often referred to as "The World's Most Famous Ballroom."

Shortly afterward, Ella began singing a rendition of the song, "(If You Can't Sing It) You Have to Swing It." During this time, the era of big swing bands was shifting, and the focus was turning more toward bebop. Ella played with the new style, often using her voice to take on the role of another horn in the band. "You Have to Swing It" was one of the first times she began experimenting with scat singing, and her improvisation and vocalization thrilled fans. Throughout her career, Ella would master scat singing, turning it into a form of art.

In 1938, at the age of 21, Ella recorded a playful version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." The album sold 1 million copies, hit number one, and stayed on the pop charts for 17 weeks. Suddenly, Ella Fitzgerald was famous.

Coming into her own

On June 16, 1939, Ella mourned the loss of her mentor Chick Webb. In his absence the band was renamed "Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Band," and she took on the overwhelming task of bandleader.

Perhaps in search of stability and protection, Ella married Benny Kornegay, a local dockworker who had been pursuing her. Upon learning that Kornegay had a criminal history, Ella realized that the relationship was a mistake and had the marriage annulled.

While on tour with Dizzy Gillespie's band in 1946, Ella fell in love with bassist Ray Brown. The two were married and eventually adopted a son, whom they named Ray, Jr.

At the time, Ray was working for producer and manager Norman Granz on the "Jazz at the Philharmonic" tour. Norman saw that Ella had what it took to be an international star, and he convinced Ella to sign with him. It was the beginning of a lifelong business relationship and friendship.

Under Norman's management, Ella joined the Philharmonic tour, worked with Louis Armstrong on several albums and began producing her infamous songbook series. From 1956-1964, she recorded covers of other musicians' albums, including those by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, the Gershwins, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart. The series was wildly popular, both with Ella's fans and the artists she covered.

"I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them," Ira Gershwin once remarked.

Ella also began appearing on television variety shows. She quickly became a favorite and frequent guest on numerous programs, including "The Bing Crosby Show," "The Dinah Shore Show," "The Frank Sinatra Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Tonight Show," "The Nat King Cole Show," "The Andy Willams Show" and "The Dean Martin Show."

Due to a busy touring schedule, Ella and Ray were often away from home, straining the bond with their son. Ultimately, Ray Jr. and Ella reconnected and mended their relationship.

"All I can say is that she gave to me as much as she could," Ray, Jr. later said, "and she loved me as much as she could."

Unfortunately, busy work schedules also hurt Ray and Ella's marriage. The two divorced in 1952, but remained good friends for the rest of their lives.

Overcoming discrimination

On the touring circuit it was well-known that Ella's manager felt very strongly about civil rights and required equal treatment for his musicians, regardless of their color. Norman refused to accept any type of discrimination at hotels, restaurants or concert halls, even when they traveled to the Deep South.

Once, while in Dallas touring for the Philharmonic, a police squad irritated by Norman's principles barged backstage to hassle the performers. They came into Ella's dressing room, where band members Dizzy Gillespie and Illinois Jacquet were shooting dice, and arrested everyone.

"They took us down," Ella later recalled, "and then when we got there, they had the nerve to ask for an autograph."

Norman wasn't the only one willing to stand up for Ella. She received support from numerous celebrity fans, including a zealous Marilyn Monroe.

"I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt," Ella later said. "It was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the '50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him - and it was true, due to Marilyn's superstar status - that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. And she didn't know it."

Worldwide recognition

Ella continued to work as hard as she had early on in her career, despite the ill effects on her health. She toured all over the world, sometimes performing two shows a day in cities hundreds of miles apart. In 1974, Ella spent a legendary two weeks performing in New York with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie. Still going strong five years later, she was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received Kennedy Center Honors for her continuing contributions to the arts.

Outside of the arts, Ella had a deep concern for child welfare. Though this aspect of her life was rarely publicized, she frequently made generous donations to organizations for disadvantaged youths, and the continuation of these contributions was part of the driving force that prevented her from slowing down. Additionally, when Frances died, Ella felt she had the additional responsibilities of taking care of her sister's family.

In 1987, United States President Ronald Reagan awarded Ella the National Medal of Arts. It was one of her most prized moments. France followed suit several years later, presenting her with their Commander of Arts and Letters award, while Yale, Dartmouth and several other universities bestowed Ella with honorary doctorates.

End of an era

In September of 1986, Ella underwent quintuple coronary bypass surgery. Doctors also replaced a valve in her heart and diagnosed her with diabetes, which they blamed for her failing eyesight. The press carried rumors that she would never be able to sing again, but Ella proved them wrong. Despite protests by family and friends, including Norman, Ella returned to the stage and pushed on with an exhaustive schedule.

By the 1990s, Ella had recorded over 200 albums. In 1991, she gave her final concert at New York's renowned Carnegie Hall. It was the 26th time she performed there.

As the effects from her diabetes worsened, 76-year-old Ella experienced severe circulatory problems and was forced to have both of her legs amputated below the knees. She never fully recovered from the surgery, and afterward, was rarely able to perform. During this time, Ella enjoyed sitting outside in her backyard, and spending time with Ray, Jr. and her granddaughter Alice.

"I just want to smell the air, listen to the birds and hear Alice laugh," she said.

On June 15, 1996, Ella Fitzgerald died in her Beverly Hills home. Hours later, signs of remembrance began to appear all over the world. A wreath of white flowers stood next to her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a marquee outside the Hollywood Bowl theater read, "Ella, we will miss you."

After a private memorial service, traffic on the freeway was stopped to let her funeral procession pass through. She was laid to rest in the "Sanctuary of the Bells" section of the Sunset Mission Mausoleum at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, Calif.

Source: Official Website

LADY OF R&B AND NEO-SOUL Tags: lady pj randb neo soul word life production monthly feature blog spot

 Lady PJ is a rising star in the making. This Artist, Singer, Songwriter, and Poet lets her light shine through her music; which is graceful, elegant, poetic, and soothing to the listening ear. Allow this R&B/Neo-soul Artist to captivate you.

Lady PJ was born Philessa Nicole Hooks in Mobile, Alabama to Mr. Dewitte and Mrs. Lucy Hooks. She is the middle child of eight children. She stands tall through out the pain and manages to pick herself up every time she falls down. Her story is both inspiring and encouraging.

Her music is inspired by singers like Billie Holiday, Nora Jones, Tina Turner, and Jill Scott. Her lyrics are usually stories that are written from the heart. Her stories stem from her life lessons and her over-active imagination. She really feels that life is a puzzle that needs to be put together and no matter what, as long as you are alive, it can be fixed. I think this jazzy, sultry singer will be around for a very long time.

The rest of the story is in her own words: "I think about where I am now. My crazy journey and it's just amazing to me that I can still smile and find something more to hold on to with joy and laughter. I think that's the key; laughter. When things are at their worst and I think that I can't go another step I just find something that makes me laugh hard. The other side of this is, you've got to be able to cry just as hard. I call this “the other side of reason.” Because it seems so far out there beyond the rim of logic but it really works."

"I learned pretty early in life that good and bad must coexist; for without one there would be no other because one without the other would lead to a constant state of neutrality where nothing changes. Who wants that? With this logic I learned that you have to be able to accept them both as a normal reality of life. We all have experienced our share of bad times but have you ever just thought that no matter how hard things get if you could have that one precious moment that would carry you through the rest of your life with joy and happiness; would it not be worth it? That's what gets me through to the other side; I'm looking for that moment. I really believe that I'll get there one day."

"I think I was 5 when I was molested by a relative; that's the only memory I really have of my childhood. Except for the time I almost drowned and well that's an entirely different story. I can't remember any of the good times. I just remember always being angry. Then on my prom night, I was raped by my ex-boyfriend at the time. A boyfriend that I always thought I was going to be married to. Crazy, I know but true. That was an extremely difficult time for me because I was seventeen and so very bitter (so sweet upon the lips you stay to kiss the joy of life away). My life started spiraling out of control; I flipped my car, I was drinking heavily, and I would fight at the drop of a bucket, that's what prompted me to go into the military."

"Yes, I was a soldier; U.S. Army. The year was 1990 and we were getting ready for war when I was in basic training. I think that was the time I really felt safe, again. I really believed that I wouldn't have to fight; so the war didn't bother me but I did get my Mom to pray me through. Hey, pray works! I was settling into my new life and traveling to places I could only dream of. I had really good friends, at the time, but I was still unhappy. Now it's 1994, I'm in Germany, I've been there almost two years, and I'm raped by an officer. I think this was the hardest because I thought I was going to die. My whole life flashed right in front of my eyes and I thought about who would miss me? Or the fact that nobody knew that I was there. When he unlocked the door and let me out; I just felt relieved. I don't think I've ever been that afraid in my life; so now my safe-haven is gone. My life is thrown into turmoil. Where do I go now? That rape took a lot from me; not just physically but emotionally. I cut off my feelings and I was just making it through my day. I think that's when I, emotionally, started withdrawing from the rest of the world. I really didn't care if I lived or died; I just wanted out of my life."

"It's now 2004, I'm out of the military and I'm now working at my own business, a collection agency, married, with a daughter and two step-kids to take care of. I was so unhappy; miserable. I just felt numb, all the time. I use to think would I ever feel anything again. I had problems remembering; like adding, subtracting, names, dates, my birthday, etc. It was crazy. Add on to that I had really bad panic attacks. I didn't want to go outside and I barely could make it out of bed. It was a very dark time for me. I really hated life. I couldn't stand looking at myself in the mirror any more. All my joy was just gone, and I was desperate to find something to hold on to. It still hurts now thinking about it all."

"On the bright side, I started singing at the Veterans Hospital in Augusta Georgia, in the music room. It was my little ray of sunshine. My vocals weren't very good, mind you, but I wasn't trying to be a singer. I was just trying to find that one thing that I lost and could hold onto for just one second of my life. Mostly everyone there could play an instrument and they asked me to sing. At that time I was pretty reserved and contained but somehow they talked me into singing and I've been singing every since. I think this was the window that I needed to escape my life and I was thrilled to find it there. Eventually, I found myself singing all the time and loving it. My voice started changing and I was surprised at how good I was sounding. It just made me want to sing more. I've never wanted to be a star; that's never been my goal. I just wanted to feel that wonderful feeling of release and that's what I feel when I sing."

"On the other hand, my husband saw these changes and wasn't very happy with them because I wanted to hold onto this new life more and more. Well, in the process I was leaving behind my old life; the one he and I shared together. I refused to let go of this small piece of happiness I found. The more he fought me over it the more I turned away from him. Eventually, it became an issue of control and I wasn't about to let anyone take me away from that little light of hope that I was clinging to. I was dieing inside and I found something that made me come alive; it was the only thing keeping me alive. Our fights were constant and I was tired. I made a decision in my mind that if he didn't stop I was leaving. I had enough! January the first 2005, I walked way from my marriage and I didn't look back. That was the beginning of my search to find self and I've been walking that walk every since."

"Now I try to be the best person I can, to be as helpful as I can, to find those moments of joy where ever I can and to embrace them, to always strive for peace, to perform a constant evaluation on self, and live according to my own rules and beliefs. Of course to do this, you have to know who you are."

"My life did not start out all rosy but it doesn't matter. I don't intend for it to end the way it started. I wish I could say that my life is just wonderful now but I'm getting there. I take each day as it comes. I try my hardest to find something that makes me happy and do it or I just embrace it."

"On a professional level, I want to be able to create the art that I love, to do the things that bring me the most joy, and in the process I hope that it helps other people to see that window. I've been in that dark place, so I know what it's like to feel like you can't make it through another day. I just decided to live my life."

 

RSS
Spread the word
Search

This website is powered by Spruz