Shemekia Copeland - Blues Singer
When singing sensation Shemekia Copeland first appeared on the scene in 1997 with her groundbreaking debut CD, “Turn The Heat Up,” she quickly became, at 18 years old, a roots music superstar. Critics from around the country celebrated Shemekia's music as fans of all ages agreed that an unstoppable new talent had arrived. Shemekia released two more CDs: 2000's Grammy nominated “Wicked,” and 2002's Talking To Strangers,” (produced by Dr. John), and in that short period of time, collected five Blues Music Awards, a Grammy nomination, five Living Blues Awards, and was honored with the coveted "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" Award by the DownBeat Critics' Poll. Shemekia has already had a lifetime's worth of career highlights, including performances on national television, appearances in films, and sharing stages with some of the biggest names in the music world. And now she can add the title 'radio host' to her already impressive list of accomplishments. Copeland will host her own weekly blues radio program, Shemekia Copeland's Blues Show, exclusively on Sirius satellite radio.
Her 2005 CD, aptly titled,”The Soul Truth,” is the funkiest, deepest, and most exciting statement yet. Produced by renowned Stax guitarist Steve Cropper (who also adds his stellar guitar playing to the CD), the album is steeped in the spirit of classic Memphis soul but, at the same time, is a contemporary and up-to-the-minute slice of life. Featuring Shemekia's powerful, emotional vocals over a blistering band with horns punching in all the right places, “The Soul Truth” is a tour-de-force of rock, soul and blues.
Born in Harlem, New York in 1979, Shemekia came to her singing career slowly. "I never knew I wanted to sing until I got older," says Copeland. "But my dad knew ever since I was a baby. He just knew I was gonna be a singer." Her father, the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, recognized his daughter's talent early on. He always encouraged her to sing at home and even brought her on stage to sing at Harlem's famed Cotton Club when she was just eight. At that time Shemekia's embarrassment outweighed her desire to sing. But when she was 15 and her father's health began to slow him down, she received the calling. "It was like a switch went off in my head," recalls Shemekia, "and I wanted to sing. It became a want and a need. I had to do it."