Charon Shemekia Copeland (born April 10, 1979)[2][3] is an American electric blues vocalist.[1] To date, she has released ten albums and been presented with eight Blues Music Awards.

Shemekia Copeland
Copeland at the 2019 Summit on Race
Copeland at the 2019 Summit on Race
Background information
Birth nameCharon Shemekia Copeland
Born (1979-04-10) April 10, 1979 (age 45)
Harlem, New York, United States
GenresElectric blues,[1] gospel, R&B
Years active1996–present
LabelsAlligator Records, Telarc (2008-2012)

Career edit

Copeland was born in Harlem, New York City, United States. She is the daughter of Texas blues guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland.[4] She began singing at an early age and her first public performance was at the Cotton Club when she was about 10.[5] She began to pursue a singing career in earnest at age 16. When her father's health began to decline, he took Shemekia on tour as his opening act, which helped establish her name on the blues circuit. Copeland graduated in 1997 from Teaneck High School in Teaneck, New Jersey.[6]

She landed a recording contract with Alligator Records, which issued her debut album, Turn the Heat Up! in 1998, following it up with a tour of the blues festival circuit in America and Europe. Her second album, Wicked, was released in 2000 and featured a duet with one of her heroes, Ruth Brown. It earned her three Blues Music Awards.

The follow-up record, Talking to Strangers, was produced by Dr. John, and in 2005 she released The Soul Truth, produced by Steve Cropper.

In 2008, Copeland signed with Telarc International,[7] and released her first album, Never Going Back, with that label in February 2009. She won the "Rising Star - Blues Artist" in Down Beat magazine's critics poll announced in the December 2009 issue.

Copeland participated in the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival in 2009. On June 12, 2011 at the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival, Copeland was presented Koko Taylor's crown, and officially given the honor as the new "Queen of the Blues" by Koko Taylor's daughter, Cookie Taylor.

In 2013, Copeland was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Female Artist' category.[8] She won the title in 2016.[9]

In October 2015, her album Outskirts of Love peaked at number 6 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart. In 2017 she participated in Mahindra Blues Festival, Mumbai.[10] In August 2018, her next album, America's Child, entered the same listing at number 3.[11] The recording won both the 'Album of the Year' and 'Contemporary Album of the Year' titles at the 40th Blues Music Awards in 2019.[12]

In May 2020, Copeland was presented with another Blues Music Award in the 'Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year' category.[13]

In July 2022 she won the award Blues artist of the year at the annual Downbeat Critics Poll.[14] She released her tenth studio album, Done Come Too Far, on August 19, 2022 [15] In 2023, Copeland triumphed in the 'Instrumentalist - Vocals' category at the Blues Music Awards.[16]

Discography edit

  • 1998: Turn the Heat Up
  • 2000: Wicked
  • 2002: Talking to Strangers
  • 2005: The Soul Truth
  • 2009: Never Going Back
  • 2011: Shemekia Copeland - Deluxe Edition
  • 2012: 33 1/3
  • 2015: Outskirts of Love
  • 2018: America's Child
  • 2020: Uncivil War
  • 2022: Done Come Too Far

References edit

  1. ^ a b Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
  2. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 263. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  3. ^ "Today in History - April 10", Fox News, April 10, 2008. Accessed November 22, 2008.
  4. ^ "Metroactive Music - Santa Cruz Blues Festival". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Shemekia Copeland sings about what's going on (Ep266) - Americana Music Show Podcast". 2015-09-29. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
  6. ^ "WHERE STARS ARE BORN -- NORTH JERSEY NURTURES ITS ASPIRING ARTISTS". Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2007.
  7. ^ "Telarc". Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  9. ^ "2016 Blues Music Awards Winner List". Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  10. ^ "Mahindra Blues Festival, Mumbai". Rollingstone India. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Shemekia Copeland". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  12. ^ "2019 Blues Music Awards Winners Announced". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  13. ^ McKay, Robin. "BLUES MUSIC AWARDS". Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  14. ^ "70th Annual DownBeat Critics Poll Delivers!". 2022-07-26. Retrieved 2022-08-15.
  15. ^ "Done Come Too Far Review by Thom Jurek". AllMusic. 2022-08-19. Retrieved 2022-09-14.
  16. ^ Grein, Paul (May 12, 2023). "Tommy Castro Repeats as Entertainer of the Year at 2023 Blues Music Awards: Full Winners List". Retrieved May 12, 2023.

External links edit