whitney shay

bcs stage | 12:45 p.m.

Take a listen!

Where in the world is Whitney Shay?

That may seem a simple question, but the San Diego R&B singer is hard to keep tabs on. She’s here in San Diego one minute, then South America, then Europe. Her music is on television shows on NBC, HBO and Bravo and it’ll even be showing up in a major movie soon. In addition, she’ll perform more than 200 times this year, in several different band formats.

In March, she was honored as “Artist of the Year” and for  “Best Blues Album of the Year” at the San Diego Blues Music Awards.

You can chalk this up to one energetic and determined woman.  She believes in making her own luck, and she knows that luck begins with hard work.


It’s hard to believe that any singer can be working harder than she does.


And, then there’s her record.  Whitney landed a record deal with the non-profit Little Village Foundation last year and went into Kid Andersen’’s Greaseland recording studio in San Jose, with a pile of songs under her arms.

Andersen enlisted some A-list musicians such as guitarists Andersen and Igor Prado, keyboard player Jim Pugh, saxophonist Gordon Beadle, harmonica player Aki Kumar and bassist Kedar Roy.

What emerged from Greaseland was  A Woman Rules the World,  a fresh sound, filled with songs of female empowerment featuring Whitney’s impassioned vocals.

The original “Love’s Creeping Up on You” was clearly the highlight of the album, but a remake of soul singer Candi Staton’s “Get It When I Want It,” “Ain’t No Weak Woman” and “Get Down With It” reinforced the empowerment theme throughout. With doses of blues, funk, soul and rock, the wide-ranging album showed off Whitney’s sultry and captivating vocals at every turn.


Even her unlikely choice of the obscure Little Richard song “Freedom Blues” brims with new meaning under Whitney’s care.

A Woman Rules The World made a strong statement for Whitney in the music world, earning her a nomination in this year’s Blues Music Awards for Soul-Blues Female Artist of the Year.

 “She’s one heck of a singer. She really has heart,” is the loud compliment laid down by Staton, a 76-year-old veteran of the business, who is four competitors for the Soul-Blues Female Artist of the Year award.

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