She performs live at the Chattanooga Billiards Club on Jordan Drive in Chattanooga Saturday. Having worked with the likes of Frankie Beverly and Maze, Bobby Brown, The Bar-Kays and Sunshine Anderson, DieDra brings a rich history of soul singing to every performance and is becoming a pivotal force in R&B music.
She is currently touring with Bobby Rush, one of the greatest soul/blues showmen of all time. When asked when she realized she could make it as a professional singer, DieDra said, “I think the first time was when I saw my music on the charts with singers such as Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Richie and Michael Bolton. That’s when I knew that anything could happen in my career at any moment.
“Another reality check was when I pulled up in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and got out of the car and heard my song blasting from a balcony — with lots of people on it — partying. I thought, ‘Hey, that’s me! But they don’t even know it’s me.”
DieDra’s first record deal was with Big East Entertainment in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1998. But it was in 2007, when her producer, Keith Ruff, the lead guitar player for renown blues legend Rush, offered to take her on the road with him. The two fell in love and were married.
It was her talent on the road, however, that made audiences fall in love with DieDra and ignited her solo career.
In 2008, her debut album, “Overcoming Hurdles” was released. In 2009, Joe Douglas, manager of the Grammy nominated group Frankie Beverly and Maze, contacted DieDra and later signed her with his management company, JD Entertainment.
Her album suddenly exploded in the Carolinas and rose on the charts as the soulful lady of blues reached her audience and increased her fan base. DieDra soon learned she was nominated for Jus’ Blues’ Female Artist of the Year 2009, and nominated for Most Popular Female Artist 2010.
The soulful blues singer was recently awarded “The Blue Note Award” from the National Association of Rhythm and Blues DJ’s. But lady DieDra says she’s only getting started and is eyeing another coveted prize.
“From Day 1 of my career — sitting in my husband’s little studio — I said I WILL win a Grammy,” DieDra said. “I think I was never satisfied with just hearing my music on the radio. I had a dream bigger than just radio.
“I wanted to be a household name and see children singing to my music. A Grammy nomination is a career-changing event and to win it means you have arrived as a musical icon. That’s what I want.”
Although the soul-singing powerhouse has worked huge auditoriums with R&B performers like Avant, Glen Jones, Candi Staton and Carl Thomas, DieDra said she is looking forward to a variety of people enjoying Saturday’s cozier show as they dance to R&B, boogie, do the Carolina Beach/Shag and enjoy the smooth sounds of Motown.
“This will be an experience in a billiards club but on an arena level,” DieDra predicted. “My band and I come to entertain. Not just to sing a song or play an instrument. You’ll leave and tell as many people as you know what you heard and saw.
“This is for blues lovers, Jimmy Hendrix lovers, Bonnie Rait lovers, and for soul music lovers. It will be a night to remember. I would tell everyone who comes, do not leave without buying the CD. That way you can take some of the show’s excitement home with you.”
Doors open at 7 p.m. The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $8 at the door. For further information contact Rose Kellar at 423-284-7044.