Shemekia Copeland

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1990s 2000s

Biography

10 April 1979, Harlem, New York City, New York, USA. With her mind firmly set on college and a future in psychiatry, Copeland made her professional debut at the tender age of 16 when she opened shows for her father Johnny Copeland in 1995 as his health began to fail. As soon as she was propelled into performance at clubs such as Manny’s Car Wash in New York and New Brunswick’s Old Bay, she discovered within herself a deep need to sing the blues. She had never harboured any ambitions to follow her father into a career in music despite his long-standing conviction that this was in fact her destiny. Copeland encouraged his daughter to sing in church, school and at home, telling friends that she was going to be a blues singer. As a child, Shemekia met many of her father’s blues contemporaries such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Hammond and Joe Hughes. She was also an avid listener of her father’s record collection absorbing influences from male as well...

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