In an industry dominated by youth, she is the exception and nothing can hold her back. Call her "old-school" or whatever you wish, but she is classic with a style that is uniquely her own, and a repertoire that satisfies listeners regardless of age. Her audiences loves her so much, evident at the point of her introduction, that the mere mentioning of her name sends them into an immediate uproar of anticipation. Marilyn Ashford-Brown is a very classy, sophisticated and exciting Lady with a sensational sound. Not caught up in the rapture of the "bling" and glamour which comes with the business, she just simply wants to sing, doing the one thing she loves doing more than anything in the world. On stage, this Singer-Performer, Recording Artist, Songwriter is clearly in her comfort zone. She has a smile that will light up any stage or room. When she begins to sing, wow! It's powerful enough to carry New York's Madison Square Garden. Her appearance at New York's world-famous Apollo Theater, where the audience gave her a standing ovation is just one testament to her music prowess. This Washington, D.C. native was recently privileged by an invitation to perform for the Congressional Black Caucus 2008 Awards Dinner where then Presidential Candidate,who is now President-Elect, Barack Obama received the highest,"Phoenix Award". She was accompanied by The Clarence Knight Orchestra and shared the stage with Grammy Award Winner, Pattie Labelle. Marilyn received notoriety along with Labelle spite the fact two other entertainers performed. Marilyn once read a quote from actor, Harrison Ford, which has stayed with her for many years. It stated:'the people who get on the bus, and stay on it, are most successful, not the ones who get off. She has been on the bus for quite some time and she's not about to get off'. Some passengers who started this journey with her, got off early, but, she stayed on. As a result, doors are beginning to open at all the right stops. Her rendition of Earth, Wind and Fire's 1976 hit titled: "Can't Hide Love" featured on her first independently released CD titled: Marilyn Ashford Brown...Still Standing, was released in October 2007. Eight months later an invitation was extended to her to open two nights for Comedian, Steve Harvey. She performed on June 6th and 7th, 2008 at the famous, Kodak Theatre, home to the Oscars, Academy and Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California. In spite of minimal air play, her CD is proving to have a wide-range of marketable potential in both the U. S. and abroad in the United Kingdom, Tokyo and Canada where online sales continue to increase. As Executive Producer, Ashford Brown independently funded the cost, co-produced and wrote ten of twelve tracks on this phenomenal CD. Her perseverance and determination is clearly another indication of her artistic and professional prowess to succeed in the recording industry. In February, 2008 she auditioned and landed a singing spot in the popular Broadway play, Vagina Monologue starring, Star Jones formerly, of "The View". Her music truly competes with the sounds of today's new music. She has incorporated Soul-R&B, Hip-Hop and a touch of Contemporary Jazz all together delivering a sound that is undeniably hers alone. There is something very profound in her music in that, it is very timely, yet there is absolutely, nothing out there like it. But more importantly, is the message which clearly addresses real issues in our inner cities and in the world. Inspired by the controversy pertaining to the frequent use of both the B and H words so often used as an expression in the music of some Rap Artists, she has taken her skills as a songwriter, in an attempt to put some humanity and dignity back in our music. Her song titled: 'Respect Me' has the potential to become the anthem for all women. I felt the responsibility to try and do something to save the minds of our youth in the world today. Another song featured on the CD, titled 'Maybe' strongly addresses crime and violence which is so prevalent in today's society. It was following her very first appearance at 'Blues Alley' a popular nightspot located in our Nations Capitol where she now performs twice annually that Singer, Entertainer, Tony Bennett (who was in the audience) asked her, then manager, Attorney, Barry LeNoire, if he could meet her. He escorted Bennett to her dressing room where Bennett described her as a class act. Bennett encouraged her to keep reaching for the stars. Marilyn's strong church foundation has been her strength in the many challenges, faced during her climb to success. She has remained strong in her faith in God, believing that He has given her a gift truly intended to bless others. She discovered at a very early age that she had a special gift. She grew up listening to the songs of Motown, enjoying the sounds of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder and other roster favorites. Many years later, she would discover the sounds of Phyllis Hyman who's career was cut short by her untimely death. Ashford Brown was deeply inspired by Hyman's music. She was blessed with the opportunity to share the stage with Hyman and to work with famed Philadelphia's International Records Producer, Dexter Wansel and Songwriter, Cynthia Biggs who wrote and produced for Hyman. They are also known for writing and producing Patti Labelle, The Jones Girls, Teddy Pendergrass and Lou Rawls. Having had the opportunity to work with Dexter, opened a door for she and the female trio, "Sass" which she was a member to record background vocals with Pieces of a Dream and the late, legendary, Lou Rawls who has since died. Ashford Brown's life and career has not been without challenges. One that abruptly placed her career on hold and almost bought it to an end was the loss of both her husband, Tim in 2004 whose death was preceded by her mother's in 2003. As a result of her losses, understandably, Marilyn became depressed and withdrawn. But, she's back and more determined than ever to live her dream, she's come too far to stop now. In November 2006, she resumed recording the current, Still Standing, CD which she began prior to her husband's death. She has revised some of the music, by using new producers, and becoming more involved in the production aspects of her music. She says that only she and God know the melody and the music that she hears and feels when writing a song, and therefore, uses her voice as her instrument to dictate the sounds to her musicians and producers. Marilyn has an audience, and a large one at that. Geographically, CD sales are proven evidence that there is a market for her music. Her main objective is to continue writing, performing and promoting her music while focusing on finding an Agent. One that is insightful and powerful that will realize the magnitude of her talents as well as the potential of this CD, enough to take it to an even higher level. In October 2008 she took a trip to the U. K. to further promote and bring more attention to her music. There is something for everyone to love on this CD... It does not discriminate She remains humble, optimistic and enthusiastic about her future. Marilyn has always had a large following and it's about to get even bigger...... just wait and see.
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