Artist Of The Day: Janiva Magness

posted by Shane German on 10/25/2019

Blues and soul singer Janiva Magness  was no stranger to trouble and hard times growing up, and at her best, she pours that lifetime of emotion into her passionate phrasing and vocal delivery.

Born in Detroit, Magness grew up with her father's blues and country record collection, as well as the city's wonderful Motown pop-soul sound, all of which shaped her style and approach as a musician.

She lost both of her parents to suicide while in her early teens, and she ended up living on the streets, channeled through endless foster homes, before becoming pregnant at the age of 17 and being forced to give up the child for adoption.

Her interest in blues muisc began when an underage Magness attended an Otis Rush concert in Minneapolis.

Magness later recalled, "Otis played as if his life depended on it. There was a completely desperate, absolute intensity. I knew, whatever it was, I needed more of it.

To date she has released 12 albums, was named by the Blues Foundation as The B.B. King Entertainer of the Year in 2009, becoming only the second woman, after Koko Taylor, to be so honored.

Magness has earned seven Blues Music Awards with 26 similar nominations and one Grammy Award nomination over her career. 

Magness is a national spokesperson for Casey Family Programs, promoting National Foster Care Month.

Her new album Change In The Weather is a tribute to John Fogerty and was recently added to the WYCE Music Library.

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