Veteran R&B darling Shanice Wilson played four jam-packed shows presented by SEI Entertainment at the famed Blues Alley jazz supper club in Washington, DC this past weekend.
The 39-year-old entertainer, who released her debut CD when she was 14-years-old, told the crowd: “I’m really shy in real life but I love this crowd in DC because I feel like I’m singing in my own living room to my friends!”
Shanice opened her show by paying homage to the singers who paved the way for her. She kicked off her set with The Jackson Five smash, “I Wanna Be Where You Are” in salute of Michael Jackson, and then spoke about meeting the late “King of Pop.”
Blue-eyed soul diva Teena Marie produced several songs for Shanice’s first CD, “Discovery.” In her memory, the singer delighted the crowd with a cover of Marie’s hit ballad, “Deja Vu (I’ve Been Here Before).” She then transitioned into Vesta Williams’ power ballad “Congratulations.”
The Pittsburgh-bred singer, who now resides in Los Angeles, would earn her first of several standing ovations of the night for her rendition of the Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” “I’m going to miss her forever,” she said of Houston. “There will never be another voice like hers!”
Shanice then took concertgoers on a journey through her own catalog of hits, among them “When I Close My Eyes,” “Turn Down The Lights,” “Yesterday,” and her duet with Johnny Gill, “Silent Prayer.” “I’ve never really performed that song without Johnny,” she said of the latter number. “I’m really surprised you all remember all of these songs!”
The former “Kids Incorporated” star spoke about growing up a child star and how it was music executive Dick Rudolph who helped her fulfill the dream of meeting the late Minnie Riperton. “I was such a fan of her voice and I loved her song ‘Lovin’ You’ so much that I re-recorded it twice,” she told the crowd.
She then delivered a show-stopping moment crooning out the delicate ballad and effortlessly hitting all the whistle-tone high notes at the end. A thunderous standing ovation followed!
Shanice is married to actor Flex Alexander and the couple has two children, a daughter Imani, 10, and a son Elijah, 8. She told the crowd that the tragic news about the shootings at the theater playing the “Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado had hit her hard and she wanted to dedicate a song in her show to the victims and their families.
She then delivered a tissue-needed version of Karen Clark-Sheard’s “Holy Thou Art Holy,” which ultimately landed her a third standing ovation. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Karen Clark-Sheard and The Clark Sisters. God put it on my heart to sing that tonight,” she explained.
Shanice then sang Beyonce’s infectious song, “Love on Top,” before using that song to segue into her own smash hit, “I Love Your Smile!”
She promised the fans she was going to be working on new music soon, thanked them for their continued support and promised to return to Washington, DC in the near future!
VIDEO: Watch Shanice perform “I Love Your Smile” on Washington, DC’s Fox 5.