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Sensational singer/songwriter Brenda Lee Eager, who has worked with Prince, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and an extensive list of music luminaries, will celebrate her birthday in a unique way – by presenting her own concert, entitled “Live at 65,” on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Normandie Casino in Gardena. A red carpet reception begins at 6:30 p.m. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
An incredible songstress and accomplished songwriter, Eager (pronounced Ager) captivates audiences with a soulful delivery uniquely her own. Although hers is not a household name to the public at large, within the music industry, she’s legendary. Her original recording of “Close to You” with Jerry Butler in 1972 has become an American classic. The two also recorded several singles including “Ain’t Understanding Mellow,” which reached #3 on the Billboard R&B chart and #21 on the Hot 100.
She has performed and recorded backgrounds for major Grammy Award-winning artists such as Ray Charles, Roberta Flack and Teena Marie. In addition, she has written songs for Bobby Womack, Gladys Knight, Peaches and Herb, and a Platinum-selling single for Prince. Shirley Brown of “Woman to Woman” fame has recorded three of Brenda’s tunes.
“There is no better way for me to celebrate my birthday than in concert. I’ve been privileged to earn a living and live a life doing what I love to do most, singing, and many of my music friends have said they plan to honor me by joining me on stage,” said Eager.
Eager’s concert will feature her renditions of favorites from her body of work with music legends, all of whom have been invited to participate. Concert goers will be treated to several surprise guests.
Eager, who sings all musical genres, specializes in soul, R&B and jazz. She has received accolades from some of the greatest entertainers in the business.
“Ooh, the way Brenda Lee Eager sings, OOH, Baby,” said Smokey Robinson.
Crediting her as an early influence, the late great Teena Marie said, “I studied her records like I was in school. Brenda Lee was truly one of my teachers.”
Eager’s band is filled with some of the most renowned within the world of music. They include Maestro Delbert Taylor on piano, Motown producer Greg Wright on keyboads, blues guitarist Earl The Pearl Alexander on guitar, Quentin Dennard on drums and Michael Saucier on bass.
Background vocalists include Cynthia “Cece” Bass of Friends of Distinction, Elizabeth Dickerson, and Terry Young. The evening also includes an electrifying performance by Leo Gallo, the Baby Soul Singers, the Simmonds Brothers and ChrystalChyna.
A portion of the proceeds from “Live at 65” benefit The Kierrah Foundation, which provides material, intellectual and emotional support, as well as customized life plans and wrap-around services, to young women who have aged out of foster care.
“When you hear a Brenda Lee Eager song, you have heard the voice of angels,” said Kierrah Foundation founder and executive director Brandy Sanders.
“We are grateful that she is using her birthday concert as a way to give back through our organization,” she said.
Normandie Casino is located at 1045 W. Rosecrans Ave. in Gardena. General admission is $25. For tickets and information, visit www.kierrahevents.org or call (213) 309-9900.