SongVault Artist Profile


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Hot Springs
AR, United States

Country / Contemporary Country

Listen to Petrella
She stimulates, intoxicates, and rocks around the clock. The first Lady of Country Soul returns with a new CD full of Torch, Twang and Bluesy Spirit. Imagine Tina Turner singing Country music. Now, stretch that image to imagine a voice that goes beyond this by blending roots, soul and R&B into a fresh, intuitive and well-written country music..that is Petrella's ground-breaking new CD entitled ONE HUNDRED PROOF WOMAN. In the whole world of Country and Soul, there are plenty of acts that sell hundreds of thousand (even millions) of units; but there is none that blend pure soul with country as well as Petrella. Dubbed "a true vocal power house who will lead you to believe that every song is sung by a completely different person" by Matt Yeager of the Morning News, Petrella's style melds hints of Aretha Franklin, Patsy Cline, Macy Gray and - yes - Tina Turner into a beautiful, versatile sound all her own.

As the first female African-American country artist in the US, Petrella has caused a sensation since the release of her debut disc - COUNTRYVERSIAL - in 1993. Pioneering a new form of country flavored with soul, gospel and roots accents, Petrella landed on the cover of the respected industry trade publication CASHBOX in 1994, and has never looked back. Her single "I Found Somebody" spent 14 weeks on the national Top 100 Country Singles Chart (peaked #52, two spots above Shania Twain, and 13 spots above Dolly Parton), followed by "Blues Stay Away from Me" (peak #68, with a music video being shown coast to coast from California to South Carolina). Famed recording artist/songwriter Brenda Russell even wrote a tune for Petrella, "When the Night Rolls In." She has been nominated for New Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Performer of the Year by a variety of music industry organizations and publication between 1994-2004 including Nashville Tracker magazine and the Tennessee Songwriters Association.
Petrella has six nationally distributed albums to her credit including COUNTRYVERSIAL (1993), PAPA DID A RAINDANCE (2001), FIND A CURE (2002), HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (2003) WALK AROUND HEAVEN (2004), DREAMS OF THE HEARTLAND and the brand new 100 PROOF WOMAN. She has shared her music live in front of huge crowds such as the Country Music Fan Fest held in Pomona, California; been showcased on Ernest Tubb's Midnight Jamboree in Nashville, Tennessee; and appeared in more intimate settings like college cultural centers and auditoriums. She has shared stages with Gladys Knight, Tracy Lawrence, and others.
In 2003, she received the Golden Microphone Award at the Airplay International King Eagle Awards. In 2004, Petrella performed live at the King Eagle Awards show, where she received the Producer's Choice Award. Later that year, she hosted the fourth annual D.A.T.'s B.A.D. gala "Showtime at the Horner", honoring the Charitable Christian Medical Clinics, as well as appeared in concert at venues throughout the South and Midwest (including Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas).
Petrella was born and raised in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and would have been a classmate of President Bill Clinton in the schools had been integrated. She grew up singing in church and when asked why she chose country music, explains “I didn’t choose country music; it chose me. I came from the country…it is a part of who I am”.
Petrella also donates her time and performs at many benefits and at charitable institutions such as the National Conference of the Lupus Foundation of America, the Pantage Theatre on behalf of the Long Beach (CA) Veterans Administration, the Pasadena (CA) Senior Citizens Center, and was a participant in the 2002 Winter Olympics Torch Relay.
“Her music is a marriage of gospel, country, soul, and roots rock. And it is beautiful. Her vocals are well trained and focus on creating full fledged harmony. The songs are well written, masterful looks at country and soul and their common bridge.
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