SongVault Artist Profile
California, United States
Soul / Smooth Jazz
Ray Charles didn’t need to meet singer Tracey Whitney to know she was his ideal back-up vocalist. Called to audition for The Genius of Soul’s backing group The Raylettes, Tracey left her demo tape behind when Charles couldn’t make their meeting. Later that afternoon, his management phoned to say she’d landed the gig. “Ray just listened to my tape and said, ‘She’s got it,’” Tracey recalls. “Four days later, I was onstage singing with him at the Hollywood Bowl.”
Luckily, Tracey was no stranger to the stage. At age 11, she debuted at the famed Coconut Grove in Los Angeles as a member of The Whitney Family, a group that included her mother and seven brothers and sisters. For more than a decade, the Los Angeles-based singing sensations toured the world, recorded albums, and made guest appearances on numerous TV shows. “My parents were both singers, and all of their eight kids came out singing,” she says. After leaving the family band, she continued performing locally and even spent five years singing in Japan.
On her solo debut, Love… A Fable in 9 Acts, her rich, sultry voice seduces and soothes, revealing her lifelong vocal mastery but never turning showy or self-indulgent. A return to the soulful love songs of yesteryear, the Jazz-infused record celebrates romance and turns heartache into hope, prompting even the most jaded listener to believe in love again. It’s a classic and timeless approach to songwriting that Tracey makes fresh and extraordinary with her infectious devotion to romance.
Although she has spent the last two years in the studio working on Love… a Fable, her heart still belongs to the stage! Tracey is an outstanding performer in the style of yesteryear – one who delivers Soul, Jazz Standards and Pop vocal stylings equally. She has performed in nightclubs and hotels throughout Southern California and performed a solo nightclub act in Tokyo, Yokohama and Tokushima Japan for 5 years.