Denise KingView in iTunes
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Influenced by Nancy Wilson, Marlena Shaw and Sarah Vaughan, Denise King is an expressive, big-voiced singer who combines jazz with elements of R&B, blues and gospel. King was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she was exposed to R&B as a child and discovered jazz at 12 thanks to an uncle who was an avid record collector. After graduating from high school, the Philadelphian entered the medical field and earned her living as a technician and a family-planning counselor. King was in her early 30s when she started doing club gigs around Philly, and eventually, she became a full-time singer. Though she's no stranger to standards, one of King's strong points has been her ability to provide jazz interpretations of rock and soul hits -- in fact, she has turned everything from Santana's "Evil Ways" to Ruby & the Romantics' "Our Day Will Come" into swinging acoustic jazz. King started recording in the 1990s, offering Live In Japan: I Remember You in 1993, Now Ain't That Love in 1996 and Simply Mellow in 1997. ~ Alex Henderson