Shemekia Copeland

From the softest whisper to a growling, full-throated blues roar, vocalist Shemekia Copeland boasts a dynamic range and a vibrant personality that together have the music world hailing her as a diva in the making. The Boston Globe proclaims, “She roars with a sizzling hot intensity.”

Daughter of the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, Shemekia was schooled in his Texas-style blues. But her experiences growing up on the streets of Harlem have infused her music with a deeply personal touch that remains decidedly accessible.

Following the release of her debut album, Turn the Heat Up, Shemekia began receiving a long list of accolades from critics and fans alike. The Village Voice called her voice “nothing short of uncanny,” while Living Blues referred to it as “pure, beautifully unaffected and powerful.” Further praise and recognition greeted her 2000 follow-up, Wicked. A third album, Talking to Strangers, was released in September 2002.


This artist appears in Jubilee #203: Shemekia Copeland.