If you’ve ever wondered if it’s too late to start a new professional chapter in your life, meet American song writer and jazz vocalist René Marie. She didn’t begin her professional singing career until the age of 42 and, as one famous song goes, she did it “her way.”
Although she has had enjoyed much commercial success, Marie has also made a name for herself by breaking the mold, starting with writing her own songs or adapting others. She garnered attention in 2008 when, singing the Star-Spangled Banner at an event, she substituted lyrics from the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This version also appears on her 2011 CD, “The Voice of My Beautiful Country.” Once, when a club manager complained that she was performing too many original songs, she responded with a new original song called “This is for Joe.” She has written songs full of social commentary, such as “This not a Protest Song,” aimed at homelessness, and “3 Nooses Hanging,” in response to racial problems in Louisiana. She recorded a CD called Black Lace Freudian Slip, where the majority of the tracks are her originals songs, as well as a duet written by her son, Michael Croan.
Marie took her voice and her artistry one step further when she wrote, produced and performed in a one-woman show titled “Slut Energy Theory,” which traces her journey from sexual abuse victim to the recapturing of her self-esteem. For the past 17 years, she has proudly followed her own drum beat and her brave and beautiful voice has been heard loud and clear.
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