Singer, Songwriter, Entrepreneur, & Social Activist, Shelby Johnson-Allen or as Prince dubbed her “Shelby J.” is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. She is the CEO of Blackgypsy Enterprises. Her company specializes in spreading positive messages through recorded Music, Books, Art & Live Performances. The core messages being Love & Light. Shelby has performed with some of the greatest talent in recorded music history. She has toured & recorded Nationally & Internationally with her band Blackgypsy, Groove Theory, Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton, D’Angelo, Santana, Larry Graham & her current band leader & mentor PRINCE! In 2000 she became the lone female member of D’Angelo’s band, “The Soultronics” performing with him in the highly acclaimed “Voodoo Tour” alongside close friend and Grammy Award winning R&B sensation Anthony Hamilton. In early 2003 Shelby collaborated, performed and toured with jazz trumpeting great, Roy Hargrove (Verve Records) and is the featured vocalist and co-writer of the tune “How I Know,” on his Grammy nominated CD “The RH Factor.” That same year Shelby became the voice of Kmart’s National “Right Here, Right Now” ad campaign. Thanks to Shelby’s soulful vocals, this is one of the most successful & recognizable retail ad campaigns for the company to date.
Next up for the vocal master, a stint with Jamie McLean, performing both live dates & in the studio recording of the debut cd “This Time Around.” She then toured with Martin Luther (Rebel Soul Music) & is featured with him on many VH-1 Unplugged videos. Shortly after, she joined Anthony Hamilton’s 2006 “Ain’t Nobody Worryin’ Tour”. Shelby also was a featured vocalist on Anthony Hamilton’s “Change Your World Tour” with Santana. Shelby J. continued on her solo journey and in the fall of 2006 was asked to join the legendary bassist Larry Graham (Sly& the Family Stone, Graham Central Station) for shows at Prince’s 3121 Club in Las Vegas.
The rest as they say is history!
In late 2006, Shelby began performing as part of Prince’s band the NPG in Las Vegas. Shelby J. took to the field at the 2007 Superbowl Halftime Show with Prince & later rocked the European scene in the history making concert series, “21 Nights in London” @ the O2 arena. Shelby J. can be heard singing her heart out on the Prince track, “Chelsea Rodgers” (Planet Earth) & on “Misty Blue” & “Baby Luv”(Indigo Nights/21 Nights book& cd). Shelby J. is entering her 7th year as a member of Prince’s All-Star band the New Power Generation. Prince states, “2013 will BE BIG!!” Shelby is ready for all the excitement the future holds! She is currently recording songs for her much anticipated & very 1st solo album scheduled for release in Spring 2013. Or as Shelby says… “The album will be droppin… when the Flowers R Poppin’!”
The 1st single “North Carolina” featuring Anthony Hamilton and produced by Prince was released on 12-12-12 and skyrocketed to #1 on Amazon’s Neo-Soul/R&B chart & has remained in the top 20!! Go Shelby!!! Download your copy today on Amazon.com, iTunes.com or CdBaby.com. Shelby is writing & arranging songs for her upcoming solo debut with fellow North Carolinian writer/producer Darron “Tripp” Thomas (Media1Music), & writer/producer Butter (Bread-n-Butter Productions) of New York, Lew Taylor, her very 1st bandleader, of Lynchburg Virginia & the one and only PRINCE!
Shelby is happily married to fellow Greensboro native Levern Allen III. Together with his parents Cecelia & Levern Jr., they operate BEZINGY Inc. a local North Carolina Apiary supplying delicious All natural Wildflower Honey& honey products. Check them out at www.bezingy.com. The Sky is the limit for this bright, rising star. Performing is Shelby’s life mission! She is using her platform and voice to encourage people to shine & reach their full God-given potential.