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To casual observers, singer/songwriter Terrell Edwards seemed to just appear out of nowhere, breaking out with his soulful, seductive voice and clever new renditions of classic American standards. But the charismatic crooner—called “the perfect blend between Sinatra and Motown,”—has been seducing audiences around the globe for years with his unique blend of classic jazz, rhythm and blues vocals, engaging storytelling, and hours of memorable music.
There seems to be no slowing down in his future, either, as Edwards prepares his latest tour, Unforgettable—the Greatest Black Jazz and Soul Singers of All Time. A must–see tribute to legends like Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ray Charles, the show transports the audience back to the glory days of Harlem’s Apollo Theatre, and to the rise of the legendary singers who paved the way for artists like Terrell Edwards himself. More than a tribute show, Unforgettable is a Master Class in musical history and live performance, one that must be experienced live to truly appreciate.
As legend has it, Edwards had the good fortune of finding success in the music industry from the least likely of sources: Jay Leno. The comedy legend was immediately enthralled with Edwards’ soulful voice and stage swagger after catching a small, private show. Within days, Terrell and his Tri–City Rat Pack became Leno’s opening act at the Mirage Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, a gig they enjoyed for the next three years. It was during this period that Edwards, with encouragement and input from Leno, developed his homage to the classic singers who inspired him and helped bring this unlikely pairing together in the first place. It was then that Unforgettable was born.
It’s a long way from Milwaukee, although Edwards still considers the Wisconsin city his home. It was there—with the help of his gospel–singing, multi–instrumentalist father—that Edwards first embraced music and began to develop his signature style. Studying with four–time Grammy nominee Eric Benet, Edwards learned jazz saxophone, drums, and piano, all while developing his soulful, smooth voice that has become instantly recognizable to fans everywhere. After a stint with the US Navy, Edwards relocated to Atlanta, where he quickly gained a reputation as a multi–genre songwriter, penning tunes and producing hits for Pop, R&B, and Gospel artists throughout the south eastern United States. This hard work paid off, leaving Edwards with a string of Billboard hits and award nominations to his credit, as well as a demanding tour schedule that has seen him cross the continent several times over.
Despite the accolades and achievements, success hasn’t spoiled Terrell Edwards. While touring with Unforgettable, Edwards launched the Spread Love campaign, dedicated to his late father, whom he lost to Covid–19 in late 2020. It’s part of his ongoing mission to promote music as a tool to unify others and spread messages of positivity, as well as awareness of other people’s struggles. Spread Love continues a journey Edwards began in 2007 when he founded The Reach Mission Foundation, an organization that provides financial support to local youth and seniors initiatives. t’s quite the handful, but one that Edwards is happy to carry.
“You’ve got to be willing to never say never,” Edwards says of his unorthodox rise as a singer, songwriter, and show producer discovered by a famous television comedian. But it’s that attitude that has gotten Terrell the role as lead singer for Tower of Power’s long–time arranger, Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, as well as invitations from other industry legends, playing everything from intimate clubs to sold–out amphitheatres. No matter the venue, a Terrell Edwards show is always a spectacular experience, making it clear that it isn’t just the classic hits that remain so “Unforgettable”.
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