Meet Daneen Wilburn, San Diego based singer. She’s known for her trademark tone and gospel sound, which can be traced back to her roots in gospel music, and for daring to dream big. By age seven, Daneen was the lead singer of the family band, and by the time she turned 19, she was singing at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, along with some of gospel music’s top names, including Edwin Hawkins, Darryl Coley, and Ricky Grundy.
After a 20 year hiatus during which she married and started a family, Daneen triumphantly returned to music, and has opened for Graham Nash of Crosby Stills and Nash, Credence Clearwater Revival, and sang background for music legends like The Pointer Sisters. In 2018, she released her debut, self titled album, produced by Grammy winner Kamau Kenyatta, who says, “When Daneen sings, you will believe every word.”
We recently had a one on one during which we talked about motherhood and its influence on professional singing. Here are the main points from that interview.
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On the pandemic and its effect on artists
Being a spiritual person, Daneen believes there’s a bigger message, something to be learned out of all of this, even if it’s just to put your trust in God, or whichever higher power you believe in.
On how she came to the decision to step away from her singing career and start a family
“I don’t know that I purposely decided,” she says, “It just developed that it wasn’t possible.” She says she did try to record from time to time, but it just didn’t happen for her. But no matter how much she tried to ignore it, she still felt the urge to sing professionally. “The world cannot live without music. Music is so healing,” she says. Daneen believes there’d be more healing if there were more ways for people to enjoy the arts.
On balancing between a music career and motherhood
Everybody has to make the decision that’s right for them when it comes to balancing your music career and motherhood. Some people step aside for a while, and others juggle being moms with work. The advantage with music is if you do decide to set it aside, it will still be there for you when you come back. Daneen believes artistes shouldn’t feel that motherhood spells the end for their ambitions to put their music out into the world, saying, “God knew that we were gonna have kids, and He still gave us that gift. He couldn’t have wanted us to have to choose [between the two].”
On the pride that being able to pull off a successful musical performance brings
We both agree that one of the greatest payoffs for sticking to your music career is the look in your children’s faces when they see you perform on stage. Speaking personally, I know I want my daughters to see who I really am, and the things that form an integral part of me, which in this case is music. I want them to know there are many possibilities out there that they can take advantage of.
On how she got back into music
She credits her brother, Micah Whiteley, for getting her back into professional music. He invited her to sing with him in a Sunday jazz gig at Bing Crosby in San Diego, and which developed into a routine that attracted audiences. Eventually, her big moment came when she started doing the gig as a solo act, which led to her recording her album. She says it took this quote by Marianne Williamson to get her believing that she could make it on her own. “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
Your Next Step
If you know you’ve got what it takes but don’t know where to start, I’d love to help. In my vocal coaching practice, we work on both your strategy and your craft. Contact me here to work with me.
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Hi! I’m Danielle Tucker – singer, vocal coach, and lead vocalist of The Mighty Untouchables band.
Throughout my 20-year career, I’ve equally enjoyed singing country, rock, pop, gospel, and jazz. Today, I’m a professional singer/songwriter available for solo performances, studio recording, and lead vocalist of San Diego-based band The Mighty Untouchables. I also offer vocal coaching to both solo artists and groups through my own studio. I’ve crafted a rewarding vocal career, and it’s my great pleasure to bring music to others through private bookings, performing with my band, or helping others to grow more confident in their own vocal gifts. Thanks for visiting my site I’m honored that you’d like to get to know me!