Terisa Griffin

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Terisa Griffin
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Birth nameTheresa "Terisa" Griffin
Genres
  • R&B
  • Urban Contemporary
  • Gospel Music
  • Soul
  • House Music
  • Jazz
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Musician
  • Producer
  • Actress
  • Philanthropist
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • Piano
LabelsMy Naked Soul Productions
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NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States of America

Terisa Griffin is an American singer, songwriter, producer and actress from Monroe, Louisiana who currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. Terisa has performed on numerous stages and screens across the world, most notably on the American television series The Voice (American TV series). She has worked with performers such as Isaac Hayes, Jeffrey Osborne, The Whispers and Frankie Beverly & Maze.[1][2]

Early Career

Terisa was born on August 25, 1969 and is the second of four daughters born to a Baptist Minister. Both parents encouraged her to begin singing in church with her sisters at young age. Her love of music continued to grow as she attended Northeast Louisiana University on a vocal scholarship. Prior to graduating, she made the decision to pursue her dreams of becoming a singer, actress and entertainer. The Midwestern city of Chicago was chosen solely by flipping a coin over a map, which landed on the state of Illinois. Finding it difficult to make ends meet after arriving in "Windy City (nickname)", Terisa lived out of her car for a while until the situation was brought to the attention of Jerry Butler, who became her mentor. She found new stability performing with him, and also began earning a living creating jingles and commercials for businesses.[3]

Terisa toured extensively as a background vocalist and has worked with many iconic entertainers including Jerry Butler, Roberta Flack, Patti LaBelle and The O'Jays prior to launching her solo career.[4][5] She is also the voice behind the Doublemint gum commercials featuring American tennis legends Venus Williams and Serena Williams.[6] In a career changing moment while singing background for Diana Ross on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2000, Terisa gained national exposure to Oprah Winfrey television audience when Diana Ross spontaneously passed her the microphone to finish "Only Love Conquers All" by Sally Jo Dakota, Preston Glass and Narada Michael Walden.[7][8][9]

Independent Productions

In 1998, Terisa released her five song debut solo album, Songbird under her label My Naked Soul Productions. The album was performed, written and produced by Terisa. She released her second album entitled My Naked Soul, in 2006 which Grammy nominated Terry Hunter co-produced.[10] Terisa ambitiously released two albums in 2011 showing different facets of her vocal styles. Soulzophrenic (Personalities of Soul) contains more Contemporary R&B songs, while Soulzophrenic (Dance) delivers more up tempo grooves, co-produced by Terry Hunter and Maurice Joshua.[11]

In 2015, Terisa’s most successful album, Revival of Soul peaked at #6 on the Billboard (magazine), #14 on the Billboard (magazine), #33 on the Billboard (magazine) Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #43 on the Billboard (magazine). Distant Lover written by by Marvin Gaye, Gwen Gordy Fuqua and Sandra Greene is one of the ten singles included.[12][13]

Terisa recorded Oh Me Oh My (I'm a Fool for You Baby), written by Jim Doris, to honor Aretha Franklin. In 2019, she received Grammy consideration for the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in several categories for the song including "Record of the Year", "Song of the Year", "Best Traditional R&B Performance", "Best R&B Song", "Best Arrangement-Instruments and Vocals" and "Best Music Video".[14]

The Voice

At the age of 42, in 2012, Terisa auditioned for NBC series The Voice (American season 3) with her rendition of Someone like You (Adele song) by Adele co-written by Dan Wilson (musician). By the conclusion of the song, during the "blind auditions", Christina Aguilera and eventually Blake Shelton turned around in their seats indicating their interest for her to join their team. After interacting with both coaches, Terisa decided to join Blake Shelton's team and they briefly sang "Let's Get It On" written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend. She was selected as one of 64 contestants who advanced to "The Battle" round to compete for a lucrative recording contract.[15][16][17]

During “The Battle” round, Terisa and competitor Julio Cesar Castillo performed Conga (song), originally sung by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, written by Enrique Garcia. Terisa was not initially chosen during "The Battle" round when Blake Shelton instead picked Julio Cesar Castillo to coach. However, she was “stolen” by CeeLo Green and thereby advanced to his team in “The Knockouts” round.[18]

During prior rehearsals, Terisa broke her ankle backstage which required her to use crutches to walk. She decided to remain in the competition and persevered through the injury as she performed in “The Knockouts” round, while wearing an orthopedic boot in front of more than twelve million viewers. As one of the remaining twenty competitors, she sang "Saving All My Love For You" made famous by Whitney Houston, which was written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin. Terisa battled against Trevin Hunte who sang "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins.[19] Ultimately Trevin, whom Terisa was mentoring, advanced to the "Live Playoffs" round.[20][21] In an obviously emotional moment, the two embraced as she wished Trevin well as he moved forward.[22][23]

Stage and Screen

In 2002, Terisa produced several "One Woman/One Voice" shows as a tribute to many legendary performers who paved the way for other women to find their own success in the entertainment industry. "Fantasy: A Tribute to the Divas of Song and Stage" was dedicated to such pioneering greats as Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughn. "Queens of R&B: A Tribute to the Queens of Rhythm and Blues" paid homage to powerhouse legends Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, and Dinah Washington. "A Tribute to Famous Song Divas" showed respect for enduring songstresses Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Phyllis Hyman, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle and Nina Simone.[24]

Terisa appeared in the 2011 independent film The Truth in which Hill Harper made his debut as a director. She composed and performed the title song for the film, “Can’t Stop Loving You”.[25]

In early 2020, Terisa began hosting a twice weekly internet cooking show "Tee Thyme" where she also sings and interacts frequently with viewers as they add comments. The show was conceived during the abrupt touring hiatus that many entertainers experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed her to continue connecting with viewers who were also quarantining. There is a forthcoming cookbook based upon recipes featured throughout the series.[26]

Philanthropy

In 2007, Terisa established the non-profit organization “Better Love Yourself, Inc. (BLY) to provide college bound students with life skills as well as supplies to help them succeed. Annually, hundreds of college freshmen in several cites across the United States including Chicago, Illinois, Cleveland, Ohio, Houston, St. Louis and her hometown of Monroe, Louisiana, have been provided with valuable knowledge along with trunks filled with necessities to begin their post-secondary experience.[27]

Personal Life

Terisa was one of several celebrities asked to pay tribute to the life of comedian Bernie Mac who passed away on August 9, 2008 in Chicago, IL. She joined other friends of Bernie Mac such as American journalist Roland Martin (journalist), comedian Cedric the Entertainer, actor Samuel L. Jackson, singer Rachelle Farrell, former Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley, radio host Tom Joyner, among others who honored the late comedian at “The House of Hope” arena.[28]

In 2012, Terisa married John Kendall, a trademark/patent attorney who co-founded the Chicago, Illinois chapter of the 100 Black Men of America. Jerry Butler walked the bride down the aisle, and the wedding was officiated by Bobby Rush with a prayer given by Jesse Jackson, Sr. Younger sisters Adrian and Anitra joined older sister Mary, a Grammy nominated singer, to sing several selections throughout the service.[29]

References

  1. "The Voice Season 3 Episodes at NBC.com" – via www.nbc.com.
  2. https://atlantadailyworld.com/2016/02/17/terisa-griffin-new-music-new-passion-and-renewed-strength/
  3. Brown, Connie (April 19, 2020). "Interview With Terisa Griffin- A Voice of Magic". www.fauxsuga.com.
  4. https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/terisa-griffin
  5. Desk, BWW News. "Jackopierce, Mariza and More on Sale at City Winery Chicago". BroadwayWorld.com.
  6. "A coin toss lands Terisa Griffin on top, in Chicago". Chicago Defender. March 24, 2009.
  7. "Terisa Griffin". SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. May 7, 2007.
  8. "Terisa Griffin". September 30, 2020.
  9. "Brandon Wright, Author at Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus". Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus.
  10. "Terisa Griffin: My Naked Soul | Soul Express Music Magazine". www.soulexpress.net.
  11. "Soulzophrenic (Personalities of Soul) (2011)". SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. July 30, 2011.
  12. "Chart Search". Billboard.
  13. "Revival of Soul (2015)". SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. November 6, 2015.
  14. "Let's Talk Too! (Singer) Terisa Griffin". BlogTalkRadio.
  15. "Meet Terisa Griffin of Team Blake on The Voice | Idol Chatter & Voice Views". October 3, 2012.
  16. "Watch The Voice Highlight: Terisa Griffin's Blind Audition: "Someone Like You" - NBC.com" – via www.nbc.com.
  17. https://tvline.com/2012/09/24/the-voice-recap-season-3-episode-6-terisa-griffin-dez-duron/#!
  18. "'The Voice' Pairs Mariachi With Soul During Battle Rounds". MTV News.
  19. Hopper, Jessica; Hopper, Jessica (October 30, 2012). "Avery Wilson Knocked Out on 'The Voice'".
  20. Etkin, Chelsey; Channel, ContributorWorks for My Damn (November 5, 2012). "'The Voice' Recap: It's Time To Get The Knockout". HuffPost.
  21. "Monday Final Ratings: 'Revolution', 'Castle', 'The Voice' & 'Dancing with the Stars' Adjusted Down - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". web.archive.org. November 1, 2012.
  22. Wightman, Catriona (October 30, 2012). "'The Voice': Knockout rounds one recap". Digital Spy.
  23. "'The Voice': Taylor Swift Songs Prove To Be Popular In The Knockout Rounds". idolator. October 30, 2012.
  24. "Music for adults who like to groove". www.commercialappeal.com.
  25. Act, Shadow and. "Hill Harper Directed Short "The Truth" To Premiere At Chicago Film Fest". Shadow and Act.
  26. "Because it's all about the T, up close and personal with Terisa Griffin". BlogTalkRadio.
  27. "Terisa Griffin's Better Love Yourself Foundation Trunk Event returns to History Museum on Sunday". St. Louis American.
  28. https://rolandsmartin.com/berniemac/
  29. "Terrisa's Wedding".

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