Soulful Songstress Cheryl Pepsii Riley Celebrates Ten Years of Touring Success with Tyler Perry
Madea may have a job – as evidenced by the success of the latest play, “Madea Gets A Job” in Tyler Perry’s popular stage play franchise – but Cheryl Pepsii Riley has a career. That’s because Riley’s role as Carla Montgomery in the latest Madea escapade marks almost ten years that the soulful songstress has performed as a mainstay in Tyler Perry’s many endeavors. And with vocals that simmer and soar throughout the theatre, the audiences couldn’t be happier about it.
Riley, who first burst on the music scene in the late ’80′s with her torching classic “Thanks for My Child,” has been able to steadily build her fan base via several ventures, including an independent CD release “Let Me Be Me.” But her inclusion in over ten Tyler Perry productions, including stage plays, DVD releases, film cameos and soundtrack credits, has served to solidify her as one of soul and gospel music’s legendary voices.
The native New Yorker from Brooklyn holds down a solid base on her home front as well. She is also celebrating five successful years at New York’s legendary Village Underground with her own homegrown vehicle, the “Back in the Day, Black Velvet Painting, Blue Lights in da Basement, Musicians and Singers Jam” night. More simply known as “Black Velvet Mondays,” the showcase attracts singers, songwriters and musicians from around the world who drop in to grace the stage. The showcase streams live athttp://www.TheVillageUnderground.com and bridges the gap between the old school and new school as artists and musicians come to perform, network and inspire.
Dedicated to regularly making her way to the club between her busy touring schedule, Riley produces and hosts the event every Monday. In addition to hosting and producing however, she is known for dropping pearls of wisdom in the midst of her Monday night events for aspiring artists.
“I originally started ‘Black Velvet Mondays’ because of the things I had to learn on my own, things no one told or showed me. I just wanted to share information as well as provide a positive and safe atmosphere for the up and coming musicians and singers who are striving to hone their crafts. My vision was to help other artists along the way. I always say God gave me this gift, not just for the entertainment of it all, but to continue to live my purpose here on earth,” reveals Riley, who hopes to write a book featuring her advice gems.
In “Madea Gets A Job” Riley’s character is the chief administrator of a senior citizen home. Single and experiencing man troubles, Madea’s motherly advice guides her to her true love. Her show stopping performances of “All I Want is Love” and “Dr. Feelgood” are highlights of the production.
“I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for Tyler Perry. I have not only seen our audiences grow and grow, but I have watched him literally build an empire, right before our eyes. He absolutely inspires and motivates all of us around him to do the same for ourselves! As a performer, there is no greater joy than interacting with the audience. Having consistently worked with Tyler Perry for almost a decade now has been a tremendous experience. Top that with my showcase event on Monday’s, as well as my own Cheryl Pepsii Riley shows and projects, and all I can say is that I am humbled and thankful for the many blessings,” cites Riley.
Photo Credit for Cheryl Pepsii Riley: Steven Williams
Image of Cheryl Pepsii Riley and Tyler Perry: Courtesy of Cheryl Pepsii Riley
Image of Cheryl Pepsii Riley on stage: Darius Booker
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