ELISABETH WITHERSKnown for her Tony nominated vibrant and electrifying portrayal as Shug Avery in the original Broadway cast of Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Color Purple.
Withers thrilled audiences with her Tony nominated Broadway performance, and strummed listeners’ heart-chords with her soul-tingling E1 Records Debut album, No Regrets, but it’s her off-stage role as mother, mentor, wife, daughter, friend, and humanitarian that takes center stage. “This program (Too Beautiful) is so personal for me,” explains Withers introspectively. “My life has been moving at such a fast pace since The Color Purple and the hectic promotional tour for my album, is very demanding. But when I go from city to city and look in the eyes of these kids, as a mom, my heart is drawn to them. Then, they become friends on Facebook and Twitter asking advice from what to major in school to boyfriends & family issues. One girl actually asked me which make-up I used and how to put on lipstick.” Elisabeth says with a humble smile. “So I feel an obligation to them to be the best I can be as my mentors were for me.”
Having graduated from Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music where she studied voice, piano and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in music composition, and contemporary songwriting. She later moved to New York, earning what few singers accomplish, a Masters in Fine Arts at New York University. From there Withers began working as a background singer for artists like Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Luther Vandross, Erykah Badu, and R. Kelly. Withers was even flown to England to take center stage at Paul McCartney’s wedding to Heather Mills and insisted she be flown back later that week to debut as a “Vowell” on the PBS Special, Between The Lion, which encourages literacy for children. “Music is a funny thing, it can make you laugh & cry, it can make you learn and uplift.” says Elisabeth. And uplift is what the Too Beautiful Program does!