Deborah Allen is one of those rare artists who forged their own path to success and ended up building a world-class career in the process. An extraordinarily talented singer, songwriter, producer and performer, Deborah’s unique abilities as an artist may be matched only by her enthusiasm and creativity as an individual. It is that formidable combination of spirit and talent that keeps the Grammy-nominated entertainer in demand. With her latest album, Hear Me Now, Deborah Allen’s music remains as smart, witty and sexy as ever.
“I was born singing,” Allen asserts. “I guess it would be hard to pinpoint exactly when my career in music became a full-on pursuit, but I’d say by the time I was eighteen I was sure that music was what I wanted, and I just forged ahead. There was no Plan B in sight.”
Fortunately, after moving to Nashville, Plan A worked out in grand fashion. Although most often associated with her signature smash, “Baby I Lied,” the true measure of Deborah’s influence in contemporary music is underscored by the hit singer’s diverse radio success. Songs like “I’ve Been Wrong Before,” “I Hurt For You,” “Rock Me,” “If You’re Not Gonna Love Me,” “Wrong Side Of Love,” and “Break These Chains” are just a few of the singles that made their way up the Country, Pop or AC charts during her career.
In some ways, “Baby I Lied” confirmed the idea that an artist could have success in different formats with the same song - a precedent that would prove to be years ahead of the crossover trends of today. “Baby I Lied” not only appealed to Country and Pop radio listeners, earning multiple Million Air-Play Awards in the process, but it also resulted in a pair of Grammy nominations for the Delta songstress – one as a vocalist and one as a songwriter.
Ironically, songwriting has often been the most overlooked aspect of Deborah’s career, yet literally hundreds of artists have benefited from her abundant catalog of material. With more than 1,600 compositions published, Deborah’s songs have been recorded by a laundry list of acts, including LeAnn Rimes, Brooks & Dunn, Patty Loveless, Conway Twitty, Tanya Tucker, Janie Fricke, John Conlee, Isaac Hayes, Diana Ross, Sheena
Easton, Fleetwood Mac and more. In addition, her songs have been featured on several major motion picture soundtracks, such as Coyote Ugly, River Rat, Clinton and Nadine, as well as in River Phoenix’s final film, The Thing Called Love. For Allen, songwriting remains one of the most consistent aspects of her career and one that she insists is just as satisfying as the performance element.
“Waking up in the morning with a blank piece of paper and by sundown having a song written on it is an amazing feeling,” Allen reveals. “For me, that’s definitely one of the most rewarding parts of my career.”
And though Deborah Allen might have taught herself to become an award-winning songwriter, she was simply born a natural entertainer. The charismatic artist has toured the world numerous times and continues today to deliver engaging performances that incorporate Deborah’s inimitable sense of theater, showmanship and energy.
For her 2011 release, Hear Me Now, Deborah got to experience the best of all worlds, contributing in the songwriting, recording and production process. Allen wrote or co-wrote every song on the project, including the album’s first single, “Anything Other Than Love.” Written with award-winning BMI songwriter of the year, Gary Burr, the track came together as a traditional, yet funky country shuffle, with Deborah’s trademark vocals as vibrant as ever.
“Deborah is singing better than ever, which is saying a lot!” says Allen’s close friend, legendary CMA Hall of Fame songwriter Bobby Braddock, who produced three tracks on the album. “‘Anything Other Than Love’ is one of the best Country singles in years. It just keeps rockin' my brain!”
As expected, Hear Me Now draws from the deep well of Deborah’s Delta influences: Memphis Soul, Graceland Gospel, Delta Blues and of course, Nashville Country. As Deborah explains, Hear Me Now is an album that fits “somewhere between Memphis and Nashville.”
Even with her new album recently released, however, Deborah is quick to point out some of the other projects she is working on, including her latest discovery, Mississippi native Margaret Phillips. Since meeting in 2009, the two of them have been collaborating on material for Phillips’ debut record, which Deborah is also producing. Allen says she hopes to have the project finished and released by the end of 2011.
Throughout her phenomenal journey of hits and accomplishments in every facet of her career, Deborah Allen remains true to her vision. From her discovery by Roy Orbison, to her friendship with Shel Silverstein, her work with Prince, and her current release, Hear Me Now, Deborah creates art entirely on her own terms. With a distinguished career built on success after success as a performer, songwriter and producer, the dynamic Delta singer from Memphis, Tennessee, has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. That’s simply not Deborah Allen’s style.