With a unique musical perspective, intimate voice and prolific treasure-trove of lyrics, singer-songwriter Brenda Russell proves that a truly glowing talent only deepens with time. Composer of the classics “Get Here,” “If Only For One Night,” and the Grammy-nominated “Piano In The Dark,” Brenda’s songwriting prowess and chameleon-like ability to shift between musical genres and combine styles trumpeted ovations in 2005 with the opening of the Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical The Color Purple–a show for which she, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray co-wrote the music and lyrics. Brenda and her co-authors were also nominated for a 2007 Grammy in the Best Musical Show Album category for the original cast album.
From its opening night in December 2005, The Color Purple became a seminal presence on The Great White Way as one of the 2006’s top grossing shows. In 2007 the musical built on its big first year by adding American Idol winner Fantasia to take over the lead role of Celie from Tony Winner LaChanze and by opening its much-anticipated touring company in Chicago in April of 2007 with Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child in the role of Shug. While Fantasia earned rave reviews from New York critics for her performance, the equity touring company spread the Purple gospel in cities nationwide through February 2010 ending its run at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles with Fantasia reprising her critically acclaimed role. Now, the non-equity company is carrying the torch in the US while shows are being developed in other territories. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and presented by Oprah Winfrey, The Color Purple’s story spans a 30-year period in the life of its female African American protagonist Celie through music that blends jazz, blues and gospel of the early and mid 1900s with the writers’ pop sensibilities creating a show and soundtrack brimming with emotion, authenticity and memorable songs. Most recently, The Color Purple had its second run on Broadway in 2015 as a revival. In 2017, the show received two Tony awards: "Best Revival of a Musical" and "Best Actress" for Cynthia Erivo’s role as Celie Harris.