“On that day,
everything changed”

Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune

“My dad sees me sitting in the audience, and he starts to play that song,” remembers Shemekia. “And I was just scared to death, because I said ‘Oh, my God, he’s going to call me up onstage.’ That’s exactly what he did.”

On that day, everything changed, starting with her name.

“I was born Charon,” she says. “Shemekia is my middle name. So my parents always fought over which one should be the first or the second. In school, I was Charon; at home I was Shemekia. But that day, he said, ‘I’m going to bring up my daughter, Miss Shemekia Copeland.’”

Her career was on.

The Los Angeles Times published Howard Reich’s feature “The making of powerhouse blues prodigy Shemekia Copeland, grown up and with a voice all her own.”

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times