Denise LaSalle, singer, songwriter
Singer ~ Songwriter
birth name: Ora Denise Allen

Denise LaSalle

July 16, 1939, LeFlore County, MS

Unlike so many other blues vocalists who just reinterpret material given to them by songwriters, Denise LaSalle is a seriously talented songwriter. Although her soul blues style has strong urban contemporary overtones at times, it's best to think of LaSalle as a modern-day Bessie Smith, because that's really what she is. She writes funny songs full of sassy attitude and it's an attitude she carries with her on-stage. ~ Allmusic: Denise LaSalle ~ retrieved April 13, 2014 © Allmusic

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July 16, 2005 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (5) The Black Eyed Peas, Don't Phunk With My Heart ~ #2 (4) Gwen Stefani, Hollaback Girl ~ #1 (1) Mariah Carey, We Belong Together


After moving to Chicago in her teens, she began writing songs and scored the first of many self-penned hits in 1971 with the No. 1 R&B single ‘Trapped By a Thing Called Love.’ LaSalle’s direct and often provocative style on stage also led to great success as a live performer. Denise LaSalle achieved success not only as a recording artist and performer but also as a songwriter, producer, record label owner, and nightclub operator. Ora Denise Allen spent her early years on a plantation and around age seven or eight moved with her family moved to Belzoni, where they lived in homes on Cain and Hayden streets. In the late 1940s she saw bluesmen Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson II performing on radio programs broadcast from the Easy Pay furniture store downtown. She sang in church as a child and after moving to Chicago in her mid-teens worked with the gospel group The Sacred Five. At fifteen Allen sold stories to the magazines Tan and True Confessions. Soon thereafter she began writing songs and changed her professional name to “LaSalle” because it “sounded French.” ~ Mississippi Blues Trail: Denise LaSalle ~ retrieved April 13, 2014 © Mississippi Blues Trail

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