Best Singer: Keeshea Pratt
Keeshea Pratt had almost given up on music. A transplant from Mississippi, she said she considered herself too old to compete with music’s up and comers until getting a fresh start in Houston. Less than two years ago she put together a blues band, one with a sound big enough to uphold her colossal and expressive voice. How good is her voice? It’s the linchpin of an act that advanced from Houston, after mere months as a band, to represent the city at the 2018 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. It’s so good it bested vocalists from more than 200 global acts in the 34th annual blues competition. Combined with a sizzling stage presence that can recall Anita Baker’s sultriness one moment and Tina Turner’s fervor the next, Pratt possesses a winning formula.
One of her IBC competitors was Oregon’s Rae Gordon, an award-winning blues singer in her own right. Recently she visited Houston and broke down Pratt’s power to an attentive audience.
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"I was there watching her steal the show from every single person in all the world," Gordon said. "You guys should be proud, Houston proud. She won against the world."
Readers' Choice: Kam Franklin