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Yahzarah Biography

YahZarah broke into the music industry alongside Erykah Badu, whom she sung backup for on Mama's Gun, and in turn established herself as a solo artist in a similar vein, releasing a couple independent albums during the early 2000s. Born Dana Williams in Washington, D.C., YahZarah (whose name loosely means "Queen Mother is the brightest star" -- itself a tribute to her deceased grandmother from Ghana) was greatly influenced as a child by soul greats like Tina Turner, Prince, Chaka Khan, George Clinton, and Minnie Riperton, as well as the music of the church. She went on to study music at both the Duke Ellington School of Music and North Carolina Central University, and got her break into the industry alongside Badu, who featured Williams on the Mama's Gun album and tour. Following this experience, Williams took on the YahZarah moniker and went solo, releasing a pair of underground albums: Hear Me (released by Keo Music) and Blackstar (Three Keys). As a performer, she's shared the stage with such prominent artists as Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker, and she's opened shows for many more, including Earth, Wind & Fire, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry, Rahsann Paterson, and R. Kelly. ~ Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide

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