America's Got Talent Singer, "Ronee Martin'' Believes That, "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number!

Updated: Feb 2


Who is Ronee Martin and where does she come from? My name is Ronee Martin and I currently reside in Los Angeles, CA. I was born Veronica "no middle name" Martin and it's very rare that I use that name. I was born and raised by my grandparents in the small town of Columbia, Virginia and it so happens to still be on the map! I have four siblings: Gail, Mike, Jackie (deceased), and Ricky. I attended Second Union Elementary School in Virginia grades 1 through 6. In my 7th year, I attended Central Elementary School and for the first two years of high school, I attended Central High School. And then with integration in 1969, I attended my sophomore, junior, and senior years at Goochland High School. After graduating from high school, I immediately moved to Washington D.C. where I lived with my mom and my stepfather. It was an easy transition since for as long as I can remember I always visited every summer and the major holidays. The city was fascinating, and I always enjoyed coming across the 14th Street Bridge where magically all of the city lights appeared! sheer excitement for me. I can re-live that same excitement every time I close my eyes to envision that moment of crossing that bridge as if it was just yesterday! My first job was at Peco in D.C. I thought after high school I was pretty grown but realized after the first job I had some more growing up to do to be really grown. My stepfather tried to encourage me to attend Howard University and I opted not to do that because, in my not so grown-up mind, I wanted to be an entertainer and travel the world. However; in 20/20 hindsight, I wish I would have taken him up on that offer while I was there in D.C. But there is joy in knowing that maybe it’s not too late...might be a little harder but, maybe never too late.

What was the most memorable moment of your career? There were so many memorable moments. Remember I came straight from the country, so everything was a big deal after that. I won't remember them all right now. But from working with the late great Van McCoy (“The Hustle”) to becoming part of the group "Destiny" that Van produced and that was the opening act for two more late greats, Aretha Franklin, and Eddie Kendricks (where were those cell phones then to get pics and selfies. Touring with Special Delivery was another great moment touring! Big times (smile). Then moving to California to record demos for Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager; Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Alan Rich, Jud Friedman, Gerry Stober, and the list goes on. My good friend Howie Rice called me in to write on a song being pitched to Gladys Knight. I jumped at the chance. Maybe even literally. Howie gave me the track and I wrote the lyrics to "This Is Love" recorded by Ms. Gladys on her "Good Woman" CD. Other writers included Ramsey Embick and BZO Cavaness. I was tickled pink and many other colors! That may have been the ultimate moment! I even recorded an album with MoJazz under Motown and even though it was never released, it was a great moment! I’m so grateful to have had an amazing a wonderful team; Michael Williams, Bruce Walker, Kenneth Crouch, Keith Crouch, Derrick Edmondson and so many others Another great moment, recording with Tom Scott, "New Orleans Knows", and also recorded an album under the late Patrick Williams, an amazing composer, musician and artist. Please check out an amazing project that I worked on earlier this year “Virtuoso Meets Soul” – Ronee Martin & Van-Anh Nguyen. I’m so proud to have worked with her. An amazing highlight! And now I'm a voting member of the Recording Academy, another tickled pink moment! Who would you say were your musical influences? My musical influences were Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, and Miss Patti LaBelle. Years ago, I did a demo for Alan Rich that he submitted to Patti LaBelle. She loved Alan's song and I believe she recorded it as well, but she sent me a handwritten note thanking me for doing a great job. I was so touched. How many shades of "tickled pink" there are? I was so touched. I still have that handwritten note. It will be framed soon.

Who would you like to perform with on stage? Oh gosh, another loaded question. I would love the opportunity to perform with Jose James. I have seen him in concert twice. I think he is phenomenal! I would love to do a duet with him! Also, would love to work with Rihanna, Adele, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Kahn. The list is long. I'll stop while for now but so many more. I would say Beyonce, but I may not be able to keep up with her on stage, she’s phenomenal! What are the things that you found most challenging in your career thus far? Looking back, I don't know if there were challenges as much as they were growing pains so to speak, at least in the beginning years. However, on this side of the years, this is when the challenges kick in. In 2016, I was on "America’s Got Talent" and that had some real challenges. Trying to juggle my 9 to 5, getting up extremely early to be camera-ready, and not knowing what the day was going to bring, being stopped by Simon Cowell on my first performance. The challenge of remaining calm but those growing pains kicked in and kept me in check or so I thought until I saw the show and then it appeared to be a “bit of a deer in headlights” moment. But I pulled through. Being on AGT was a very new, very demanding but rewarding experience. Again, 20/20 hindsight, I could do it with my eyes closed now and well maybe minus the old 9 to 5! What was your most embarrassing moment while performing live? Singing live and forgetting lyrics. And now it can happen at any time. Then you must resort to making up or replacing words. While I’m singing, in my mind I’m thinking, "Oh dear, what is the next word/line"? And I have no clue what is going to come out of your mouth. I think that is the most embarrassing thing that I've experienced performing live. One time I think I may have made up an entirely new verse! It’s important to be able to laugh at yourself.

How has Covid 19 affected musical career? It has slowed everything down quite a bit. Gigs canceled and of course, now there’s the challenge of needing to learn the latest in technology in order to create online shows, zoom meetings, sessions/recordings, you name it and I’m not so techie. It is my hope, however, that post-covid, music will come back stronger than ever! Music is a testament to life! One that is universal! What was your career before you became a singer? I was a delinquent accounting clerk, a secretary and I floated around quite a bit thinking I could balance out the time for both work and music. But I am currently working as a corporate legal assistant at an entertainment law firm for film and TV.

What opportunities would you say being on America's Got Talent afforded you? Exposure! There was so much exposure! It afforded me fans from all over the world without even leaving Los Angeles. I didn't really realize how big that show was and so now I realize what an enormous impact it can have on your career. You just have to be ready! Have your product ready, hone your skills, know what you want to do, and get ready to take on the world and the growing pains. AGT can open major doors for you, but you must be ready. I can’t say it enough. It was such a wonderful experience! And I love that I stayed friends with many of the contestants. Were you offered a record deal? Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, No. The experience itself was just as big for me. I’m concentrating on figuring out ways now of being creative and doing more things on my own. And on that note, I currently have a single out called "Strangers" written by my good friend Adam Gonzalez and his writing partner, Vinny Rivera that I'm self-promoting on many of the digital platforms. At the time that I was on the show I was 62 and I remember "Neo" saying, age ain't nothing but a number...so again, I believe it's never too late. I'll just keep moving along and who knows? Additionally, I’m working with Terry Steele, writer of “Here and Now” for Luther Vandross. We are developing a show to pay tribute to Luther and Gladys in the same show.

What advice would you give to an up-and-coming artist? Be firm in your direction and know what you want so that you can "glow" in the passion of your joy! Be prepared and be ready for the highs and the lows that "will" contribute to your successes or failures as we may see them but remember too that even failures can be turned into greatness. Again, love it so much that you "glow" in the passion of your joy and the process! And believe in yourself which will make you be true to yourself.

Who is Ronee Martin and where does she come from? My name is Ronee Martin and I currently reside in Los Angeles, CA. I was born Veronica "no middle name" Martin and it's very rare that I use that name. I was born and raised by my grandparents in the small town of Columbia, Virginia and it so happens to still be on the map! I have four siblings: Gail, Mike, Jackie (deceased), and Ricky. I attended Second Union Elementary School in Virginia grades 1 through 6. In my 7th year, I attended Central Elementary School and for the first two years of high school, I attended Central High School. And then with integration in 1969, I attended my sophomore, junior, and senior years at Goochland High School. After graduating from high school, I immediately moved to Washington D.C. where I lived with my mom and my stepfather. It was an easy transition since for as long as I can remember I always visited every summer and the major holidays. The city was fascinating, and I always enjoyed coming across the 14th Street Bridge where magically all of the city lights appeared! sheer excitement for me. I can re-live that same excitement every time I close my eyes to envision that moment of crossing that bridge as if it was just yesterday!

My first job was at PEPCO in D.C. I thought after high school I was pretty grown but realized after the first job I had some more growing up to do to be really grown. My stepfather tried to encourage me to attend Howard University and I opted not to do that because, in my not so grown-up mind, I wanted to be an entertainer and travel the world. However; in 20/20 hindsight, I wish I would have taken him up on that offer while I was there in D.C. But there is joy in knowing that maybe it’s not too late...might be a little harder but, maybe never too late.

What was the most memorable moment of your career? There were so many memorable moments. Remember I came straight from the country, so everything was a big deal after that. I won't remember them all right now. But from working with the late great Van McCoy (“The Hustle”) to becoming part of the group "Destiny" that Van produced and that was the opening act for two more late greats, Aretha Franklin, and Eddie Kendricks (where were those cell phones then to get pics and selfies. Touring with Special Delivery was another great moment touring! Big times (smile). Then moving to California to record demos for Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager; Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Alan Rich, Jud Friedman, Gerry Stober, and the list goes on. My good friend Howie Rice called me in to write on a song being pitched to Gladys Knight. I jumped at the chance. Maybe even literally. Howie gave me the track and I wrote the lyrics to "This Is Love" recorded by Ms. Gladys on her "Good Woman" CD. Other writers included Ramsey Embick and BZO Cavaness. I was tickled pink and many other colors! That may have been the ultimate moment! I even recorded an album with MoJazz under Motown and even though it was never released, it was a great moment! I’m so grateful to have had an amazing a wonderful team; Michael Williams, Bruce Walker, Kenneth Crouch, Keith Crouch, Derrick Edmondson and so many others Another great moment, recording with Tom Scott, "New Orleans Knows", and also recorded an album under the late Patrick Williams, an amazing composer, musician and artist. Please check out an amazing project that I worked on earlier this year “Virtuoso Meets Soul” – Ronee Martin & Van-Anh Nguyen. I’m so proud to have worked with her. An amazing highlight! And now I'm a voting member of the Recording Academy, another tickled pink moment!

Who would you say were your musical influences? My musical influences were Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, and Miss Patti LaBelle. Years ago, I did a demo for Alan Rich that he submitted to Patti LaBelle. She loved Alan's song and I believe she recorded it as well, but she sent me a handwritten note thanking me for doing a great job. I was so touched. How many shades of "tickled pink" there are? I was so touched. I still have that handwritten note. It will be framed soon. Who would you like to perform with on stage? Oh gosh, another loaded question. I would love the opportunity to perform with Jose James. I have seen him in concert twice. I think he is phenomenal! I would love to do a duet with him! Also, would love to work with Rihanna, Adele, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Kahn. The list is long. I'll stop while for now but so many more. I would say Beyonce, but I may not be able to keep up with her on stage, she’s phenomenal!

What are the things that you found most challenging in your career thus far? Looking back, I don't know if there were challenges as much as they were growing pains so to speak, at least in the beginning years. However, on this side of the years, this is when the challenges kick in. In 2016, I was on "America’s Got Talent" and that had some real challenges. Trying to juggle my 9 to 5, getting up extremely early to be camera-ready, and not knowing what the day was going to bring, being stopped by Simon Cowell on my first performance. The challenge of remaining calm but those growing pains kicked in and kept me in check or so I thought until I saw the show and then it appeared to be a “bit of a deer in headlights” moment. But I pulled through. Being on AGT was a very new, very demanding but rewarding experience. Again, 20/20 hindsight, I could do it with my eyes closed now and well maybe minus the old 9 to 5! What was your most embarrassing moment while performing live? Singing live and forgetting lyrics. And now it can happen at any time. Then you must resort to making up or replacing words. While I’m singing, in my mind I’m thinking, "Oh dear, what is the next word/line"? And I have no clue what is going to come out of your mouth. I think that is the most embarrassing thing that I've experienced performing live. One time I think I may have made up an entirely new verse! It’s important to be able to laugh at yourself. How has Covid 19 affected musical career? It has slowed everything down quite a bit. Gigs canceled and of course, now there’s the challenge of needing to learn the latest in technology in order to create online shows, zoom meetings, sessions/recordings, you name it and I’m not so techie. It is my hope, however, that post-covid, music will come back stronger than ever! Music is a testament to life! One that is universal! What was your career before you became a singer? I was a delinquent accounting clerk, a secretary and I floated around quite a bit thinking I could balance out the time for both work and music. But I am currently working as a corporate legal assistant at an entertainment law firm for film and TV.

What opportunities would you say being on America's Got Talent afforded you? Exposure! There was so much exposure! It afforded me fans from all over the world without even leaving Los Angeles. I didn't really realize how big that show was and so now I realize what an enormous impact it can have on your career. You just have to be ready! Have your product ready, hone your skills, know what you want to do, and get ready to take on the world and the growing pains. AGT can open major doors for you, but you must be ready. I can’t say it enough. It was such a wonderful experience! And I love that I stayed friends with many of the contestants.

Were you offered a record deal? Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, No. The experience itself was just as big for me. I’m concentrating on figuring out ways now of being creative and doing more things on my own. And on that note, I currently have a single out called "Strangers" written by my good friend Adam Gonzalez and his writing partner, Vinny Rivera that I'm self-promoting on many of the digital platforms. At the time that I was on the show I was 62 and I remember "Neo" saying, age ain't nothing but a number...so again, I believe it's never too late. I'll just keep moving along and who knows? Additionally, I’m working with Terry Steele, writer of “Here and Now” for Luther Vandross. We are developing a show to pay tribute to Luther and Gladys in the same show. What advice would you give to an up-and-coming artist? Be firm in your direction and know what you want so that you can "glow" in the passion of your joy! Be prepared and be ready for the highs and the lows that "will" contribute to your successes or failures as we may see them but remember too that even failures can be turned into greatness. Again, love it so much that you "glow" in the passion of your joy and the process! And believe in yourself which will make you be true to yourself.



To reach Ronee Martin, visit her Facebook Artist page https://www.facebook.com/RoneeMartin.Artist/



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