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Danielia Cotton (born September 24, 1967) is an American rock singer, songwriter and guitarist from Hopewell, New Jersey. Danielia comes from a musical family. She is the daughter of jazz vocalist Wenonah Brooks and the niece of jazz vocalists Jeannie Brooks and Carol Brooks-Meyners. She is married to Sam Roberts, a New York-based attorney with Legal Aid.
Cotton was raised in the small western New Jersey town of Hopewell, New Jersey, population 2,010. She was raised, along with three siblings, by her African American/Native American/Caucasian mother, yet never met her Puerto Rican father. A jazz singer by avocation, her single mom supported the family doing accounting work. When Danielia was 12 years old, her mom gave her an acoustic guitar, a prescient move designed to help a daughter find an emotional and creative outlet. She also started harmonizing with her mom and her aunts in a gospel group, the Brooks Ensemble Plus. Growing up as one of only seven black kids in Hopewell Valley Central High School, she was not exposed to R&B and hip-hop. Along with her growing love for rock, Danielia developed a warm appreciation for jazz and gospel. Danielia wound up at the top of her high school class, the first to graduate from the New Jersey School of Performing Arts. Her powerful vocal skills earned her a full scholarship to Bennington College, a storied - and costly - school where the arts were emphasized. Danielia chose to pursue acting there, eventually spending most of her senior year at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She doubled up on credits, so she could still study music, taking tutorials with avant garde jazz trumpeter-professor Bill Dixon, who, she says, "really trained my ear." Acting has had a serious effect on Danielia as shown every time she performs, commanding onstage and off, a natural raconteur as well as a singer.
In 2005 Danielia released her debut album Small White Town (title inspired by Hopewell). Although Danielia is not a fan of comparisons, she was soon earning them after her debut album with such titans as Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, and the Rolling Stones. WXPN/Philadelphia and home of the nationally syndicated World Café named her "Artist to Watch", slotted the album's soulful single "It's Only Life" into heavy rotation, and featured her on their HDNetwork broadcast of On Stage at World Café Live. Extensive national touring followed. Not too long after, Danielia's second studio album Rare Child, released May 20, 2008, was ranked in the top ten albums downloaded on iTunes during its first week of release. On July 7, 2009, Danielia released the LP "Live Child", a companion piece to her 2008 studio album, "Rare Child". This riveting document of her live set won the 9th Annual Independent Music Award for the 'Best Live Album' and 'Live Performance Album Vox Pop' for the album "Righteous People". Throughout her career, Danielia has played in clubs and festivals around the country, and has opened for some of the biggest names in rock, R&B and blues including the Allmans, B.B. King, Derek Trucks, Bon Jovi, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Robert Cray.
Danielia Cotton - Lead vocals, electric and acoustic rhythm guitars, songwriter,
Marc Copely - Lead guitar, backing vocals,
Winston Roye - Bass,
John Clancy - drums