Ep. 22 Paulette McWilliams (Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan)

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Paulette McWilliams has recorded and/or toured with the likes of Luther Vandross, Bette Midler, Marvin Gaye, Celine Dion, Lauryn Hill, LL Cool J, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Ray Parker Jr., Billy Idol, Michael Buble, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Irene Cara, Johnny Mathis – just to name a few! Paulette chats about her journey into music, what makes a great background singer, and how to stay focused while on the winding road of a singing career. Pour yourself a nice tall drink and settle in for this wisdom packed interview, folks!



  1. A good background singer has mastered the art of blending. You have to emulate tone (of the lead singer), their vowel sound, you have to be mindful of pitch,
  2. You have to give the producer and the lead singer what they want.
  3. A great background singer let’s go of his or her ego.
  4. It’s all about the law of attraction and keeping your dream in your sight.
  5. Keep your eyes on the prize and the prize is you. Keep your focus on yourself and what you’re supposed to be doing and don’t let anyone dissuade you from whatever it is.
  6. You have to be versatile. You have to be confident that you are a vocalist that can sing whatever the job is calling you for.
  7. Get out of your head and follow your heart.

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Special thanks to Paulette for joining us this week!

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