Entertainer: Singer Sharon Brown will make a performance at Sybil’s Female Impersonators on October 21 and 22. *Photo supplied
Entertainer: Singer Sharon Brown will make a performance at Sybil’s Female Impersonators on October 21 and 22. *Photo supplied
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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14: Singer Sharon Brown is to make her first visit to Bermuda next week as the special guest of our island Queen.

The soul/disco diva has been invited to perform at  Sybil’s Dynamic Female Impersonators by Queen of Bermuda, Sybil Barrington, aka Mark Anderson.

“I’m excited about it,” said Ms Brown, who plans to sing her 1982 hit I Specialize in Love and a new track Thinking of You, which has been remixed and released on Traxsource.com.

She will also sing a third song Give Love A Chance, which is available on iTunes.

And giving love a chance is exactly what she will encourage Bermudians to do.

Ms Brown is also an activist who works to raise awareness of gang violence and to encourage peaceful relations in US correctional facilities through her work in the prison ministry.

At the age of 17 her brother Robert Dwayne Brown was killed while on remand by a 35-year-old cellmate accused of murdering three women.

Ms Brown said her brother died in 1972 at the Charles Street Jail, Boston, as he awaited his court hearing for breaking and entering to support his heroin habit.

“He never even made the court, he never had that chance,” she said.

“Now I speak to the kids on the street and the gangs hanging around, and friends and relatives going into prisons, to try to get the message to these men, not to turn on each other.

“We are also trying to find alternative ways to get the message to prisoners — that they are not animals and are not forgotten, but that they need to support each other and accept rehabilitation.

“I’m trying to use the platform of music via the radio and Internet, because music is the most powerful tool we have, it’s a universal language.

“I am also trying to gain access inside the prisons to hold concerts.

“We are trying to get the message of love to everyone, especially the forgotten.”

Ms Brown does not see gang violence as a problem specific to the US and Bermuda but as “a global problem”.

“I’m very concerned about gang violence and the attitude we have as a society of pointing fingers,” she said.

“It’s not a black or white thing, it’s a global problem that is spreading.

“My personal feeling is that it starts at home with parents, and so we need to teach discipline, self-love and respect for the rights of others.

“I’ve been doing some research on the situation in Bermuda, reading the Bermuda Sun online, and it is no different from anywhere else in the world.

“I feel the youth are being misled, and sometimes there are adults responsible. Parents need to take back that control.

“I am hoping that with Mark (Sybil) we can arrange a meeting or platform of some kind so I can speak about my personal experiences of gang violence to the people of Bermuda.

“I would like to meet some of the youth and community leaders, to see if I can be of any assistance and help to raise awareness.”

Ms Brown said she met Sybil through a mutual friend, her make-up artist and clothes designer Steven Lindsay.

“I’ve never visited Bermuda or seen the show so it’s going to be one big celebration for me,” she said.

Originally from Harlem, Ms Brown is the niece of songwriter Phil Medley who co-wrote Twist and Shout and the daughter of drummer William Brown, who played with The Isley Brothers and Cannonball Adderley.

She also sang backing vocals on Aretha Franklin’s 1979 album La Diva.

Ms Brown has her own music publishing company Tshaym and she performs in the New York area and Miami. She lives in New York City.

Sybil’s Dynamic Female Impersonators, City Hall Theatre, Hamilton, October 21-22, 8pm.
Tickets $65 from www.bdatix.com or Shannon’s Boutique, Windsor Place, Court Street, or $75 on the door.