But, while in college at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, many friends encouraged Valerie to cut a demo CD and try to get jobs singing in restaurants and clubs. She found a producer on campus who recorded her voice and went on her way to the local hang-outs to try her luck. She was hired at a little Italian restaurant on campus in the winter of 1993, singing alongside a piano player, to hungry restaurant patrons. Soon after, she moved back home to Northwest Indiana to begin writing and recording.
Her debut CD was recorded in Gary, Indiana at the former "Blue Star Recording Studios", home to such recording artists as The Chi-Lites, and other late 60's groups. Her career took off immediately, performing in Northwest Indiana, Michigan and Chicago. Her first major show in Chicago was opening up for Country Music superstar, Tracy Lawrence, with her band "The Lawless Riders". Country music was her passion then and she pursued it with a vengeance, even making a trip to Nashville to meet with producers to map out her career path.
But, Valerie is a free spirit and always had a love for a variety of styles of music. So, she set on her way to sing Rock, Pop and R & B. Throughout the 90's, she opened shows for Peabo Bryson, Sophie B. Hawkins, Evelyn Champagne King, Kristine W., Lea DeLaria, as well as comedians Margaret Cho and Judy Tenuta.
During this time, she was the headlining act at the Trump Casino in Gary, Indiana and was internationally televised during a performance for the mayor of Chicago celebrating the opening of the Chicago River Tourism. In 2001, Valerie moved to San Diego, California. While there, she performed at many venues and was nominated two years in a row for the coveted "Entertainer of the Year Nicky Award". One night while in San Diego, Valerie was invited to the closing party of the filming of the movie "Master and Commander" where she ended up spending the entire evening with actor Russell Crowe, who raved about her voice.
Currently, Valerie lives and works in Las Vegas. She has graced the covers of magazines and performed at such venues as the Riviera Hotel & Casino, the Orleans, Mirage and Caesar's Palace. Passionate, seductive, yet, girl-next- door appeal. THIS IS VALERIE JAMES! Read more on Last.fm.
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