by APRIL LEWIS Cascade A&E Feature Writer
Musical artist and performer Shannon Bex is going solo and has released a new EP called I’m a Woman, featuring her “rhythmic country” sound accompanied with the guitar, bass, keys, drums/percussion and the banjo, showcasing a modern mix of R&B with roots of southern soul. Her breakout success as an entertainer derived from her being a contestant and first runner up on the NBC reality show Fame in 2003. From that success Bex was then chosen by Bad Boy records President Sean “Diddy” Combs to appear on the MTV hit reality show Making the Band.
On Making the Band in 2004 Bex became a member of the multi-platinum selling female group Danity Kane, producing an impressive record of musical hits such as Damaged and Showstopper, placing them in the Guinness World of Records as the first female group in Billboard history to debut two consecutive albums at the top of the charts. With the band, Bex toured with Christina Aguilera and also headlined the Danity Kane “Dollhouse” tour.
Leading to her TV stardom, Bex credits her lyrical experience as a Portland Blazer dancer, where she began to sing in front of audiences as well as doing dance performances. She also performed with a cover band from Portland, called the 5 Guys Named Moe, singing various soul, rock n’ roll and retro dance hits from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The highlight of her career is “anytime I can be on the stage,” says Bex of her performing passion. As a dancer and a performer at heart, Bex knew as a young girl she wanted to be an entertainer and loves connecting with her audience.
As a solo vocal artist Bex has been spending time in Nashville “to pay her dues,” to show she can do the hard work it takes to be in the entertainment business. Her musical influences include Garth Brooks, the Judds and Maroon 5 to name a few. She would like to pay homage to her fan base from the days of Danity Kane, showcasing the R&B tunes but ultimately wants to illustrate her soulful roots in country music. She wrote four of the songs featured on her EP while the fifth track Damaged, was written by Sean Combs from her days with Danity Kane.
Bex was recently on the red carpet at the 46th Annual CMA Awards after touring for her new EP. As a solo artist, her current challenge is to make a different connection in the entertainment business and to cross over, branding herself as a country artist. She looks forward to opportunities to tour, to open for headliner shows. From her experience she has learned from performances with Danity Kane, Bex is creating her own brand in the musical industry.
Coming from the red carpet to home to her barn in Central Oregon is a bit of “a shell shock,” but Bex loves to come home to Central Oregon where she grew up. She looks forward to getting back to work in Nashville after the holidays and to continue to promote her solo project I’m a Woman.