ON COURSE FOR THE STRATOSPHERE OF THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD
From Shady Grove to “The Color Purple,” The White House and Beyond
VirLinda Stanton is “Tyler’s Golden Rose.”
After having a day proclaimed after her, a street named in her honor and performing at the White House before President Barack Obama – all within one year – what more homage can become bestowed on VirLinda Stanton, this proud East Texas gal? As Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre say, wait until “the next episode;” it’s just a matter of time before we see more greatness rise from VirLinda.
The list of 5-star performances by VirLinda from all over the country are now too numerous to count, excelling in anything and everything she’s encountered, leaving her voiceprints, fingerprints and footprints all over the country and parts of the world to be vividly remembered. Her performances include:
VirLinda’s film credit included a role in “Gallows Road”, starring Kevin Sorbo, Ernie Hudson and Grover Coulson, directed by Bill McAdams, Jr. Supporting Actress in Fred Hammonds, “The Choir”.
VirLinda’s television credits include roles in ABC Sitcom “Fresh Off The Boat,” “Under One Roof,” with James Earl Jones, an appearance on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” and performing with George Clinton on KDFW-TV’s “Good Day.” She has earned special recognition for singing her version of the “National Anthem’s Star Spangled Banner” at numerous NFL, NBA, WNBA and Major League Baseball games.
Playing Church Lady Darlene and Shug Avery (us) in Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple national tour;
Leading a 2-hour performance at the December 23, 2011 Christmas program at THE WHITE HOUSE, performing before President Obama;
Performing as Rafiki and Nala in Disney’s stage musical version of The Lion King;
Performing with Roz Ryan (“Amen”) and singer Freda Payne (“Band of Gold”) in Blues in the Night;
Playing the Clio in Disney’s Hercules The Musical and providing vocals in Tarzan and Toy Story;
Performing as the guest soloist and Praise Dancer at the International Women’s Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa;
Playing Mary in Black Nativity; Harriet Tubman in the stage production, A Cry for Help;
Featured Actress & Singer in Somebody’s Gotta Go, co-starring acclaimed TV actor and vocalist Countess Vaughn (Kim Parker in “The Parkers” and “Moesha”) and national recording gospel artist Carolyn Traylor. Opening for iconic artists and personalities such as Dottie Peoples, The Temptations, The Whispers, The Barkays, Hezekiah Walker and others; and being an NFL and NBA cheerleader.
“A lot of people said ‘you can’t do this’ and ‘you can’t do that.’ I took all of those ‘can’ts’ and made it ‘I can,’” said VirLinda. “I was a strong believer; I never used the word ‘can’t’ growing up. ‘Can’t’ is not in my vocabulary.”
But in 2011, VirLinda’s upbringing came full circle for her. On February 3rd, that date was named “VirLinda Stanton Day,” by Tyler’s Smith County Commissioners, complete with the “Key to the City” presented to her by Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass. Additionally, February 16th was proclaimed “VirLinda Stanton Day,” by Mayor Bass and the City of Tyler.
Then on September 20, County Road (CR) 310 East & West, off of the main highway in Shady Grove, where VirLinda grew up, was renamed “VirLinda Lane East & West.”
VirLinda wrapped up 2011 with her White House performance in December.
“For the last three years I’ve been praying that I get to perform in the White House,” she said. “This year I just started speaking it a lot. They say life and death is in the power of the tongue. So, whatever you ask you shall receive.”
“She was hot, hot, hot…” said Frank Stegal of WOW Entertainment, referring to VirLinda’s performance at Six Flags Over Texas, in the Motown-style Revue, “It’s Alright,” in 2004. “She sings like an angel; has moves to make the Supremes jealous and is the most Energetic, Dedicated stage performer that a producer could have.”
“VirLinda Stanton is one of the most dynamic and impactful entertainers I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. Upon learning more about VirLinda, as a performer and as a person, it is obvious that something is really special about this individual,” said show producer and theatrical consultant Ed Whitlow, who worked with VirLinda during the Disney Cruise Line in 2006. “Not only does she prove herself as a tremendous vocalist, but she also sets a mark for greatness that motivates everyone around her to achieve as well.”
VirLinda’s talents first started developing while singing in her grandmother’s church at age 9. VirLinda eagerly reflects on her roots, seeing where the foundation of her stellar career began. She grew up in the rural Shady Grove community, right outside Tyler, the home of the aforementioned Mr. Earl Campbell, the former NFL superstar and Heisman Trophy winner; and also the home of former “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” co-host Kiki Shepard.
Now solidified as an East Texas entertainment starlet, VirLinda is getting ready to take her career to even greater heights. In early July 2012, she recorded and was Executive Producer of her first Gospel EP “The Best Is Yet To Come.”
With VirLinda in the house, Somebody’s Gotta Rise!”