Valarie Pettiford is a rare breed, a tried-and-true triple threat. From the stages of Broadway to the sound stages of Hollywood, she has charmed audiences with her performances. A Fosse-trained dancer, Pettiford was nominated for her work in the musical revue, Fosse, which paid homage to her mentor. As an actor, she has created characters for which fans still recognize her, such as Big Dee Dee Thorne on the hit sitcom, Half and Half, and Aunt Geneva, whose rehearsal dinner musical number nearly stole Jumping the Broom from co-stars Angela Bassett, LorEtta Devine and Paula Patton. For those who have had the pleasure of hearing Valarie Pettiford sing, whether in a musical or one of her one-woman cabaret shows, it is her smooth, decadent and resplendent voice that they remember.
Today, Pettiford releases her second solo album, "Velvet Sky", a collection of original lullabies. She brings a tenderness and wealth of emotion to the thirteen tracks on this new album, all of which were written especially for her by two legendary writing teams – Ron Abel (music)/Chuck Steffan (lyrics) and Michael Orland (music)/Jamie Wooten (lyrics). The songs range from playful numbers that are meant to inspire play between parents and their children, as well as softer tracks to lull babies (of all ages) to sleep.
"This is such a special day for me. This project was a real labor of love," enthuses Pettiford. "I'm tickled pink to know that this album is now available for parents and soon-to-be parents to share with their children."
When asked about what originally drew her to a lullabies project, Pettiford says, "At the time, my then husband, Tony Rader, and I were thinking about having children and thought what a beautiful idea it would be to record an album of lullabies during that period. I also thought my voice was well-suited for lullabies."
Though she loves each track equally, one song in particular strikes a deep personal chord with her, a chord to which she feels many women can relate. 'My Miracle', the final track on this beautifully crafted album, written by Wooten and Orland, "touches the core of any woman who has had difficulty having children," she explains, "It speaks to the beauty of an impossible dream realized."
Pettiford set out to create something that encouraged playtime between parents and their children, to engage both parties. "Velvet Sky" does just that and more. Lullabies are some of the most cherished musical moments because of the intimacy they inspire. That authenticity and joy is captured in perfect harmony with this collection of lullabies, and kids of all ages will love these new musical gems.
A limited number of signed "Velvet Sky" albums are available on Valarie Pettiford's website at www.officialvalariepettiford.com.