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Grammy Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Inspires WLC Students

American singer-songwriter-producer Juanita Wynn attended this year’s final Industry Spotlight Online session, in which motivational leaders inspire students with their personal stories of success. Speaking from her home in Virginia Beach, Juanita described her music career, and how she utilises the eight essential skills from the Skills Builder framework, which are Listening, Speaking, Problem-Solving, Creativity, Staying Positive, Aiming High, Leadership and Teamwork. Our Foundation Learning students were able to ask questions during her online presentation and she also took part in a substantial Q and A at the end.

Juanita recounted how she embarked on her musical career alongside her five older siblings, known as ‘The Wynn Sisters,’ at her father’s church when she was just five years old. At eighteen, Juanita began crafting her own songs, attracting the attention of industry giant Quincy Jones’ Music Publishing, leading to her first two-year deal. She went on to sign a five-year contract with Sony ATV Music Publishing.

Describing her songwriting talents, Juanita told the learners how her lyrics have graced the works of musical legends such as Diana Ross, Fred Hammond, Angie Stone, and Destiny’s Child (Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams). From gospel to R&B to jazz, Juanita’s versatility shines through. She has also created compositions for jazz musicians, such as Ben Tankard and Norman Brown.

In 2017, Juanita’s song ‘This Is Your Life’ was featured on the Grammy award-winning Best R&B Album of the Year and in 2022 her song ‘He’s Been Good’ was nominated for a Dove Award.

Juanita’s lyrical narratives reflect her journey – from preacher’s daughter to runaway teen, a homeless mother of two, and eventually a counsellor-turned-professional musician. Now, having performed as a motivational singer and speaker in the United States and South Africa, she shares her stories of love, joy, peace and resilience.

In the Q and A, our Foundation Learning students asked very varied questions, including ‘Who was your biggest musical influence?’ – “Stevie Wonder, for his great storytelling”; ‘How do you promote yourself when you’re starting out in music?’ – “TikToks, using snippets of your songs,” to ‘How many songs have you written?’ – “147 in my catalogue and 15 have been published” to her loves for fashion, the UK and sports. She also said that her favourite book is ‘The Alchemist’ – and her car of choice would be a Chevy Suburban SUV – “I’m very tall!” she explained.

About Juanita Wynn
33rd Annual GMA Dove Award Nominee 2002
Urban Recorded Song of the Year – ‘He’s Been Good’ by Virtue (Derek ‘DOA’ Allen, Juanita Wynn, and Joe Archie)

59th Annual Grammy Awards Winner 2017
Best R&B Album – ‘Lalah Hathaway Live’ by Lalah Hathaway; featuring ‘This is Your Life’ (Lalah Hathaway, Jonathan Richmond and Juanita Wynn)

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