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Londonís own lady of song, Denise Pelley, is one of the happiest, talented women I know.

Denise was born in Nova Scotia the eldest of six siblings. She moved to London when she was six months old and has made the Forest City her home ever since.

She attended Catholic Central High School and started her musical training in the choir of St Patrickís Church. No need for expensive voice lessons. She chose wonderful role models in the persona of Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and Carol King. Music became her passion and her life- she had talent and could sing up a storm.

After graduating from high school she went on the road for three years with a musical ensemble, "Sounds of Karisma", performing in clubs in Michigan and Ohio.

Family life with three wonderful boys, Jason, Jordan and Cameron kept Denise from touring far from home. All three sons followed in the family traditions of the appreciation for the arts.

"Music is still her love. Jazz, Blues, R& B, Gospel and Theatre- she does it all with pizzaz. Past hit performances : Ainít Misbehaving , Wang Dang Doodle, Nunsense all attest to her ability and popularity. "She enjoys performing at the Grand Theatre- it feels like home with great special people to work with."

"Orchestra London is made up of a wonderful group of professional musicians and it has been fabulous to be part of the Jeansín and Classics concerts."

Denise has a second love that she is very proud of -her three sons. Sadly, her eldest son, Jason, was killed in a car accident. He and two of his friends who were passengers in the car died with him. Road rage had tragically taken its toll.

The family has established the Jason Edmonds Foundation for Road Safety to help prevent another similar senseless death.

"It seems like yesterday that there was a knock on her door by a policeman who was the bearer of tragic news. One doesnít get over the death of one of your children and simply move on . Denise has learned to prioritize her needs and not to sweat the small stuff. She misses the sound of Jasonís voice, his hugs and smiles. There is always a question that Jason, a budding actor could have done that- if only? But maybe he is doing theatre and receiving standing ovations?"

Denise is now in her late fifties and is still performing for appreciative audiences. She looks forward to her seventies when she still intends to be singing with the vitality of a Tina Turner.

Londonís lady of song has some wise advice to share with aspiring artists. "Do it because you love it." Parents should encourage and be supportive of their children. Let the youngsters be themselves and enjoy who and what they are.

Denise feels that she has been "blessed for having musical talent and to be able to share and bring a smile to her audience." No early retirements for this entertainer. Hopefully, she will keep delighting and inspiring her audiences for many decades to come.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com