Alice’s charismatic stage presence stretches well beyond her vocal abilities, making enamored crowds fall in love with her personality as she shares stories of her journey. Like Etta James, Diana Ross and Tina Turner, she is a long lasting Goddess of Soul, with enough personality, talent and a touch of funk to prove to be an unforgettable performer. As Howie Mandel said to Alice after her “At Last” cover: “you deserve to be heard by much more than everyone on the train”.
Alice was born in Georgia into a musically talented family of 9 siblings, most of whom have become artists. She has been captivating audiences since she was 3 years old. After moving to New York in 1971, raising a family and teaching handicapped children in the NYC school system, Alice focused upon her singing career in 1992 when she began singing full time in the New York City subway stations – Union Square, 34th Street, and the famous 42nd Street Times Square station. Audiences gathered daily as Alice covered many songs such as ‘I Will Always Love You’, ‘I Will Survive’, ‘Billy Jean’, ‘My Heart Will Go On’, and other familiar favorites. Her legendary subway performances – often stopping people dead in their tracks and rocking the station – resulted in a flurry of YouTube videos, which continue to attract millions of viewers. Whenever Alice sang, she consistently drew a sizable crowd, transfixed by her powerful voice, surrounding her and fueling her with love and appreciation. She was known locally as the “New York City Subway Idol.” A 2010 feature in the New York Post described her ‘electrifying R&B act’ after the author witnessed ‘another rousing show in the Times Square underground’.
Many influential people were impressed after hearing her subway performances, resulting in invitations to present concerts around the world, beginning with a singing tour of Morocco arranged by the Moroccan ambassador to the US. This was followed by performances in Argentina, Germany, Uruguay, The Netherlands, and throughout the US.
Alice’s reputation spreads by word of mouth. Her appeal is confirmed by her many honors. Alice sang ‘Amazing Grace’ in Rize, the David LaChappelle film about LA street dancers. She performed a soul stirring rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’ in the film Heights in 2005. In 2002 Alice appeared on 30 Seconds to Fame, a FOX Television talent competition, and won with her soulful rendition of ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’. In 2007 Alice won an Emmy for her part in the documentary Military Families.
Some singers have the voice and ability to interpret a song and move you to the core. The divas listed below were among those very few. “America’s Got Talent” discovered another one. Alice Tan Ridley is being compared with the great divas of the past. Now, with great respect, in this new high energy program, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, she is celebrating the music identified with these great divas she has chosen to celebrate.
Tina Turner | Whitney Houston | Etta James | Aretha Franklin | Gloria Gaynor | Celine Dion | Barbara Streisand | Donna Summer