Pamela McNeill - Smoke and Mirrors
At three years of age, Pamela McNeill starred as an angel in her church Christmas Eve pageant. When she saw the audience smiling back, she declared that was what she wanted to do the rest of her life. That statement still rings true today. McNeill might not have known the power in her words that night, but she has lived her dream and toured the world wowing audiences with her powerful vocals. Career highlights include performing for the Queen of England, playing at Royal Albert Hall, performing at the Tokyo Dome with Japan's pop sensation TM Network for a crowd of over 50,000, opening for Etta James, and headlining at The Staples Center in Los Angeles.
McNeill grew up between the Mississippi River and Highway 61 in the small town of Minnesota City, Minnesota with a population of less than 200. She was raised in a home musically divided. Her mom brought in the pop genre, while her dad was all about country music, and these mixed influences can still be heard in McNeill's music today. McNeill recalls, “I spent all my allowance buying pop and country songs, and I learned how to play keys on my grandmother's Hammond organ.” In junior high and high school she played trombone in the jazz band and orchestra. By sixteen, she was in her first rock band opening shows for the iconic Minneapolis band, The Suburbs.
In her early twenties, McNeill moved to England and landed a gig touring with British superstar Rick Astley. She also appeared in his video, “Take Me to Your Heart.“ After returning to America, she was introduced to legendary performer and composer Yanni backstage at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The two hit it off professionally and shortly afterwards McNeill collaborated with Yanni, writing lyrics to several of his songs on his albums, “Tribute” and “Ethnicity”.
In 2011, McNeill released her fourth album, “Heartaches and Miracles”, which caught the attention of Grammy Award winning songwriter, Bobby E. Boyd. “From the first time I heard Pamela I was blown away by her powerhouse voice and phenomenal songs,” Boyd recalls, “Imagine if you had a singer who could do Kelly Clarkson and Stevie Nicks, and that same person could write songs in the same caliber as Lori McKenna and Carol King. Well, you've got that and more in Pamela McNeill.” Boyd contacted McNeill and the two wrote a couple of songs together online. Later that year McNeill made a trip to Nashville for a week of writing. This kicked off a friendship and professional association with Boyd that continues today.
Over the past few years McNeill has split her time between Nashville and her home state of Minnesota, where she performs over 150 shows a year doing gigs with the iconic Fabulous Armadillos,“Rumours and Dreams Fleetwood Mac Tribute” band, “Wild Angels – the Women of Rock, Pop, and Country”, “Rock and Roll XMAS Spectacular” as well headlining her own Pamela McNeill concerts. She has written with many Music City icons including Pam Tillis, Roxie Dean, and Buffy Lawson (Bombshell). In addition to Yanni, her songs have been cut by Wynonna Judd, and she recently caught the attention of Reba McEntire with her song, “Captivated.“ In 2017 she received a rare standing ovation at the world famous Bluebird Cafe after her debut performance.
McNeill's latest album, “Solitary” released March 14, 2019, was co-produced in Nashville with Boyd. It has already garnished rave reviews for her video release tribute to Prince with her song, “The Bigger Picture”. All fourteen songs were penned by McNeill and reflect different seasons of life – the struggles and victories, the love and love lost, and the power to persevere.
Label: SweetHeart Records
Song IPI# ASCAP# 896555513
Songwriters: Pamela McNeill
Songwriters’ IPI#: ASCAP# 375641050
Publisher: Light Light Boom
Publisher IPI#: ASCAP# 344425867