Since rooming at Appalachian State University with Shelby Johnson, a.k.a., “Shelby J” of Blackgypsy Music, two things that I have always known to be constants with her are her love of music and her electric smile!
I guess I was not the only person who recognized these characteristics about her. Obviously the majestic “Purple One” (yes, the one, the only “PRINCE” of Paisley Park) felt the same way, because he would call on Shelby J to sing with him on many occasions. They would also sing at his home in epic jam sessions.
Many people were initially introduced to Shelby J as the beautiful bald-headed woman sitting beside Prince at the Grammy Awards.
Shelby J talked about how one of her most appreciative and humbling opportunities came when Prince invited her to perform with him at the NFL Super Bowl…which she did…in the rain…and in five-inch-heel boots! (But anyone knows that when PRINCE calls, you move!)
So you can imagine when Shelby J got the call from me and was asked to be a part of a Star Power Charity’s Mother’s Day Makeover for Homeless & Abused Women, that she treated that request with the same urgency and humbleness as she did when she accepted Prince’s invitation to the Super Bowl.
Star Power Charity always invites celebrity guests to participate as hosts in its’ programs. Ms. “Shelby J” expressed sincere excitement and said she would be honored to be Star Power Charity’s celebrity guest for its “Mother’s Day Makeover for Homeless and Abused Women.” A Shining Star in her own right, “Shelby J” took time out of her busy schedule to spend the day encouraging and catering to the women from the homeless shelter.
But that’s Shelby J. It didn’t matter that she travels all over the world singing and sharing her gift of music with others. It did not matter that she was traveling the world with Prince; she was happy to be Star Power Charity’s event ambassador, and made it a point to share her time, love, guidance and laughter, with women who were living through some of life’s challenges in a homeless shelter.
Shelby J engaged every woman there by offering words of wisdom and encouragement. She took the time to sign autographs for the women, as well as talk to the them individually about their domestic abuse situations, and was an outlet to let them share their stories.
Shelby with her caring spirit engaged everyone from the volunteer stylists and barbers that provided the homeless women with haircare treatments, makeup makeovers, nail manicures and pedicures, to the stylists that provided clothes for the women to wear during job searches.
It is because of magical musicians like Shelby J that Star Power Charity and other 501 c3 non-profit organizations continue to be successful entities that help people in need.