Shawn Amos

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Shawn Amos
Shawn Amos.jpg
Photo By Beth Herzhaft
Born Shawn Ellis Amos
September 13, 1967
New York, NY
Spouse(s) Marta Martin

Shawn Ellis Amos (born September 13, 1967) is an American songwriter, singer, record producer, web personality and founder and CEO of Freshwire, a digital content creation company.

His most well-known album is Thank You Shirl-ee May, released in 2005. It was written as an homage to his mother, a nightclub singer who performed under the stage name "Shirl-ee May".[1]

Personal background[edit]

Amos was born in New York, New York. He is the youngest son of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookie founder Wally Amos and the only son of Shirlee Ellis (professionally known as Shirl-ee May in the early 1960s).

Throughout Amos' childhood and adulthood, his mother suffered from schizoaffective disorder and ultimately committed suicide in 2003. The trauma of the event and his subsequent discovery of her early singing career were the inspiration behind his 2005 album release Thank You Shirl-ee May.[2]

Amos sits on the Board of Trustees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Board of Directors.[3]

Amos married actress Marta Martin in 1999. The couple have three children and reside in Los Angeles.

Professional background[edit]

In 1995, Amos' song "Angel in Black" was placed in the Miramax film The Prophecy.

While at Rhino Entertainment's A&R department in 1997, Amos produced the Grammy-nominated historical box set Rhapsodies in Black: Music and Words from the Harlem Renaissance.[4]

In 2001, Amos produced Quincy Jones' career overview Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones. Jones subsequently asked Amos to run his Listen Up Foundation as Executive Director.

Amos released the album In Between in 2002. In 2003, he was recruited by Rhino co-founders Richard Foos, Garson Foos and Bob Emmer to oversee the A&R department of their newly formed entertainment company, Shout! Factory.[5] The label released his Thank You Shirl-ee May album, and his song "Vicious Circle" from Harlem was sung by label mate Solomon Burke. In 2007, Amos performed on and produced the Solomon Burke & Friends: Live in Nashville televised concert.

During 2005-06, Amos conceived and co-produced a remake of the 1971 Marvin Gaye album What's Going On, performed by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band; conceived and executive produced a remix album of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' Whipped Cream and Other Delights; and joined with Alpert and Ozomatli for a performance of "Love Potion No. 9" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in March 2006.

Amos left Shout! Factory in 2007 to create content for its newly formed sister company, At GetBack, he served as Senior Vice President of Content, editor-in-chief of their website, and producer their original content, including the daily web show Retro Minute, which he also hosted.

On November 4, 2009, Amos announced the formation of his own company, Amos Content Group, to develop content for digital media and traditional companies.

In August 2012, The New York Times announced that Amos Content Group, public relations company Fleishman-Hillard, and GMR Marketing created a new joint venture called Freshwire.[6]

Recent activity[edit]

On January 19, 2011, The Huffington Post released the first installment of a four-part series chronicling his childhood in 1970s Los Angeles.[7]

In March 2012, Amos began hosting a weekly video series, "60 Seconds of Social Media," created by his company, Amos Content Group. The series, now known as The Content Brief, is currently syndicated to The Huffington Post and to airports worldwide via ClearVision, a new ConnectiVISION Digital Networks partnership with Clear Channel Airports.

Amos moderated a panel at the Milken Institute Global Conference on April 30, 2012, on next-generation philanthropists and social entrepreneurs.[8]

In October 2012, Amos was named one of Forbes "Up and Comers."[9]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Format Other Information
2002 In Between Unbreakable Records CD
2005 Thank You Shirl-ee May Shout! Factory CD
  • Featuring veteran heavyweights Ray Parker Jr., Solomon Burke, Garrison Starr, Gregg Bissonette, and Chuck Findley.
  • First album on Shout! Factory
2011 Harlem Unbreakable Records CD
  • Features guest appearances from Mark Olson of the Jayhawks and Crazy Horse guitarist Poncho Sampedro.

Production credits[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "A 'Thank You' Note from Shawn Amos". NPR. 2005-11-16. 
  2. ^ "Musician SHAWN AMOS On The Ups, Downs Of Family Fame". NPR. 2011-03-03. 
  3. ^ "Didi Hirsch Board of Directors". Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  4. ^ Dave Steinfeld (2011-03-24). "Shawn Amos: The Harlem Renaissance". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  5. ^ Variety Staff (2003-04-29). "Shawn Amos". Variety. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Fleishman Hillard and GMR Marketing Acquire Content Company". 2012-08-21. 
  7. ^ "Cookies & Milk: Scenes From a '70s Hollywood Childhood". The Huffington Post. 2011-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Global Conference 2012 - Next-Generation Philanthropists and Social Entrepreneurs". Milken Institute. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  9. ^ "Forbes Up And Comers: Matt Urmy, Charley Moore, and Shawn Amos". Forbes. 2012-10-18.