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Sasha Allen performing in Joe's Pub at the Public Theater in NYC, August 27, 2012
|Birth name||Sasha Sierra Allen|
June 4, 1982|
Harlem, New York, U.S.
Sasha Sierra Allen (born June 4, 1982) is an American singer and actress. Born and raised in Harlem, New York, she began her career in the music industry as a backing vocalist for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Leona Lewis, and Usher. On January 2016 she joined the Rolling Stones touring band.
Allen portrayed Dionne in the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and the 2010 West End revival at the Gielgud Theatre. In 2013, she was a semi-finalist on the fourth season of the American version of the singing competition TV series The Voice.
Life and career
Allen's maternal Bermudian grandmother was one of the first people of African descent to attend Juilliard School of Music. Sasha's maternal grandfather and father were of African American descent. Allen is the elder of two children. She was educated at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in New York City.
At the age of 14, she starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down the Wind. Also while still in high school, she was featured in commercial and print work, including advertisements in TIME magazine for AT&T, and a commercial with Michael Jordan.
At 17 she was signed to Elektra Records, working with producers Warryn Campbell (Mary Mary, Kanye West) and J. Moss (Karen Clark Sheard, Kiki Sheard). Later, she was signed by Arista Records when LA Reid was president. Failed record contracts[clarification needed] caused Sasha to pursue other avenues of performing, such as acting.
She has performed on world tours and platinum albums of several performers, including Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics Tour and resulting DVD (Back to Basics: Live and Down Under), John Legend's album Once Again, and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds' album Playlist. Allen was also the feature vocalist on Babyface's "Playlist" World Tour, singing the classic hits with Babyface that he wrote and produced for Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Madonna, and others. Sasha has also toured with Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis, and John Legend, performed with Usher and David Bowie, and recorded with Celine Dion. Allen's television work as a vocalist with musical director Rickey Minor garnered her performances with Jessica Simpson, Patti LaBelle, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Clint Black.
Allen's music showcases her love for rock, soul and R&B. Her first single, "Let's Fly Away", was released on July 4, 2008, and the follow-up, a cover of Joan Osborne's "One Of Us", was released in September 2008. The remix for "Let's Fly Away", produced by Rob Lewis and TrakFire Productions climbed the dance charts.[clarification needed]
2012–present, The Voice and afterwards
Returning to reality TV, Allen was selected as a participant for the fourth US season of The Voice. She auditioned with "Not Ready to Make Nice" by the Dixie Chicks, which turned all four coaches' chairs. Sasha decided to join Adam Levine's team. In the battle round she competed against Amber Carrington, who Adam would end up picking, making Sasha available to be stolen. Both Usher and Shakira pressed their button for Sasha, and she opted to join team Shakira. Allen would be the final remaining member of Team Shakira, and the first stolen contestant on The Voice to advance to the semifinals.
Allen joined The Rolling Stones on their América Latina Olé Tour 2016 as a backing vocalist, filling the role handled by Lisa Fischer since 1989 as Fischer had prior touring commitments. The role included duetting with Mick Jagger on "Gimme Shelter".
Her songs Oh! Darling peaked # 29 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs, Ain't No Way # 17, Next To Me # 39, and I Will Always Love You # 39.
The Voice performances and results
- – Studio version of performance reached the top 10 on iTunes
|Blind Audition||"Not Ready to Make Nice"||The Dixie Chicks||April 8, 2013||5.6||All four chairs turned|
Joined Team Adam
|Battle Rounds||"Try" (vs. Amber Carrington)||Pink||April 15, 2013||7.1||Defeated|
Stolen by Shakira
|Knockout Rounds||"At Last" (vs. Shawna P.)||Etta James||April 29, 2013||11.8||Saved by Coach|
|Live Playoffs||"Oh! Darling"||The Beatles||May 7, 2013||15.8||Saved by Public Vote|
|Live Top 12||"Alone"||Heart||May 13, 2013||17.6||Saved by Public Vote|
|Live Top 10||"Next To Me"||Emeli Sande||May 20, 2013||20.5||Saved by Public Vote|
|Live Top 8||"Without You"||David Guetta feat. Usher||May 27, 2013||22.4||Saved by Public Vote|
|Live Top 6||"Ain't No Way"||Aretha Franklin||June 3, 2013||25.4||Saved by Public Vote|
|"Before He Cheats"||Carrie Underwood||25.12|
|Live Top 5 (Semifinals)||"I Will Always Love You"||Dolly Parton||June 10, 2013||27.2||Eliminated|
|"Bad Girls"||Donna Summer||27.7|
- Billington, Michael (April 14, 2010). "Hair". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "Sasha Allen". IMDb.com. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
-  Archived October 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Kennedy, Lisa (June 25, 2014). "'Pippin' national touring cast revealed: Sasha Allen as Leading Player". DenverPost.com. The Denver Post. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
- "R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs positions". Retrieved July 19, 2016.