Tess Henley

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Tess Henley
Henley with arms upraised
Henley posing
Background information
Born (1987-10-31) October 31, 1987 (age 31)[1]
OriginKent, Washington, United States
GenresSoul, rhythm and blues
Years active2008–present.

Tess Henley is an American singer-songwriter and pianist from Kent, Washington, United States. Born into a musical family, Henley studied and performed since childhood before launching a career performing soul music. Since 2008, she has released several full-length albums, EPs, and singles and made her television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Tess grew up as a middle child born to a professional singer.[2] She is the younger sister of musician Carson Henley.[3] She started taking Suzuki Method piano lessons at the age of 3.[4] Henley graduated as valedictorian from Kentlake High School in Kent, Washington in 2006 where she played year-round basketball and soccer.[5] In 2010, Henley graduated from University of Washington with a degree in Communications.[6]


In 2008, Henley released her debut album, Easy to Love.[7] In 2011, Tess won Budweiser’s National Superfest Summer Block Party competition to win $25,000 and opened for Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton (musician).[8] Also during 2011, Henley was a top three finalist in R&B category for the John Lennon Worldwide Songwriting Competition,[9] the winner of the 2011 International Song Competition for SoulTracks.[10] and the winner of an Independent Music Award in 2012.[11]

After releasing a deluxe edition of Easy to Love through Tower Records Japan in September 2011, Tess released a 7" vinyl in October 2011 of the duet, "What You Won't Do for Love", featuring Mycle Wastman from The Voice, for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

In September 2012, Tess' track "Boy in the Window" film Hello I Must Be Going.[12] This song also garnered her an Independent Music Award.

In May 2013, Henley released her sophomore studio album High Heels & Sneakers,[13] produced by Dice Raw from The Roots and Khari Mateen. Also in 2013, Tess received the Vox Pop R&B/Soul Independent Music Award for "Daydreaming." [14] Henley was then named grand prize winner of the Show Me The Music Songwriting Contest with her song, "Who Are You." [15]

Henley in profile
Henley, 2015

Producer Don Was selected Tess[16] as the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter III grand prize winner in March 2014.[17] She became the first female winner in the competition's history, receiving $25,000, music gear, and an EP to be recorded with Don Was.[18]

In mid-August 2014, Henley went to Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles with producer Was and session musicians Mike Finnigan, James Gadson, Mark Goldenberg, James "Hutch" Hutchinson, Davide Rossi, and Michito Sanchez to record. The album Wonderland was released in early 2015.[16] On January 22, 2015, Henley made her national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!,[19] performing "Positively Me" and "Wonderland" from the album. Teen Vogue premiered the music video for "Wonderland".[20]


Title Album Details
Easy to Love.[4]
  • Released 2008
  • Independent
The Appetizer
  • Released 2010
  • Independent
Easy to Love (Deluxe Japanese Edition)
Easy to Love Deluxe Edition (North America)[21]
  • Released September 2011
High Heels & Sneakers [22]
  • Released May 7, 2013
  • Released: February 10, 2015
Title Song Details
"Boy in the Window"
  • Released 2010
  • SoulTracks Song Competition Winner [23]
  • Independent Music Award [24]
"Christmas Won't Do Without You"
  • Released 2010
"What You won't Do for Love"
  • Released October 2011
  • A 7" vinyl for Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Fund
  • Released 2012
"From the Get Go"
  • Released 2013
"Lead Me with Your Light"
  • Released 2013
  • Released 2015


  1. ^ "Tess Henley – BBC Music". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  2. ^ "About Tess Henley". MTV. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "ACarson Henley – CD Baby". CD Baby. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Covington siblings pursue musical stardom". Maple Valley Reporter. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "2006 Girls Basketball All-Star Teams". Scout.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "An Interview with Seattle's Own Tess Henley – Don't Judge This Book By Its Cover". Seaspot. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  7. ^ "Tess Henley – Easy To Love". KevinNottingham.com. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Neo Soul Cafe – Budweiser's Opening Act". Neo Soul Cafe. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "Tess Henley -SoulTracks". SoulTracks. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  10. ^ "New Releases Tuesday May 7, 2013". Jigsaw Magazine. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  11. ^ "11th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced!" Independent Music Awards, 2 May 2012. Retrieved on 4 Sept. 2013.
  12. ^ "Hello I Must Be Going (2012) Soundtracks". IMDB. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  13. ^ "Tess Henley – High Heels & Sneakers [LP Stream] Okayplayer". IMDB. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  14. ^ "Fans Select Winners In The 12th Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Poll". Independentmusicawards.com. 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  15. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20150217065906/http://www.showmethemusiccontest.com/winners/2013-winners/. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ a b c "Watch Soulful Singer Tess Henley Collab with Don Was in Exclusive In-Studio Video & Interview". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. February 6, 2015.
  17. ^ "Guitar Center Singer Songwriter 4 | Winner". Songwriter.revimage.com. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  18. ^ "Tess Henley Wins Guitar Center's 3rd Annual Singer-Songwriter Program". Americansongwriter.com. 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  19. ^ Payne, Chris (January 22, 2015). "Watch Tess Henley Bring Soulful Style and Steamy Piano Love to Kimmel". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media.
  20. ^ a b Firman, Tehrene (2015). "Exclusive! Tess Henley's Music Video for 'Wonderland' Will Speak Straight to Your Soul". Teen Vogue. Condé Nast.
  21. ^ "Easy to Love (Deluxe Edition)". iTunes. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "Tess Henley to Release 'High Heels & Sneakers (US)". Renowned For Sound. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  23. ^ "Music – Tess Henley: Boy in the Window". Singers Room. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "The Independent Music Awards: Nominees: Song: R & B". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on July 26, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2013.

External links[edit]