|Birth name||Whitney Margaret Wolanin|
June 29, 1990 |
Albany, New York, United States
|Genres||Pop, pop rock|
|Instruments||Piano, drums, guitar|
Whitney Wolanin (//; born June 29, 1990) is an American singer and songwriter. Born in Albany, New York, and raised in southwest Florida, she entered the music industry through recording a number of sessions with Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt in 2003. Her subsequent singles “Honesty” (2012), “Wrong Guy” (2013), and “Forever” (2014) have all generated significant radio airplay. She currently co-owns and operates the independent record label TopNotch.
Early Life and Education
Whitney Wolanin was born on June 29, 1990, in Albany, New York. Her mother, Illona Wolanin, is a retired teacher and her father, Vincent Wolanin, is a businessman from Philadelphia. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Lee County, Florida, where she attended Fort Myers High School.
In 2011, Wolanin received a B.S. from Vanderbilt University. She majored in Human and Organizational development and studied voice at the Blair school of music. During her time at Vanderbilt, Wolanin was a member of the improv comedy group Tongue-N-Cheek, as well as Vanderbilt Off-Broadway, appearing in their production of Nine. Wolanin also holds a Diplôme de Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu, London.
Growing up in Florida, Wolanin first told her father of her desire to record an album when she was 11, after "pretending to be Janet Jackson" at a young age. When she was 13, her father relented, and over her summer break she recorded an album with legendary Funk Brothers bassist, Bob Babbitt, in Nashville. The album, Funkology XIII, released two years later in 2005, was made up of twelve R&B covers (mostly of Motown origin) and one original.
A version of Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston's "It Takes Two", sung with Jimi Jamison of Survivor, reached #9 on radio trade publication Friday Morning Quarterback's AC40 Chart, and was a #1 most added song, Wolanin's song “Good” (which she co-wrote with Babbitt and her father) peaked at #7.
In late 2005, Wolanin released "Christmas (The Warmest Time of the Year)"—another original she co-wrote with Babbitt and her father. The song made FMQB's Top 100 airplay chart at #87 in 2005.
The following year, Wolanin released her second album, Christmasology, a collection of Christmas songs recorded in 2005. Christmasology featured 15 songs, including "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree”, "Frosty the Snowman”, "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", as well as "Christmas (The Warmest Time of the Year)". "Frosty” was the Most Added Christmas song at radio in the weeks of November 5, 2006 and November 19, 2006. In December 2006, "Frosty" peaked at #11 on R&R's Media Base Top 40 Radio Airplay Charts, and was played on over 800 radio stations.
"Loud and Clear", a song Wolanin co-wrote with her older sister Victoria, was released as a single on June 4, 2007 to dance and club radio. At the time, four more single releases were planned. "Loud and Clear", was featured on an episode of the MTV series The Hills.
Wolanin released a six-song EP, Girl, in 2009, composed of six songs written both by herself and with her sister, some dating to when she was 13 years old. An acoustic version of that EP's "So Close" was included on the compilation album Majic Miracle Music Vol. 3, a benefit for the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children.
Wolanin released Whitney Wolanin 1 in April 2011, a six-song EP of original compositions, which she recorded while attending Vanderbilt University.
Wolanin, at age 21, released her radio single "Honesty" on January 9, 2012. The single, which she wrote and recorded, spent over 36 weeks on the national airplay charts, and peaked at #21 on Mediabase, and #23 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in April 2012.
A new mini-album, Let's Be Honest Part 1, was released on August 14 in the US and internationally on iTunes. It featured five new original songs and the previously released "Honesty".
In December 2012, Wolanin released a new recording of "Frosty the Snowman" which peaked at #13 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
Wolanin released her next single, "Wrong Guy (I Did It This Time)", on February 11, 2013. She wrote and recorded the song, which is about wanting someone that you shouldn't. "Wrong Guy (I Did It This Time)" peaked at #16 on Mediabase, and #17 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
On November 5, 2013, Wolanin released "Run, Run Rudolph", which peaked at #2 on the Mediabase Holiday Chart and also on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The single was taken from her Run, Run Rudolph mini-album, which included a country mix of "Run, Run Rudolph", "Frosty", and a new recording of "Silver Bells". In conjunction with the release, "Run, Run Rudolph" exclusively premiered on Yahoo! Music.
To coincide with the release of the song to radio, a "Run, Run Rudolph" HD parody music film was created. The parody, based on the Christmas classic A Christmas Story was shot on location at the A Christmas Story House in Cleveland, OH using actual movie props. With all parts being played by family members, and under the direction of Carl Diebold, the film in its entirety was shot in one day.
On March 17, 2014, Wolanin released the single "Forever", which is went to 22 on the Mediabase charts. The song has received steady airplay on 3 formats including Top 40, Hot AC, and AC. With Forever charting, it was her fifth consecutive song to chart.
For the 2014 Holiday season, Wolanin released "Silver Bells (2013)", and debuted on the Holiday charts at #3, behind renditions of "Baby It's Cold Outside" by both Idina Menzel and Seth MacFarlane, making this her 6th consecutive Billboard charting song.
Currently, Wolanin has stated publicly that she is working on her full length album to be released in late summer/early fall of 2017.
- Funkology XIII (2005, TopNotch)
- "Christmas (The Warmest Time of the Year)" single (2005, TopNotch)
- Christmasology (2006, TopNotch)
- "Loud and Clear" single (2007, TopNotch)
- Girl EP (2009, TopNotch)
- 1 EP (2011, TopNotch)
- Let's Be Honest, Pt. 1 EP (2012, TopNotch)
- "Wrong Guy (I Did It This Time)" single (2013, TopNotch)
- "Run, Run Rudolph" Mini Album (2013, TopNotch)
- "Forever" single (2014, TopNotch)
- Prividera, Sal (May 27, 1987). "Overcrowding Being Studied" (PDF). Spotlight Newspapers (Vol. XXXI, No. 23). Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "Bethlehem Construction Scholarship". Philadelphia University. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- Sharbaugh, S. (December 2, 2013). "Recording Artist Whitney Wolanin Visits Sanibel School". Naples Daily News. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- Greggs, Shelley (December 30, 2011). "School Smart" (PDF). Island Sun. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "10 Questions with ... Whitney Wolanin". All Access. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "2011 Mainstage-Nine". Anchor Link. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- Wolanin, Whitney. "We Did It!". Instagram. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- Star on the horizon, Jennifer Sutcliffe, Naples Daily News, November 3, 2006.
- "Bubbling Under: Zendaya Hits 'Replay' For The First Time - Billboard". 26-08-13. Retrieved 07-02-14. Check date values in:
- Whitney Wolanin's Rising Star, Jim Sullivan, Hall of Fame Magazine
- AC Top 40 Radio Chart, Friday Morning Quarterback, April 19, 2006
- AC Radio Weekly Report, Friday Morning Quarterback, April 2006
- AC Top 40 Radio Chart, Friday Morning Quarterback, November 2, 2005
- Annual Summary Report, Friday Morning Quarterback, December 2005
- R&R, December 4, 2006
- AC Radio Chart, R&R, December 11, 2006
- AC Radio Media Base Holiday Summary, Radio & Records Weekly, December 30, 2006
- Local singer, 16, rises above with new single, Mark S. Krzos, The News-Press, May 18, 2007.
- Majic Miracle Music Volume 3
- "Whitney Wolanin Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Get in the Holiday Spirit With First Listen To Singer-Pianist Whitney Wolanin’s ‘Rudolph’, Wendy Geller, Yahoo! Music, November 4, 2013.