Stephanie Mills to perform for Shriners benefit event

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Grammy Award winning singer Stephanie Mills is heading to Chicago to perform at a special event for local children and in concert with two other recording standouts.

Grammy Award winning singer Stephanie Mills is heading to Chicago to perform at a special event for local children and in concert with two other recording standouts. She will be a special guest at the 2010 Caring for Kids Concert Series – Rhythm on The Vine tour, which benefits the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Mills, along with multi-platinum saxophonist Kenny G and singer Jeffrey Osbourne, will hit the Rosemont Theatre’s stage August 14, to raise money for the charity that provides specialty pediatric care to children.   Mills told the Defender that she is very excited about working with the Shriners Hospitals and encourages people to learn more about it.

“The Shriners Hospitals have the best doctors in the world. They have 22 hospitals across the nation for spinal cord and burn injuries, as well as orthopaedic care, and it is really state of the art medical attention that they give,” the singer explained. In addition to her dedication to children, the charity is extremely close to her heart for personal reasons.  

“My son is a patient now so I am experiencing this myself. My son has special needs so I’ve experienced it one on one and I know what they go through. I didn’t have any special treatment and I didn’t want any. I wanted to register just like I was someone coming in off the street. And they were so kind and nice,” Mills said. Outside of hitting the road for the Shriners concert series, Mills is putting the last touches on her new album "Breathless," which will be released in September. Her last album was in 2004.

“I’ve been working on it for about a year and it’s about different scenarios with men, relationships and love. Out of the 10 songs on the album, I’ve written about eight of them and there are no guest appearances. It’s not an album of songs, it’s an album full of singles,” the singer and Broadway actress said. Mills also wanted to ensure that she welcomed a new audience without losing her core fan base.

“I am working with a young producer out of the ATL (Atlanta) named Josiah Martin. He bridged the gap of my signature sound and today’s sound wonderfully. I didn’t want to go to a young producer who didn’t understand me and my history and my songs. I wasn’t trying to be 20-years-old. I am 53 and I already have a built in audience. I wanted to satisfy my audience and hopefully bring a few new ones so it was important that I stay true to what my sound was,” The Wiz star said. She called "Breathless" her best work to date. But the “voice” also has other projects in the works. “I’m producing a Christmas show for the Shriners Hospital which will be December 3 in Los Angeles,” she revealed.

She is also looking to get back to her Broadway roots.

“I’d like to write a soundtrack or a theme song to a movie. I love doing theater and I’d like to go back to it. Hinton Battle, who is a three time Tony Award winner and I have written a play that we plan to take on the road at the end of the year,” Mills said. Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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