Gladys Knight Names Chicagoan Her Protégé

Photo by John L. Alexander

CHICAGO–If Chicago vocalist Avehre had ignored the voice that he said was from God, he probably wouldn’t be the protégé of legend soul singer Gladys Knight today.
On Friday, Avehre returned home to share his journey and love of music. His day ended at the Ronald McDonald House where he spent time with families.
Ahmad Alali,17 year old University of Chicago patient from Kuwait poses with Avehre. Photo by John L. Alexander.

He credits his blessing to divine intervention, with a little assistance from social media.
The artist was presented with a rare opportunity to audition for the seven time Grammy Award winner two years ago. He said doubt and lack of faith in himself almost lost him his big break.
“I know it was nothing but God, I heard a voice that said this would be the biggest mistake you will make in your life if you don’t go,” he said.
The opportunity to audition came from a social media contact who let Avehre know that Knight was seeking background singers. Originally, he passed the information along to acquaintances, but when he realized that no one was submitting their audition tapes, he decided he would pursue the opportunity himself.
Avehre was invited to come down to Las Vegas and audition in person. He almost missed the chance because of nerves, but his contact helped him get a last minute flight so that he could still make it in time. The day after his audition, he was asked to become one of Knight’s background singers
It was the same social media contact who helped him get in front of the soul singer for a second time. Knight was looking for a songwriter and Avehre’s name was mentioned. He jumped on it and wrote two songs, which are actually featured on her new album, “Where My Heart Belongs.”
“She heard my voice on the song and she was like this is so refreshing to hear this song,” he said. “You’re challenging me, you’re the first person that has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone.”
That moment was what put him on her radar and shortly after, she asked him to be her protégé.
Now, he is on tour and Knight has shared the news with the world.
Avehre said this experience is still surreal, but he feels blessed.
He is constantly learning. Some of things Knight has taught him have been to always manage his time well, stay true to himself and remain humble no matter what.
“It is a tremendous honor for her to take me under her wing and introduce me to the world,” Avehre said. “This is a blessing from God and this experience has changed my life.”
“Where My Heart Is,” can be purchased on iTunes. Follow Avehre on Twitter @iamAvehre

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