Dionne Warwick Tribute Story

From Private Prayers to Public Performances

Never Give Up on You, and Neither Will God

Youngstown, OH -- After many years of producing content to spotlight the talents and achievements of others, Ohio TV Personality, Debórah Benton is experiencing what it’s like to have the spotlight turned on herself as she embraces her most beloved role, “Singer.” Wednesday, May 1st, Debórah Benton will headline in a “Dionne Warwick-Lou Rawls Tribute Concert” at the DeYor Performing Arts Center in Youngstown, OH.  “I’ve been in media and entertainment all my life.  Most people know me as a TV Personality, and of course as ‘Lindsay Renea’s Mother;’ two roles of which I am very proud.  But thanks to strong nudging from Former Motown M.D.- Guitarist-Songwriter for Marvin Gaye and for The Temptations, G. C. Cameron of The Spinners, and Grady Wilkins and Reggie Ruggley - both of The Whispers Orchestra and a lot of hard work,  I’m now getting more exposure as a singer and gaining more music fans, as well.”
From early adolescence into young adulthood, Debórah was sure she would have a career in the music industry. As a singer-songwriter from Youngstown,  she performed with various local choirs and bands until she left for college. Upon graduation from Bowling Green State University (BGSU),  she returned to Youngstown and began focusing more on her skills as a TV Producer and Publicist. Some of her most notable Public Relations clients were The McCrarys (The McCrary 5) and Glenn Leonard (The Temptations).  She also produced Radio/TV programming for the late Bishop Norman L. Wagner for many years before branching out on her own to Produce-Host The Valley Gold Show with Debórah Benton weekly TV program ( Jan. 2005-Present) on CBS, Fox, and MyNetworkTV affiliates, respectively.  Valley Gold w/ Debórah (aka The Debórah Show)  began locally and went on to gain audiences regionally (Time-Warner On Demand), nationally (Dish Satellite) and even internationally (14 European Countries via satellite), expanding her brand as a Talk show host of family-friendly content.   As a natural storyteller, Debórah says she could never tire of sharing positive life stories about other people, but her deep desire to sing continued to nag at her, the passion growing ever stronger as the years passed by.  
When finally, in 2019 she remembers praying very specifically about her desire to perform as a solo artist. Months into the “prayer,” Debórah got a call from award-winning recording artist, G.C. Cameron.  “Debórah, I’ve been thinking. You need to do a Dionne Warwick Project!” G. C. commanded.  Cameron went on to explain the merits of Debórah taking on such a project, and it all made perfect sense to her, “God was answering my prayer.”  With no real roadmap, Debórah began working on the “Dionne” project, reaching out to musicians and entertainment professionals. Her pursuits led her to meet a producer who needed a female singer to complete his 4-member girl group to fulfill a touring contract overseas, and Debórah landed the gig. That gig was an 18-concert tour of Motown Tributes throughout Australia from Feb. 15 – March 15, 2020. At the end of the tour, Debórah returned to the states and the following day the U.S. went into ‘lock-down’ - sheltering in place, due to the Coronavirus.  
Returning from Australia to face a total lock-down for live entertainment only served to strengthen her resolve to sing. No one knew when the lock-down would end, but Debórah vowed to be ready,  whether via streaming or performing live behind a mask or a plexiglass panel, however or whenever an opportunity presented itself.  Working-out in her home gym 3-4 days a week was always a part of her routine, but now everything took on new meaning and purpose.  She began rehearsing and training her voice 2 hours a day, totally committing  herself to the performance process. She would often record herself and send the audio and video recordings to trusted industry professionals for critical feedback. “Members of “The Whispers, Dunn Pearson, G.C. and others,… I always asked them to be brutally honest, and believe me, they were.  Their critical feedback let me know I had a lot of work to do.”  
Eventually the time came for Debórah to emerge from behind the walls of her home studio and perform before live audiences, so she did that in stages: First it was a song here and there with a local band at a restaurant or performance venue.  Then it was full 2–3-hour solo performances. No matter what or where she performed, the responses from audiences were always the same 3 statements:  1) ”We love your voice.”  2) “Where are you from?”  3) “You sound like Dionne Warwick.”  A fan base was evolving organically before her eyes, and there was no question about the music. Debórah loved the music of Dionne Warwick and fans loved to hear her sing the same.
“From a young child, I fell in love with the voice, the style and messaging of Dionne Warwick. Of course I loved all the Divas; Aretha, Dianna, Gladys, Patti,… but Dionne’s music, the arrangements, the fluctuating melodies, all of that resonated very deeply with me. And the sound just felt natural.  So, in 2019, when G.C. Cameron got in my ear and said, ‘You need to do this,’ I took that as confirmation from God, and I got busy,”  Debórah explained.  
When G. C. Cameron was asked why his sudden encouragement to Debórah to ‘do a Dionne Warwick project,’  he responded: “Oh I knew she had the voice when I did a little thing with her on her TV show years ago. I’m from Motown…  Been performing all over the world with The Spinners and The Temptations for over 50 years, and that Dionne Warwick sound is unique. There’ll never be another Dionne. But Debórah is the next best thing – hands down. But timing is everything, and by the grace of the most high God, this is Debóah’s time. ”

Deja Vu Dionne Tribute, 
1st Concert, DeYor PAC, Youngstown
2nd Concert, Goodyear Theater, Akron
Next Stop, someplace grand, So Stay Tuned...


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We Did It! May 1st, 2024 Was the Test and we PASSED! 

May 1st was “My” concert, My Vision to perform. And the reviews have been nothing short of glowing.  After not singing for decades. After living in the shadows of the success stories of others for decades. After being invisible and basically written off and even writing myself off -  I finally said, “I believe I am who God says I am, and from now on, I'm swinging for the fences, and I am betting on ”Me." 


Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing clips from the May 1st, 2024 premiere (click here)  “Deja Vu Dionne Warwick-Lou Rawls Tribute Concert!”  In the words of many who attended, “If you missed it, You MISSED it!” 

Deja Vu Dionne Warwick-Lou Rawls Tribute Concert