Kentucky Wesleyan Graduate on Showtime at the Apollo [Video]
I will never forget the first time I heard Nadia Wilkes sing. I was playing tennis on the courts at Kentucky Wesleyan College and, seemingly out of nowhere, I heard this huge, booming voice. I looked up and saw Nadia walking across campus belting out "I Am Changing" from Dreamgirls. It was flawless . . . and amazing. And, though I was sweating from playing tennis, I had cold chills. I chased after her, apologized for seeming like a complete creeper, and asked her if she would come sing for St. Jude in our annual Denim & Diamonds concert here at WBKR. She said "yes." She came and blew through the roof off of Theatre Workshop of Owensboro. And now she's blowing the roof off the Apollo Theatre in Harlem!
This is amazing!! Nadia just had the chance to sing on Showtime at the Apollo. You have to check this out. She absolutely slayed it!
Nadia was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey and attended Charter Tech High School for the Performing Arts in Somers Point. She found her second home here in Owensboro at Kentucky Wesleyan College, where she a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance. Nadia, by the way, credits the tutelage and direction of Paul E. Oakley and Dennis Jewett for her success at KWC.
Upon graduation in 2015, Nadia went home to New Jersey to take care of her mother. Her mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and passed away December 4th, 2016.
Since that time, Nadia has been substitute teaching, serving at Olive Garden, showing off that voice of hers and teaching others how to sing. See, Nadia grew up singing in the church and her voice has been rocking the rafters all over the place since. And once you hear her, you'll realize that Nadia's voice needs a big stage and a big audience. And, my goodness, she found one.
A week before she passed away, Nadia's mom told her that was "going to be on stage somewhere." As it turns out, her mom was right. Just six months later, Nadia was standing on stage at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Yes! Nadia Wilkes was singing . . . for herself and her mom . . . at Showtime at the Apollo. And just like she did the day I met her, when she was belting out a Dreamgirls song on the campus of KWC, she absolutely slayed it. She busted the windows out the car and the Apollo theatre.