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Sista Monica Parker

Sista Monica Parker was born on 27/04/1956 in Gary, Indiana. Her birth name was Monica C. Parker. When she was 7, Parker sang at her local Baptist church. After she left college, Parker joined the US Marine Corps. She served with them for three years until 1980 and rose to the rank of sergeant. After finishing her military service, Parker set up a staffing company in Chicago. It was mostly aimed at electrical engineering professions. Parker moved to Silicon Valley and acquired clients such as Apple Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo!.
In 1992, Parker's neighbour MC Hammer encouraged her to sing. She started her singing career singing at Emi's Bar & Grille in Santa Cruz, California.
In 1995, Parker released her debut album "Get Out of My Way" on her own independent record label Mo Muscle Records. She went on tour around the US.
In 1997, Parker released the album "Sista Monica".
In 1998, Parker was nominated for a Blues Music Award and was awarded a California Music Award. At the California Music Awards she was awarded "Best Blues Artist".
In the late 1990s, Parker was given the nickname "The Blues Lioness" for her performances.
In 2000, she released the album "People Love the Blues" which included guest appearances by Jimmy Thackery and Larry McCray. In the same year, Parker won the Gail Rich Award for excellence in the arts.
In 2001, Parker released her first gospel album "Gimmer That Old Time Religion". She also released the album "Live in Europe" in the same year.
In 2002, Parker performed at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival. She was diagnosed with the rare ailment of synovial sarcoma and was initially given three months to live. She received chemotherapy, radiation and therapy treatment.
In 2004, she released the album "Love, Soul & Spirit Vol. 1" after returning to the studio after treatment. Parker formed a 40 piece choir called Sista Monica Gospel & Inspirational Choir which was comprised of people from different faiths.
In 2005, Parker released the album "Can't Keep a Good Woman Down". Also in 2005, Parker was awarded the Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year.
In 2007, Parker was nominated for "Best Soul Blues Female Artist" at the Blues Music Awards.
In 2008, she released the album "Sweet Inspirations". Parker was nominated for "Best Soul Blues Female Artist" at the Blues Music Awards again. She would also be nominated in 2010 and 2012.
In 2011, Parker released the album "Living in the Danger Zone" which included a guest appearance from Kelley Hunt.
On 09/10/2014, Parker died of lung cancer in Modesto, California.
During her career, Parker shared the stage with artists such as B.B. King, India Arie, Gladys Knight, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Susan Tedeschi, Elvin Bishop, Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers, the Neville Brothers, and John Lee Hooker.
In 2015, Parker was posthumously awarded a Blues Music Award as "Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year".

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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