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15-Year Old Singing Sensation WHITNEY WOLANIN Moves to the head of the soulful class with "Funkology XIII" * * * Working with Motown "Funk Brother" and bass legend Bob Babbitt, the wise-beyond-her-years vocal powerhouse mines a spirited handful of legendary R&B classics, including her new single "It Takes Two," a duet with Survivor's Jimi Jamison. * * * Wolanin, whose anthemic original "Good" Hit #7 on FMQB's AC40 chart, has appeared on the homepage of iTunes, sung the National Anthem for major league and NFL Games, and has headlined as guest artist with the Legendary Funk Brothers Band and Commodores at The Naples Music Festival. The musical electricity in the Nashville studio was crackling that day in 2004 when 13-year-old Whitney Wolanin (pronounced WO-Lan-in) made her recording debut with a powerful and spirited rendition of the Martha and The Vandellas classic "Heat Wave" which she nailed brilliantly in one take. Legendary bassist and Motown "Funk Brother" Bob Babbitt, who gathered some of the industry's top session musicians to play with the young singer, turned to his cohorts and asked what they thought. "Amazing for a 20 year old," they agreed. Then Wolanin spoke up and reminded them, "Guys, I'm only 13!" Reflecting later on her first session at the House of Bob studio in the vintage Victorian house whose vibe was very much like Grand Avenue in Detroit, where the early Motown classics were cut she says, "I went in there wanting to just be myself, and I was nervous at first working with all these great players. But the energy was high and the setting really inspired me. We cut four songs that first day!" Those tracks quickly evolved the into the core of Funkology XIII, the singer's debut project whose title reflects the set's lively old school-meets-modern pop/rock grooves and the age Wolanin was when she recorded it. Produced by Babbitt with the singer's father, 35 year music industry veteran Vincent Wolanin, the collection is a fun-filled gathering of soul classics, some very familiar ("This Old Heart Of Mine," "What Becomes of The Brokenhearted," "Young And In Love") and others magical but a bit more obscure ("Martha and The Vandellas" "Quicksand," Smokey Robinson's "Head To Toe"). On "Quicksand," the singer pulls off the amazing feat of literally "swinging with her voice", along with the band. Wolanin fashions another Robinson chestnut, "Mickey's Monkey," into her own thing with a whimsical reworking called "Whitney's Monkey," and she recorded Funkology XIII's new single (scheduled for a February release to radio) "It Takes Two" (originally done by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston) with famed Survivor lead singer Jimi Jamison. The lone original number, a self-empowerment anthem appropriately and simply titled "Good," has spent over 45 weeks on FMQB's AC40 Chart (peaking at #7 last November), and Wolanin's lighthearted holiday gem "Christmas (The Warmest Time Of The Year)" was the most added song at radio four weeks in a row. Both songs appeared in the Top 100 Airplay Chart at the same time. On the FMQB AC40 Top 40 Radio Chart of Feb 14th 2006 "It Takes Two" was the number 1 added song and reached the Top 10 at #9 on the April 12, 2006 radio chart.. "We picked the songs based on what I thought was best for my range and which allowed me to vocally be my best," says Wolanin. "I've always been told my voice had soul in it, so I thought it would be fun to focus on R&B to establish myself. The best part of the whole experience was finally being able to record songs I love and get some music out there. From the time I started singing when I was two years old, I've wanted to sing for as many people as possible. It's not just about trying to be famous, but about my love and passion for the music." "Still, I'm not limiting myself to old school R&B, she adds. "I love all kinds of music, and some of the new original material I'm working on now is more modern, with a next generation Destiny's Child flavor. I'm also eager to do more pop/rock material." At the tender age of 15, the charismatic singer with the four and a half octave range is developing into more than simply a star, but an artist of substance and an inspiration to young girls with dreams everywhere. On March 26, 2006 Wolanin, backed by Babbitt and many of the other "Funk Brothers," appeared and rocked the event as one of the headliners along with The Commodores--at the Naples Music Festival. In 2005, she appeared on the front page of the Apple iTunes website twice. Wolanin also sang the national anthem before hundreds of thousands of people at Fenway Park, Shea Stadium and other major league parks, plus at a series of games for the Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, Phillies, Reds, etc. and also at Pro Player Stadium before a Miami Dolphins game. She has five baseball games scheduled already for the 2006 season. At the National Girls Basketball Championship in Texas, there were 2,500 young girls on one side of the court and 2,500 parents on the other. By the time Wolanin who was at the event making a promotional appearance--performed her second song, hundreds from both sides stormed the floor past the security guards and were on the floor dancing. Her popularity on the teen basketball circuit which extends to being a starter on her own high school basketball team as well earned her an article in the national magazine Women's Basketball. The University of Tennessee, which has one of the top women's basketball teams in the country, sponsored a nine game special event where they gave away 288 copies of "Good" at each game and put Wolanin's bright smile on the scoreboard. Each year, the Wolanin Family puts on a Rockin' Christmas Party for charity, featuring an All-Star band comprised of members of famous rock groups. At those events, Wolanin performs along with rockers from AC/DC, Survivor, Loverboy, Kansas, the Funk Brothers, and Starship; proceeds go to cancer research, the local Children's Hospitals and to fund a permanent scholarship endowment for needy students. In 2005, Wolanin did a national campaign with every Children's and Shriners Hospital in every state in the US, whereby all the sick children received a copy of her Christmas record. While Wolanin, currently hard at work on her second album, is eager to go on her first full-scale tour, she is focused on maintaining a balance between making music and being a regular teenager. No matter where her career takes her, she is adamant about remaining enrolled at her high school, where she is in the International Baccalaureate World School Program, an intense course of study, which assigns college level work. Naturally, while playing on the basketball team and also playing softball and volleyball, the singer maintains a straight A average. "There are so many things in life that I enjoy, but ever since I can remember, singing was the one thing I knew I was going to do," Wolanin says. "It's a lot of fun to have all these things happening career-wise, but on a more meaningful level, I love having people relate to the music, and relate to what I'm going through in my life through the songs I sing. When they sing along, I know I'm reaching them, and there's nothing greater for me than experiencing that emotional connection." More information available at: www.WhitneyWolanin.com WW Rev 61506

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