Singer, author, actor, speaker, and 3-time Grammy nominee, Michele Pillar has been involved with music since her childhood in L.A. In part to escape from the effects of her parents’ alcohol abuse, she found refuge in music, listening to Top 40, The Beatles, Motown and even Broadway Musicals – anything that told a story in song and could carry her somewhere far away.
Michele didn’t just listen. Her talent was evident early, to the extent that she began performing at 16, though that meant lying about her age in order to work in nightclubs. She found it to be a way of escape, a way to move out. A friend, Alf Clausen, cast her in a rock opera he wrote when she was 17. Later Alf would hire her again to play the voice of Karen Carpenter on the TV show, The Simpsons.
While in college Michele began recording. She sang on TV commercials for Bank of America, Toyota, Levi Strauss, Lexus and helped define the direction of Christian popular music. She received three Grammy nominations and was on the road 200 days each year as a solo artist when she met and soon wed Carlton. It was a marriage filled with the promise of sustaining two successful careers, each enhancing the other.
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