By Hilal Ustuk
ISTANBUL (AA) – A U.S. jazz singer who has worked with global stars such as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston has told Anadolu Agency she adores Turkish audiences' “love and kindness on and off the stage”.
Della Miles -- a Texas native, who often sings and duets in Turkish -- is currently in the country performing a number of dates, building on her frequent visits to Turkey.
“This is a beautiful country and I am happy to come to Turkey. I pray that God will protect and keep the people and the beautiful land you have been blessed with,” Miles told an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
“As I travel through Europe and around the world, believe me, I am always telling the people how wonderful [Turkey is] and how much love is in your country,” Miles added.
The youngest of six children, Miles was born into a musical family; her mother sang and directed music in church and her father was a jazz enthusiast and club owner.
“I am all about the music and my goal is to reach as many people as I can so that I can share the love I have for music,” she said.
Moving from Texas to Los Angeles, California was a turning point in Miles’ career: “There I began to sing in many clubs and studios. After a while my name started to grow and I was introduced to Whitney Houston where I developed as an artist.”
“Meeting Whitney Houston was being in the right place at the right time. Working with her was a dream come true. I could not have had a better teacher or example of how to be on stage,” she added.
Another turning point was meeting with global pop star Michael Jackson.
“I was introduced to Michael because of a musical he was producing. I was cast in the lead role in ‘Sisterella’. Working in his organization was a great experience,” she adds.
Also a songwriter, Miles took to the stage with German actor and musician Marius Muller-Westernhagen. In 2012, she took a leading role in the American opera Lulu and later she portrayed the wife of former U.S. President Barack Obama in Hope - The Obama Musical Story.
Miles has also worked on tribute albums for Turkish musicians such as Muslum Gurses and Zeki Muren in Turkey.