Roberta Lea: Making History
Is Virginia woman making history as the first African-American country artist to rise from Norfolk, VA?
March is Women's History Month, and Lea is making her mark in history as we know it.
Roberta Lea is a singer/songwriter, producer and artist who, after the pandemic, decided to take a chance on her dream and pursue music full time. Although it hasn't even been a year, Lea has been featured in the Nashville Scene's Country Music Almanac 2022's "Artists To Watch" list and started the 2022 New Year with 6 nominations (including Best E.P.) at the local Veer Music Awards; winning Song Of The Year for her single "Sweet Baby Ray".
She became a member of a collective called "The Black Opry" (read more: Washington Post, Rolling Stone). It is an organization dedicated to creating safe spaces and support for black artists and fans of country music after the founder, Holly G, found herself feeling unsafe attending country music concerts as a queer, black woman. Roberta Lea joined Holly at the Americana Fest in Nashville along with other "unknown" black country artists. Not long afterwards, Roberta began touring with the other artists in what's now known as the Black Opry Revue. Lea has hit major cities in the first leg of the tour such as New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Philly and more. She's graced the stage of historic venues like Rockwood Music Hall, Exit/In, and Dollywood theme park, the Arden Gild, and a classic run with the City Winery just to name a few.
On top of the tour, major media publications are covering her journey. From Lorie Liebig's praise of Lea's single "Uniform" (in honor of Veterans Day) on THE BOOT , to her performance on NPR's World Cafe Live , and her e.p. "Just A Taste" review on Women of Country, the country music world is quickly taking notice. And again, it hasn't even been a year.
To wrap up the end of the month, Lea is planning to release an acoustic teaser for a new project she describes as a "power-house anthem" for women of her generation. "Too Much of a Woman" is a mic-drop experience and has been widely praised by audiences across the country. She ended her set at the Zeiders American Dream Theater with the 'girl power' song, and from hearing the shouts and "yes!" exclamations from the crowd, the sentiments were very clear; that is a hit song.
Lea is extremely proud to represent black women in country music, as for many years their stories have yet to be told through this lense, until now. With country stars like Mickey Guyton representing Texas and Brittney Spencer from her neighboring state Maryland, Roberta Lea is proud to be a Virginia woman making her place in history too.
Manager (Roberta Lea)