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“ANGEL OF THE MORNING.” The mere mention of this legendary record triggers a flood of memories for the millions who bought it and inevitably evokes the name of the artist for whom it meant international success: Merrilee Rush. But for the devoted legions that had been flocking to see Merrilee since 1962, her success was anything but overnight.  It was proof positive that talent and dedication can reap a just reward and that “good guys can finish first.”

Merrilee was schooled by the great R&B acts like Ike and Tina Turner (from which came the name of her band, The Turnabouts) and raised with the great rock sound of the Northwest. Her raucous show and dynamic presentation are a direct reflection of those influences.

As countless groups and artists came and went, Merrilee endured. The literal millions who have seen Merrilee perform live stand witness to her stellar record of achievement. A number one single in seven countries.  Four chart records. Decades of sold out shows.  Out of an entire generation of great Pacific Northwest acts, she was the only one to receive her industry’s highest honor: a Grammy nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year.

Her version of Angel of the Morning remains one of the most enduring staples of radio play lists (it’s played across the country every morning by radio disc jockeys) and it continues to light up Hollywood soundtracks like Tom Cruise’s “Jerry Maquire,” “Girl, Interrupted” and Harvey Keitel’s “Fingers.”

But beyond the gold records, her hot 100 singles and albums, the string of successful TV appearances and all the notoriety accompanying them—there is Merrilee “live,” one-on-one, an explosion that has generated more than 30 years of packed houses and an army of fans who know that Merrilee “live” is what rock-and-roll is all about.

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Merrilee now lives in the countryside near Seattle on the farm once owned by her grandfather. There she attends to her many interests which include the breeding and showing of Old English Sheepdogs.

In 1989, Merrilee’s lifetime musical achievements were honored by the Northwest Area Music Association. NAMA bestowed on her their highest award, induction into the prestigious NAMA Hall of Fame.

Merrilee continues today to rock the Classic and Oldies rock and roll tours where her dynamic shows make her one of the most in-demand acts of her era. Just ask the some of the acts she works with: from Paul Revere and the Raiders to Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels to Cannibal and the Headhunters to The Kingsmen to the Classic Rock All-Stars they all know: when Merrilee’s on the show, the house is gonna rock tonight.

Merrilee’s many talents continue to earn great praise and high awards. But for those who have been blessed by her talents, the highest place she could ever hold is that very place she has held for so long --  a place in our hearts.

Song: Mama -- Merrilee Rush