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rom the moment she steps on stage you can feel her love and the absolute return of love from her audience—even before she sings one single note.

Denise Nicole White, professionally known as Avery Sunshine, is a singer, a songwriter, a pianist and a mother. Avery knew from a young age that she was meant to perform. She remembers, “at six or seven I saw a classmate playing the piano and I told my mother that I wanted to do that. It was clear to me that was what I wanted to do.” By 13, Avery had earned a gig as choir director at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Her other big dream of being a corporate lawyer moved further from sight when she realized music was tugging harder at her heart— she was a piano major at Spelman College. Truly a believer in destiny, Avery feels wholeheartedly that our steps have been planned and mapped out by God but, “I was completely unaware of that map. There was this unspoken kind of movement that was happening in my life.” Things just began to fall into place and into her lap. First a phone call from Jennifer Holliday asking her to perform and then an appearance in the movie and a song on the soundtrack of “The Fighting Temptations.” A conversation with a friend lead to Avery hitting the road, with keyboard in tow, to tour with Tyler Perry’s hit stage play “Meet The Browns.” Never second guessing her blessings, Avery confesses to writing down a list of wants and desires but says that she is very careful to, “yield to what the universe has for me because it hasn’t’ failed me yet.” As an independent artist, she has the luxury of doing things her way without the pressures of a major label. And although the industry may dictate that a mainstream artist must make music that radio stations will play, Avery believes in making music that feels good to her.

“I am much happier than I probably could ever be with a major label because this is our thing we created.” The pressure was on however when her song “Call My Name” hit number one. This independent artist was not only on the radio but “Call My Name” had surpassed people that she had been listening to her entire life. It was internal and industry pressure she began to feel and it kept her wondering how to make that magic happen again. “There is a fear that goes along with it. Do you try to do that again or do you keep making music that is true to you.” Her resolve is to just keep making music and “pray that people will love it.” 40 and proud, Avery has no issues with her age and says that aging has always been a “badge of honor.” Because commercial success happened for her later in life, it allowed her to raise two children and still do what she loves. She remembers working on her first album in 2010 and having a conversation with a close friend, who happens to be a staple in the R&B music scene, “she had three or four albums out at that time but was just having her first baby and we were looking at each other like WOW! It was really sobering.” That one conversation changed Avery’s whole perspective about being almost 40 and producing her first album. Her fears of it not working were no more. “We were going through the same thing but in different ways. There is no age limit on any of this and that is what’s so revealing. ”

Do not get married at 21 is what Avery would tell her 21 year-old self. “You don’t know who you are let alone who this person is you are trying to mesh with. Date, travel, try new foods, fall in and out of love and cut you hair!” Now divorced she admits, “I am grateful for my children’s father and I don’t regret a thing. If not for my experiences with him I would not have written that first album.” In love again, Avery says that she is very happy. The tone of her voice changes ever so slightly as she speaks on love and her mood reminiscent of her other hit song “Sweet Afternoon.” She sweetly professes, “When you find that someone who brings out the best in you, you figure out how to make it work and I am thankful to God for sending me someone who didn’t just care about me but also cares about my family and my children. I am grateful to God and I mean that!” Avery is continually learning about herself and is 100% comfortable in her skin. When asked to describe her favorite thing about herself she paused, “I am finally at a place in my life where I love a whole bunch of stuff about me because there was a time when I didn’t. There was a flaw in everything about me. There was a flaw in my voice, there was flaw in my weight but now I love my body. I do. I love my face, I love my hair, I love these children that God gave me that look like me. I love the music that God has given me to share. I like the way my fingernails look when they have nail polish on them. I like the shape of my nose and I love my lips, they look like my mother’s lips. I love a lot of stuff about me now. ” Vowing to continue to make music until death, Avery sees more music, more opportunities, more tours and television in her future. She promises, “there

will be no grass growing under these feet!” I believe her.

Learn more about Avery*Sunshine, her music, performances and tour dates at


Profile for Urban Lux Magazine


Deborah Cox graces our LUX LIST cover as we prepare to bring the year to a close and celebrate once again a prestigious ensemble of leaders...


Deborah Cox graces our LUX LIST cover as we prepare to bring the year to a close and celebrate once again a prestigious ensemble of leaders...