Blues Artist Brian Owens Bringing R&B, Soul to Berea College Campus This Week

Brian OwensBrian Owens will perform “Soul,” a display of authentic rhythm-and-blues and soul at Berea College’s Stephenson Memorial concert on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel on the Berea College campus.

Owens channels his influences from legends like Marvin Gaye and The Temptations, and he delivers heartfelt performances. He is a household name in R&B and soul music. From the city of St. Louis, Missouri to touring around the U.S., the Grammy-nominated singer has earned many accolades, solidifying his impression on the music industry.

Owens went viral in 2013 for his adaptation of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” filmed and recorded with his father, Thomas Owens. His video has attracted more than 100 million views on Facebook and YouTube. His album “Soul of Cash” encapsulates his uniquely soulful style as he sings various covers of the legendary Johnny Cash.

Owens is also a community activist. As a longtime resident of Ferguson, Missouri, he gives back to the community in several ways, such as his L.I.F.E. Cultural and Performance Arts events. This initiative began in 2016 to educate the youth of Ferguson through music and art. He also continues his charitable work through other means, such as speaking to the youth around the area at other art institutions.

Owens is equally well known for his duet with five-time Grammy-winning vocalist Michael McDonald on “Song of Ferguson.” He has headlined his national tour, performed at the World Series and displayed his talents on multiple national television shows, including the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Entertainment Tonight.”

This convocation is open to everyone, but all attendees must be vaccinated and wear masks.

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Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.