Wendy Moten is a Memphis born / Nashville resident icon. She has worked with the top artists of every genre, toured the world with numerous artists like, Vince Gill (2016- current), Martina McBride (2014-2016) and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (2005-2018).She has released 6 studio albums and has appeared on tracks for Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Tyler, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, John Oates and more. In addition, make sure you catch Wendy stepping into the circle at the Grand Ole Opry, something she has done a handful of times.
You may recognize Moten from the most recent season of The Voice, but that is just a tiny part of who Wendy Moten is, and where she came from. “I was terrified of The Voice. I have been in this business for over 35 years. I have a lot more left in me and since I don’t have a team, I just need to keep going. One of the main points of going on the show was to find out if I had what it takes to keep going and keep singing on the highest of levels. The Voice is a great show and well put together. I think that one of their main goals is to not stress the contestants out. They encourage a safe, positive space. One of the challenges I had is that in my generation, we don’t talk about ourselves. We don’t share how we feel or what we think. I had to keep in mind that ‘this is reality tv, they want to know everything’”. Moten’s coach on the show, country artist Blake Shelton brought on fellow country artist Dierks Bentley to advise his team. What Shelton didn’t know was that a few months prior, Moten backed up Bentley alongside Brothers Osbourne at the 2021 CMT Awards, you can check that performance out here. “It was a reunion for Dierks, but I had no idea he was going to be the advisor and Blake had no idea that we knew each other!” While Wendy was the seasons runner up, her iconic performance of Aretha Franklin’s ‘You’re All I Need To Get By”, had the rest of the country music world shocked. People had been missing Moten this entire time.
Wendy grew up in the 70s. Her love of music came from watching TV with shows like Hee Haw and Soul Train. “I don’t call myself a country artist, but I love singing traditional country songs. I see myself as a Linda Ronstadt type of artist. Moten says, “I’ve always been around different music and had many musical influences throughout my life. Sometimes I gravitate towards Tammy Wynette because she could really tell a story. For me, it was all about the music and not the label of a genre. The Music Business does not like that”. In high school, classical music was her main focus, but she says that “if you can master the roots of classical music, you can master it all”. One of her earliest gigs was at a theme park in Memphis doing 20-minute shows called Libertyland. In 1993, Moten was singing in a studio when Dick Williams from EMI Records (now owned by Universal Music) walked in, heard her voice, and signed her to a record deal, where she proceeded to tour the world with her music.
After the record deal concluded, Julio Iglesias found her, and she became his duet partner for 15 years. In addition to touring with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Martina McBride, Moten began working with Vince Gill. “I’ve always wanted to make a country album and had I never met Vince; I don’t know if I would have ever made one! I didn’t know if I still had it in me, but he did. He said his wish for me was to be heard by the masses. Had I not been not been encouraged by him to make this record; I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do The Voice”. You can hear that album that was produced by Vince Gill here. Wendy goes on to discuss the racial equity and equality in country music by saying “the race conversation in the country music genre has moved up and has grown tremendously since I grew up. Kane Brown is a country artist, Jimmie Allen is a country artist, and do not even get me started on the incredible Mickey Guyton, those vocals are undeniable, and she is an amazing country artist.”
Moten also recognizes the Black Opry and founder Holly G as one of the major game changers in country music. “I met Holly at the premier of the Charley Pride special for CMT. Holly is a brilliant and smart woman. She has put together what country music has always needed, a new pathway to the amazing artists associated with the Black Opry, who are phenomenal”.
Wendy dreams of creating her own platform where she can perform live. “I want to create the Wendy Moten Experience! All kinds of people will go to the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and to the Wendy Moten Show! I want the people who visit Nashville and the ones that will find me on the road to have this experience of hearing many genres under one roof. I’ll sing new songs and the ones that should never be forgotten. I sing with the listener in mind … it’s usually a love fest!”
Wendy’s got many shows planned for this year, you can see all of the dates on Instagram at @wendymoten and find more information on her website here.