A Party with a Purpose

You spoke and we’re listening. We are changing the format of the event and negotiating with venues to bring you a new and improved Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribs Music Fest. Therefore, we have decided not to host an event this year in order to plan appropriately and solicit additional sponsorships. We will have an even better festival in Spring 2019.

Sunday October 16th - 2016

4:30 PM - Kelly Price

Kelly Price

Born into a family of singers and preachers Kelly Cherelle Price entered the world on April 4, 1973 the 2nd of 3 daughters to Rev Joseph and Mrs. Claudia Price. Although music was deeply rooted in the family it was still a surprise to her mother when she began to show signs of a musically tuned ear at just 9 months old. She was retaining melodies she heard during the day and humming them at night in the crib!

Public performances for young Kelly began in church at the age of two with the children’s choir with solos beginning by age 3. By age 6 Kelly was far advanced, becoming the youngest member of the junior choir for teenaged kids. By age 7 Kelly had written her 1st song and by 9 years old she was singing lead vocals in the local church’s adult choir as well as the regional, state and national convention choirs before thousands of parishioners who attended the COGIC conventions. In elementary school Kelly became the go to girl when a voice was needed, astounding her teachers who couldn’t believe the big voice that came from this young child. This resulted in her being given the nickname “Little Mahalia” at school.

By the age of 12 Kelly stumbled into laying background vocals when she was at a recording session with her mother and the producer over heard her perfectly singing the notes to his song as he instructed the singers in between takes. The producer was shocked and after receiving permission from her mother, put Kelly on the song as a background vocalist. This led to an opportunity to sing lead vocals on another independently recorded project with a local church choir. This process came easy to Kelly. Her sharp ear and quick learning capability along with her mature vocal sound earned her a widely known reputation causing her to be sought out by many up and coming producers throughout her teen years. By 17 years old she was the “it” girl for music producers who were in need of a vocalist to record their music when shopping it to labels.

For years Kelly wasn’t paid for these “gigs” however, her free labor would pay off by sharpening her studio and production skills and ultimately helping by making a connection in January 1992 that would land Kelly her first major engagement. In January of 1992 Price performed live behind George Michael at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

This was followed 1 month later by Kelly participating with a 40 voiced choir backing Mariah Carey at the Grammy Awards resulting in Kelly being approached by Tommy Mottola, then President of Sony Music who wanted to “make her a star”. This would also be the day Mariah Carey approached Price to ask if she would be interested in working with her. MTV “Unplugged” would be the first engagement of a nearly 6 year working relationship with Carey. In the years to follow Kelly Price would become the most consistent voice on Carey’s records and the most consistent face seen with her on television and stage.

At 22 years old Kelly began to actively pursue a serious career in songwriting, placing thoughts of being her own artist on the backburner after repeatedly being told that she could never make it as a mainstream R&B or pop artist performing her own music because both her voice and her body were too big. The belief was that Kelly simply would not fit in with the lighter, more radio friendly sounding voices and smaller more television friendly frames that record executives and the public preferred.

Initially willing to accept the publicly denied yet seemingly firm rule of the music industry Kelly convinced herself that she didn’t want to be an artist and went to work writing and placing songs with other artist to satisfy her need to get her music out.

The delay of Kelly’s solo career proved to be anything but a delay. By taking the path of a writer first, Kelly walked into a world of amazing learning experiences and in no time became one of the most sought after songwriters in the music industry, especially in the R&B and hip Hop comunity. Opportunities to record, produce, share stages with and pen songs for a plethora of artists spanning multiple genres of music began to pour in.

n 1996 after nearly a year of touring with both Puff Daddy and the Family and The Isley Brothers Price was being wooed by both Combs and Isley to sign to their labels. MCA and Jive Records would soon throw their hats I the ring and a bidding war began. Ultimately, Kelly signed with Isley’s T –Neck Records (distributed by Island Records) giving her the long awaited platform and opportunity to test the waters for herself and release her own music in her own voice. Many who heard her compared her sound to the vocal styling of a young Aretha Franklin.
The excitement of this opportunity was increased by Price’s now legendary performance on 1997’s Hip hop anthem Mo Money Mo Problems f/ Puff Daddy, Mase and the late rap Mega Star The Notorious BIG.

In 1998 Kelly Price released her mostly self-penned double platinum debut CD “Soul of A Woman” which propelled her to the forefront of the music industry as not just a writer but now as a solo artist. This process was started with a clever marketing scheme to release the 1st single “Friend of Mine” without a video and limit her appearances so the world would be forced to “hear her” first. The plan worked! With a hit song and audiences growing bigger daily, what many thought was sure career suicide for a new artist resulted in a nationwide frenzy to find out “who was Kelly Price?” The result of this campaign was a victory for Kelly and today holds as the model for every truly talented plus sized female artist of the coming generations that has followed her. Price made history by reaching #1 on the Billboard Charts and holding the top spot for 5 weeks consecutively with no video, a feat never before accomplished by any artist since MTV and video play became instrumental in the way songs obtained chart position.
After reaching number 1 Price completed the video for “Friend ” and released it to television. The world had its first real view of the songstress and the video propelled the song back to Billboard’s number one spot after it’s initial climb to the top of the charts and decline. This was also a history-making feat and a personal victory for Kelly. Having been seen by the world she was accepted in spite of her very full frame. Size did not matter. Or maybe it did!

Kelly’s subsequent albums were the platinum plus “Mirror Mirror” (2000), her RIAA gold certified Christmas LP “One Family” (2001), “Priceless” (2003) , also certified gold. Kelly always spoke of her Gospel roots proudly. In 2005 she released her first gospel offering entitled “This Is Who I Am” which was certified Gold reaching #1 in both the Billboard Gospel Albums chart as well as the Billboard Gospel Singles charts for the lead single “Healing” written and produced by Price.
After years with the major labels and the changing of tides in the music industry Kelly decided that years of knowledge and work in the business had led her to a place of entrepreneurship. She wanted to release her own music on her own label.

This crucially timed and risky decision resulted in her 2010 partnership with My Block Records and the 2011 independent release of the self-titled “Kelly”. Executive Produced by Price and long time collaborator producer Warryn Campbell, this critically acclaimed musical masterpiece gave Kelly 3 top 40 singles, 1 top 10 single and earned 4 Grammy nominations. For the lead single “Tired” in 2011 and 3 in 2012 (1) for Best R&B album and (2) for the single “Not My Daddy” in which Price collaborated with friend Stokely Williams and R&B Super Band Mint Condition.

Throughout her colorful career Kelly Price’s has musical collaborations Kelly have taken her to Billboard’s top spot multiple times with many artists. Through her amazing writing, arranging and production skills, Kelly has brought her unmatched sound, ability and unique talent to the already distinct sounds of the music industry’s finest across multiple genres of music.

They include Mariah Carey, George Michael, Ronald “ Mr. Biggs” Isley, the legendary Isley Brothers, Brandy, Gerald Levert, Aretha Franklin, Brian McKnight, Sean “P- Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Rakim, The Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupree, the legendary James Brown, Faith Evans, Chicago, Whitney Houston, Wynona Judd, Eric Clapton, Donnie McLurkin, Yolanda Adams, International Super stars Angelique Kidjo and Coko Lee, Kim Burrell, R. Kelly for whom she holds the honor of being the only writer whose songs the noted writer/producer/artist has recorded other than his own.Price’s discography i s extremely extensive making it nearly impossible to include everyone.*

Music is Universal! Unique opportunities have presented themselves because of the reach of Kelly’s voice. Sir Elton John heard Kelly in 1998 and personally requested her participation in the all-star -soundtrack recording of the music for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Broadway smash AIDA. Following the recording sessions Elton John was quoted declaring, “Kelly Price is the most important black singer to come since Aretha, she is going to be a huge star!!”

The list of artists Kelly has collaborated with continues to grow. 2012 would add Bonnie Raitt to the list of artists who have recorded a Price-penned song with the release of in her Grammy -nominated “Slipstream”.

Throughout her colorful career Kelly Price has diversified herself by tapping into other areas of show business and entertainment. Recognized by fans and peers alike for her sensual yet classy style of dress and further recognized for the influence she has among full figured women worldwide, brands have been wooing Kelly to wear their clothes.

See the entire entertainment lineup.


Please consider volunteering your time at the 10th Annual Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribs Music Fest. You will not only have fun volunteering at the event, but are able to stay before and after your shifts to enjoy the music and food. It will truly be a great weekend!
Registration Form


“Greatest Ribs in America”, “Golden Ribs Award”, “Best Sauce in the Nation” and numerous “People’s Choice Awards” are just a few of the Titles and Awards, the attending Rib Masters share amongst them. Last year’s winners of the “Best Ribs” and “Best Sauce” Awards will attend again and are ready to defend their titles.

Kids Fest

Families will find plenty to do and will enjoy Games, Rides, Prizes, Thrill Shows, and Live Entertainment in our Interactive Kid’s Fun Zone.


Read what The Sarasota Post had to say about last year's event.


Don’t miss your opportunity to place your products and services in front of the THOUSANDS that will attend Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribs Music Fest. Sponsorship levels range from $500 up to $20,000 and we can even customize a sponsorship package that is perfect for your company!

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MCR Health Services