While growing up in Summerville South Carolina, Carri Ann McMullan frequented many southern Baptist churches, her mother was a local Christian songstress shared her testimony through her gift of song and while sleeping under many a pew during those performances, Carri absorbed the word of God as well as a love and respect for music, singing & fellowship.
After moving to Louisville in 1988, Carri began performing in various school plays, talent shows and special community events and everywhere she blessed the stage she was able to grab the attention of everyone in the room. Although Carri would usually be asked to sing Classic songs like "At Last" to the "Wind beneath My Wings", she found herself gravitating to the more soulful sounds of great artists such as Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn, Patti Labell, Anita Baker & Tina Turner.
During Carri’s junior high school years, the upcoming artist found herself being able to rap with the best of her classmates, being quick minded and humorous helped her win several rap battles in the lunch cafeterias, but what she really enjoyed most was her written poetry and as her poetry continued to flourish throughout her teenage years, her pieces began to evolve and thus made her the talented singer song writer that she has become today.
As Carri auditioned for any and all chorus ensembles, she was immediately accepted, her high school years is was where Carri actually developed her vocal strength & confidence and can give tribute due to great singers like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Phyllis Hyman, Teena Marie and most importantly Mary J Blige; speaking of…hearing MJB for the first time changed Carri’s love for singing forever! The pain, joy, hurt, and struggle heard in Mary J Blige’s vocals connected with the red-headed, full figured, Caucasian which begun a many of explanation as to her look verses her sound and on more than one occasion was accused of trying to be something she wasn’t, when in fact was the total opposition of what she truly is “a soulful singer”. The deep southern upbringing that Carri had created a deepening eye opening racial experience that enlightened her to look past color and respect people and music for who and what they are.
Singing for Governors, political figures, well respected business tycoons, top churches, schools, charity events and television shows, Carri was successful in graduating from Western High School in 1992 and within the graduation ceremony she sang "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye" to hundreds of her classmates and their families. It was an amazing moment in her life when she saw people break into tears, and this was the first time an article was put in a local Louisville, Kentucky news paper “The Courier News Journal". The article caught the attention of several local businesses that in turn hired Carri to perform for Kosair Charities Crusade for Children, “Harlem Knights”, that appear on local cable broadcasts as well as the state fair.
Karaoke eventually became a tremendous platform to promote Carri's talent and it gained her tremendous publicizing amongst her peers and the talent community in Louisville. In 1999, a local favorite restaurant of the elites, Mike Linnings hosted a phenomenal karaoke singing contest at the Kentucky State Fair to which Carri won 1st place, this event set off a winning streak of singing contests where she won well over $5,500.00 in a 3 month period. To this day Carri has won over 275 vocal competitions.
2003-2006 Carri along with local Louisville promoter & entertainer Joe Black (from New York, NY) ran "JBP" aka Joe Black Productions, putting on variety shows, talent competitions, country clubs exhibitions and city wide performances in local venues within the Midwest and was able to raise money for sick children, and special community projects. 2003 was a big year for Carri, and was the year that she won the first ever "Louisville Idol" singing contest hosted by the famous "Jerry Green & Friends" (an R&B crooner who toured with Ben E. King, and has had legends like "The Drifters", "The Platters" and "Shirley Murdock) The judges were prominent fashion and entertainment professionals including Nancy Greenwell (Cosmo Models) & David Naughton (Star of the 1981 classic film "An American Werewolf in London"). David Naughton told Larry Muhammad (article writer for the Courier Journal) that “Carri blew everybody out of the water!”- “People were on their feet, hooting and hollering-we judges looked at each other and went, 'Boy, did we make the right decision'. She has a heck of a voice, powerful and very emotional." (Courier Journal article can be found in the August 19th, 2003 archives, in the Features, C1.)
After winning "Louisville Idol", Carri booked countless gigs, while still being a huge part of the Louisville karaoke community. After waiting the required time after winning the Kentucky State Fair, Carri competed again in 2007, where she yet again took 1st place, being the first contestant ever to win multiple times. Carri also entered the newly developed "Duets" competition at the Kentucky State Fair hosted by "Mike Linnings" in 2011 along with local karaoke male vocalist Ryan Carroll. They had never even sang together, but walked away with 1st place after sing the country smash hit "In Another’s Eyes", by Garth Brooks" &" Trisha Yearwood".
September 2010, Carri competed in the "Gaslight Festival Karaoke Singing Contest" hosted by the World Famous "Thoroughbred Chorus" and won 1st place in the adult division, later that same year Carri was a featured special guest in the "Thoroughbred Chorus" annual Christmas Concert singing the lovely duet done by "Whitney Houston" &" Mariah Carey", "When You Believe", for the soundtrack "Prince of Egypt" blockbuster animated film.
In February 2011 Carri competed with over 3,000 contestants in the "Fox In the Morning Idol" singing contest hosted by WDRB Fox 41 news television, where she place 2nd over all, and was aired on their morning show. (Fox in the Morning Feb 2011 archives for viewing "Mom's Music").
Carri is a very humble, caring and down to earth spirit who loves to uplift the "underdog" artists in her community and loves sharing the stage, as well as her well earned advice with up and coming artist and is known for her undeniable talent. The gracious diva has a heart, savvy ideas and more of anything a fun personality who is a featured artist on the ‘All about mom’s web site’, Mom-Me-Dearest.com, celebrating hard working mothers/ single mothers who push forward with their careers. To date Carri is working on a maxi single to showcase her work to the world and to provide the sultry R&B music genre with long awaited soulful music that has seem to be lost within the past. The hit single, “I Told You” is sure to make an everlasting effect on the hearts and minds of those who can appreciate a love story with a realistic meaning.