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Janiva Magness / Blog


Foster Care Alumni of America has named Alligator Recording Artist Janiva Magness Ambassador of Foster Care Alumni. In this capacity, the award-winning blues singer will serve as an advocate for children and adults who share the foster care experience, raising awareness and sharing her message of hope.

On any given day, there are more than 500,000 children in foster care—and there are millions of adults in this country who were in the foster care system when they were young. Janiva is one of these alumni of the foster care system. She says, “Someone was brave enough to stand up for me when I was young and in foster care. Foster Care Alumni of America is standing up for people in and from the system every day, and I am so honored to have the opportunity to raise awareness and help make a difference in the lifetimes of children.”

Although Janiva is now an international Blues star, her rise to the top was far from easy. Born in Detroit, Janiva was inspired by the blues and country she heard listening to her father’s record collection, and by the vibrant music of the city’s classic Motown sound. By her teenage years, though, her life was in chaos. She lost both parents to suicide by the age of 16 and lived on the streets, bouncing from one foster home to another. One night in Minneapolis, an underage Magness sneaked into a club to see blues great Otis Rush, and it was there that she found her salvation and realized that the Blues was her calling.

Nathan Monell, CEO of Foster Care Alumni of America, says, “Janiva’s story of how Blues brought power and hope to her world as an isolated and struggling youth in foster care reminds us that all 500,000 foster children and youth in care need what she found—a place to belong and a purpose to engage with in the world. We are proud to partner with her as FCAA’s ambassador.”

Magness’ new CD, The Devil Is An Angel Too, debuted at #1 on the Blues chart on iTunes and #3 on the Billboard Blues Chart. The Blues Foundation of Memphis, TN honored Janiva in 2009 as the recipient of the highly coveted B. B. King Entertainer of the Year as well as the Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year, an award she has been nominated for again in 2010. In the last four years, she has been nominated 11 times and won four awards.

Janiva is currently touring internationally in support of her new release. In addition, she will be meeting with foster care alumni and foster parents and sharing her story about ways to make a difference in the lives of young people. See a full list of tour dates here, and if you are an alumnus of foster care, or a foster parent, or someone who is standing up for young people, please be sure to introduce yourself to Janiva after the show! Go to Janiva’s website to join her email list and read the latest about her shows and foster care advocacy.

Foster Care Alumni of America is a national non-profit founded and led by alumni of the foster care system. Its mission is to connect the alumni community and to transform foster care policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.