In just a few short minutes on America’s Got Talent, Alice Tan Ridley made her gifts known to the world when her phenomenal rendition of the Etta James classic, “At Last”, stunned the judges, brought the audience to their feet, and won the entire nation's admiration and affection, as she progressed all the way to the Finals. For many, this was their first exposure to Alice’s gifts as she had spent the past twenty-five years singing in the New York City subways.
Alice was born in Georgia into a musically talented family of nine siblings, most of whom have become artists. In 1971, she moved to New York where she married and had two children (her daughter Gabourey Sidibe would go on to earn an Oscar nomination for her role in the movie, “Precious”). For the first few years in New York, Alice worked as a paraprofessional teaching special-needs children in the New York City public school system. Things took a difficult turn when she lost her job and became a single mother. With no way to support her children, she turned to her gift of music. Alice went down into the subway and began singing the songs she knew and loved. Slowly and steadily she began to make a living which sustained her family for twenty-five years, as she sang and relied on the generosity of the thousands of strangers whose lives she came to realize were strengthened and lifted by her spirit filled voice as they hurried to and from work each day.
After America’s Got Talent, the world opened up for Alice. At sixty-two-year-old she is now a touring performance artist. Alice and her seven-piece band headline at prestigious venues such as BB King’s in New York City, and performing arts centers across the United States such as Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque, NM. She has headlined in Argentina, Germany, Uruguay, The Netherlands, and was invited by the Moroccan Ambassador to the U.S. to do a six-week tour in Morocco. Last year Alice was honored to be the featured performer with the Romanian Symphony Orchestra, in Romania. Alice was thrilled when asked to sing 'Amazing Grace' in the David LaChapelle film "Rize" and grateful when asked to perform a soul stirring rendition of 'America the Beautiful' in the film "Heights." Alice won an Emmy for her part in the documentary Military Families. Her voice can also be heard in commercial voice-overs and is instantly recognizable singing“ Good Feeling.” for Royal Caribbean Cruises and Buick.
Time Magazine, The New York Post, Perez Hilton and many other newspapers have lauded Alice's talent and spirit. But most important to her, Alice has inspired people, young and old, throughout the world to follow their dreams, and at sixty-one years of age, is living proof, that while they may come late, your dreams can still come true.