Dawn Silva was born and raised in Sacramento, California, and began her career as a background singer for Sly Stone. This world-class exposure brought her into contact with the who’s who of Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Pop, Jazz, Blues, Country, Rock, Rap, Hip Hop, and New Wave Music.
Fate moved Silva full swing into the Funk Arena when Stone dropped out of his supporting slot on Parliament-Funkadelic’s 1976 U.S. tour and the rest is history. George Clinton, produced a group on Atlantic Records called, The Brides of Dr. Funkenstein, featuring Sly’s girls, Lynn Mabry, and Dawn Silva. In 1979, the Brides’ unprecedented popularity earned them a #7 hit record on Billboard’s R&B singles. The (Record World R&B Awards) honored the ladies with a #1 Best New Single, for Bootsy Collins’ song, “Disco To Go a #1 Best New Album for Funk or Walk.
Second, the Brides of Funkenstein received a (Cashbox R&B Award) for Best New Group in 1980 for the single release, “Never Buy Texas From A Cowboy.” This single featuring, Dawn Silva, Jeanette McGruder, and Sheila Horne was also voted by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2001 as one of the TOP FIFTY coolest albums of all time – coming in at number #26. This album is inclusive of legendary artists like The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Sly & The Family Stone, Frank Sinatra, Howling Wolf, Bob Dylan, Isaacs Hayes, and more. This funky trio was the first female funk group to cross over successfully into a New Wave/Rock Market, and the only spin-off group out of the P-Funk Empire to win mainstream awards. The Brides Of Funkenstein, embarking on a hard-core rock and funk combination, left their audiences in a state of pure funkiness for decades.
Silva flew under the radar for most of the ’80s and 90’s moving on to record and tour with “The Gap Band,” credited on “Gap Band V” (Jamming) and the platinum-selling album “Gap Gold.” Silva stood on stage at the Greek Theatre, in Hollywood, California, singing behind the world-famous B.B. King. She crossed paths with the gifted duo, The Eurythmics, and recorded with guitarist Dave Stewart on various studio projects and soundtracks.
While working as a session vocalist in Los Angeles, she recorded with Hip-Hop artists W.C. and The Maad Circle, Coolio, Dale The Funky Homosapien, Ice Cube, and others, and was featured on John Singleton’s “Boyz in the Hood’s title soundtrack called, “How to Survive in South-Central.”
In December of 2000, Silva released her critically acclaimed debut album entitled, “All My Funky Friends,” selling independently well over two-hundred-thousand CDs globally, catching the music industry off guard. (Billboard Magazine) hailed her independent efforts as (Body Shaking). And (Tower Records 2003) stated Silva’s debut album was the only authentic Funk offering in the new millennium. A stunning slab of traditionally infected grooves; Silva is in fine voice – perhaps better than she was in her days as a Bride, making “All My Funky Friends,” one of the best offerings to the funk genre in almost a decade. (Amy Hanson ~ Music Critic) Dawn’s CD is still selling today – and is now available on vinyl records for the first time. Click the link.
Black music has gone through many different variations; however, only a few genres went on to influence musicians and vocalists for decades. From the Blues out of the Mississippi Delta to the sounds of Jazz coming out of Harlem to the sounds of Motown, no artists had a bigger influence on the Funk than James Brown and Sly Stone. From those two came all others; the raw energy of The Godfather of Soul and the flamboyant theatrics, look, and sound of Sly Stone.
“Dawn Silva is the female embodiment of both pioneers; a woman in a man’s world who funked just as hard and as tight with her music, voice, and captivating beauty. She created a new form of modern Funk, keeping it alive in its purest form, while others have diluted and bastardized it into beats and digital loops. Dawn Silva’s dream is to restore Funk Music to its rightful place in mainstream America and throughout the world, delivering all from the rhythmless blues and the blahs.” -Henry Mayers ~ MadnessFilm, Independent Film Director.
Fast forward to 2023 and Dawn Silva is now releasing a 544-page Table-Book Autobiography entitled The Funk Queen on New Rising Publishing LLC (NRP) in 2023. Pre-orders start now
Book Quotes from Top Industry Journalists
“One of the most honest in my life-in-music and books you’re going to read, and also one of the most exploratory.”
English Author of more than 100 books and writer for Rolling Stone and Goldmine Magazine
“Dawn Silva’s memoir simply put, is a page-turner. From her vantage point as a veteran of the 1970s and 1980s funk music movements, Silva’s story is a remarkable narrative of times past and present, turmoil and triumphs. From making music with Sly & The Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, The Gap Band, and others; to releasing a debut solo album that slashed music industry protocols; to challenges of Black womanhood and politics in the entertainment industry, Silva takes readers on an uncut ride, leaving no base uncovered and no stone unturned.
Her story is a life well-funked, from young rebel, to rock star, to rock bottom, to revived music maven, to rise above it all. And in telling it all, with this book, Silva has reclaimed her rightful throne as an original and reigning Queen of Funk.”
Melissa A. Weber Music historian, writer, and educator, aka DJ Soul Sister Veteran host of WWOZ FM’s Soul Power New Orleans and Award-Winning performing artist.
“Dawn Silva is a dynamic storyteller with a raw, incandescent aura. Dawn wasn’t twenty feet from stardom. The stars were twenty feet from Dawn.”
Nelson George American Author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker