Shining Rae, born Shannin Rae Watkins, defines music as an extension of her soul that she plans on sharing with the world. With influences such as Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, and Anita Baker, Shining Rae writes music that paints pictures with words and makes one feel empowered. Her distinctive voice is sultry, yet smooth and angelic. Her versatility adds flavor to any genre of music. She often refers to her genre as “Soul/Pop” with the “life’s lessons” of Folk music.
Since the age of 12, Shining Rae has won many talents shows, been booked for professional gigs all over the South and Midwest regions, and had her own song copyright by age 17. Growing up with parents that are musicians/songwriters made music an inevitable love of Shining Rae. With such multifaceted musical inspirations around her, she’s had time to hone her skills in preparation for a successful music career. She is a self-taught guitarist, pianist, and trained flute and piccolo player. She’s won numerous regional and statewide youth orchestral competitions and held ranks as high as #1 regionally and #2 flute soloist in the state of Arkansas. to performing in front of crowds of over 5,000 people, Shining Rae is no stranger to showbiz. Throughout high school, she represented her hometown as a vocalist and dancer for Arkansas's State P.R.I.D.E. (Parents and Resources In Drug-free Education) team and was also selected as 1 of 4 National vocalists. It was during a 2002 performance/competition in Cincinnati, Ohio that she received a standing ovation of more than 5,000 people after singing a powerful rendition of "Emotions" as recorded by Destiny's Child. This performance led the Arkansas State Team to its first national victory. That monumental day was all the validation Shining Rae needed to feel sure that she was born to sing. This also led to her growing passion for community outreach to “at- risk” teens. Shining Rae has been featured in Banner News and the Ruston Daily Leader for her philanthropic efforts utilized her music to motivate kids to go for their dreams. The launch of her new website www.shiningrae.com features a section called “Shining Rae’s Shining Stars of Tomorrow” that is dedicated to talented kids.
During college at Louisiana Tech University, Shining Rae had become a household name in northern Louisiana. She was the most requested student artist on KLPI FM and most requested vocalist for the National Anthem at numerous sporting events. For the past 5 years, the LA Tech Athletic Department continues to book her to sing namely, an ESPN aired basketball game in 2011.
In 2006 after graduating from college as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Shining Rae left her Southern roots to follow her dreams and moved to Baltimore, Maryland. There she worked as a Scientist at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 4 years and with little sleep she mastered the art of juggling her science and music careers. From November 2008 to May 2009, Shining Rae was a background singer for TMG Records artist Nisha Hester and performed at President Barack Obama’s 1st “Lighting of the National Christmas Tree” in Washington, D.C. She has also collaborated with and opened up for Hip-Hop artists such as Baltimore's own Huli Shallone and subsequently performed as a featured artist in lounges located inside the historic Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore and Eden’s Lounge.
Shining Rae has released a digital EP and two singles (Itunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc.) & created a nice buzz through YouTube that gained fans all over the world. With an “old soul & heart of gold,” it is clear that Shining Rae is well on her way to becoming the music industry’s hottest female singer/songwriter/musician/producer that makes music that resonates with people from all walks of life in the new age of music.