Cheyenne Elliott

Cheyenne Elliott, the beautiful and talented rising pop singer, granddaughter of the legendary icon Dionne Warwick and cousin to the late Whitney Houston, will be performing at The Get Out! Magazine Awards on June 1.

What is it like being the granddaughter of Dionne Warwick?
It’s amazing. I’m very blessed. I was talking to her yesterday about having an amazing family full of legends. It’s just incredible.

When did you actually start singing, and how were you introduced to the entertainment industry?
I used to go to the studio with my dad and listen to him while he laid down tracks. Then when I was 12 years old, I went to a concert at Coney Island with my grandmother. I’d been watching her my entire life. So I decided to go one night because it was close to where I lived, and she was going to bring me up on stage to sing “That’s What Friends Are For,” and from that moment that’s when it kind of started, my musical journey. That’s when I decided, “Oh, I love this!” The energy on stage was amazing. That’s such a young age to really be taking that all in and experiencing it. I fell in love with the stage; I fell in love with the crowd. So really about 11, 12 is when I really started doing what I want to do.

That’s almost like a fairytale. How often do you speak with your grandmother?
Quite often. I talk to her when I can. Recently I’ve been talking to her a few times a week. She calls me to check in. I call her to just check in and see how she’s doing. We talk business, but most of the time we talk about what’s going on. I talk to her all the time. She’s always available for me, and I love that about her. She makes the time.

That is so sweet. You’re also the cousin of the late Whitney Houston.
I am, yes.

What was it like growing up with a second icon as a cousin? Did you see her a lot?
I got to see Whitney quite a lot. She was so busy. But I saw her at family holidays, family gatherings. She kind of knew that I wanted to sing. She always encouraged me to keep going and pursuing. She was very encouraging and inspiring as a young girl.

Now what are you up to, as far as your new single and everything else that you’re working on?
We are working on new music. We’re working on a full-length project. The song “With You” is a dance track, and I’m getting really great feedback, but my new music is more…we like to call it “soul-inspired pop.”

Soul-inspired pop. I like that.
It’s more of a John Legend [style]. It’s still mainstream, but there is definitely that soul sound.  That’s what my album sounds like. I love a dance song, I do, but you’re going to hear a new, different side of me, and I’m excited. That’s really who I am.

Are you going to tour in support of your new sound?
Not just yet. Once more music is released. Right now, this summer, I’m going to be touring with the new single. We’ll be doing performances in different clubs around the city. Probably other states as well, but once more music is released and put together we’ll be working on a full-blown tour.

Cheyenne, you’re wearing a warning label. What does that label say?
Oh, no, a warning label. I think of myself as a sweetheart, but I don’t know, that’s a good question. “Get ready for some fun!” I kind of like fun, and I kind of like energy. That’s who I am, and I always want to have a good time.

Perfect. Is your glass half empty or half full?
Half full. I have to live life that way. You just have to look at it like what are the positives in my life at all times. There’s always going to be amazing things. There’s always going to be bad things. But if you focus on those amazing things, that will keep you going.

You seem like a really happy person.
I am. I’m young, I’m happy, I’m alive, I’m healthy. Why not, you know?

And very beautiful.
Thank you.

What makes you angry? I mean, you don’t seem like you’d ever get angry, but if you did, what would it be about?
When I see people pick on celebrities in the media about their personal lives. That makes me angry. Just because they are in the public light doesn’t make them any less human. It makes me sad more than anything that people take jobs so easily like it’s nothing. People tell me all the time: “You know, Cheyenne, you’re walking into that. Are you ready for this?” I’ve grown up in a family that has taught me how to deal with the media, taught me to proceed with caution, to handle everything. I’m really blessed. But it still bothers me when they tear them apart, when they don’t even really know them.

That’s a really good answer, one I so totally agree with. The media can be powerful.
It is very powerful.  They can make you or break you. They really can. You want to present yourself in a good light.

Well, you answer my questions as if you’d rehearsed them, and I know you couldn’t have possibly. You’re smart, talented, pretty. You’ve got the whole package going on there.
Oh, thank you’

I’m so excited that you are doing the Get Out! Awards this year.
Oh, I know. I’m so excited. I’m happy.

How many songs do you plan on doing?
I think they are talking about two or three.

You’re going to be performing your new single, correct?
Yes, I’m going to do the single, “With You.”

You did Night of a Thousand Gowns recently, and as you were singing someone was putting it on Facebook. Well, everyone was saying, “That girl can really sing!”
I had so much fun. It was a great night. Everyone was beautiful. I was having so much fun.

You brought your whole family. That was cool.
Yeah, it was really great. It really was.

So what do you expect the awards to be like? What’s your perception of it?
Well, I heard that it’s a great time.

It is.
I heard there is great energy. It’s going to be a great performance and a great night. I’m looking forward to it. I’m very excited.

Is there anything that you want to ask me about the awards?
What should I wear? That’s a good question.

That really is. Well, it’s not as fancy as Night of a Thousand Gowns. So I would wear something cool and comfortable. Something that looks great on and something you just love!

Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....

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