"There is a woman in the room," Ashley Cleveland announces on "Queen of Soul," the rousing lead-off track from her latest release, Before the Daylight’s Shot. Though she may be singing about Aretha Franklin, that simple declaration could double as Cleveland’s own motto as an artist. In a music scene overpopulated by breathy girls and melismatic vamps, Cleveland is that rare thing - a woman who sings like a woman. A woman with grit and passion.
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