“Music is life!” That is the simple statement that headlines Portland’s musical diva LaRhonda Steele’s website. When I read that it resonated through me and made me pause. Watching LaRhonda perform only makes this hit home even more.
“I knew I wanted to be a singer ever since I was in high school. I found that my peers accepted me when they heard me sing and when I sang in church I felt so connected to God. I really wanted to share that good feeling,” LaRhonda said. And that’s exactly what she does every time you hear her sing—she shares that good feeling with all in attendance.
She began her professional singing career shortly after moving to Portland 20 years ago. LaRhonda was encouraged to audition for the annual MLK celebration organized by Ken Berry. She auditioned over the phone. Her first paying gig was with his band, Time Sound, and soon after that she joined the Norman Sylvester Band.