SRU books “America’s Got Talent” star


Alice Tan Ridley

Alice Tan Ridley, of “America’s Got Talent” fame, will present a concert at Slippery Rock University at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 16, in the University Union Multi-Purpose Room.

Sept. 23, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Alice Tan Ridley, the American singer who achieved notoriety on television's "America's Got Talent," will launch Slippery Rock University's 2015-2016 Performing Art Series with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 16, in SRU's University Union.

Tickets are available.

Ridley, mother of actress Gaboruey Sidibe, who stared in "Precious," will share her journey, including her challenges and inspiration to keep seeking her dream, during a talk for students and the public at 2 p.m. in the University Union.

During her concert, Ridley will sing diva hits from Etta James, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and others. Songs will include "At Last," "The Greatest Love of All," "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Natural Woman." A five-piece band of piano, guitar, bass, saxophone and drums will accompany her.

"Alice has worked so hard to finally reach an audience and touch hearts," said Deb Baker, SRU director for special events. "In a few short minutes on 'America's Got Talent,' her phenomenal talents became known. I have met her and find her to be honest, genuine, warm, appreciative and of course talented.

Notoriety didn't come easily. For more than 20 years, Ridley supported her family with money she earned from street performances. She sang in the New York City subways.

Born in Georgia to a family of 10 children, Tan Ridley has been performing since childhood. After moving to New York in 1971, raising a family and teaching children with handicaps in the NYC school system, she focused upon her singing career in 1992 when she began singing full time in the New York City subway stations - Union Square, 34th Street, and the famous 42nd Street Times Square station.

She covered many songs such as 'I Will Always Love You', 'I Will Survive', 'Billy Jean', 'My Heart Will Go On', and other familiar favorites.

As she began to get noticed, Tan Ridley performed in Morocco, Argentina, Germany, Uruguay, the Netherlands and in the U.S. She sang "Amazing Grace" in Rize, the film about Los Angeles street dancers. In 2002, Alice appeared on 30 Seconds to Fame, a FOX Television talent competition, and won with her soulful rendition of 'Midnight Train to Georgia'. In 2007, Alice won an Emmy for her part in the documentary "Military Families."

SRU's Performing Arts Series will include four other musical acts, The SRU Jazz Ensemble and dance students offer "A Swinging Good Time," Nov. 7; Holiday Nights and Days" starting Broadway's Kevin Spirtas, Dec. 4; the a cappella group Vocaldente, from Germany, will perform March 24; and Barrage 8, from the creators of the show "Barrage," will perform April 28.

Tickets for Ridley are $22 for adults, 20 for those 62 or older, $18 for those 17 and younger and $8 for SRU students. To purchase tickets, call 724.738.2018 or go online to

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |