Best R&B Artist

Theresa Payne

Theresa Payne has taken the long road to becoming the showstopping, hair-raising live force she is today. Her stops along the way include a long history of songwriting and some time spent as what she describes as an "inspirational gospel" singer. Personal struggles, including the loss of her brother in a truck-driving accident and her own battles with self-image, helped Payne find a voice that is wise and true. Her latest EP, The Moment, which came out this February, is elegant, strange and one of the best St. Louis records of the year. She credits everyone from God to Rockwell Knuckles (and most of the rest of the Force collective) in the liner notes, but this kind of power doesn't come from anywhere but a singular talent among this city's crowded R&B scene.

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