From Oldies.com: The remarkable voice of Monica Parker aka Sista Monica has earned her the sobriquet ‘the lioness of the blues’, and has seen her compared to legendary artists such as Etta James, Mavis Staples, and Katie Webster. Parker began singing in her church choir at the age of seven, but as a teenager was equally enthralled by blues, R&B, and soul. Between 1977 and 1980 she served in the US Marine Corps, following which she started a headhunting firm in Chicago specializing in engineering recruitment. In 1987, she relocated to California where she continued to build her successful business. Five years later Parker took the plunge and decided to begin singing professionally, performing regularly as Sista Monica at Emi’s Bar & Grille in Santa Cruz. She inaugurated the independent label Mo Muscle Records and began her recording career in 1995 with Get Out My Way. This album established Sista Monica as a startlingly powerful performer of largely self-composed blues and gospel material, a pattern she has repeated to great effect over subsequent releases including 1997’s Sista Monica and 2000’s People Love The Blues. A popular performer on the festival circuit, Sista Monica has also been nominated for and received several awards from the blues community. Shortly after the release of a gospel recording and a live set recorded in Peer, Belgium, Parker was diagnosed with the rare cancer synovial sarcoma.