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By the time Anderson was three years old, she was singing solos in front of the congregation. By the age of seven, she was playing piano by ear, directing the church choir and writing songs every week for the choir to sing before her grandfather delivered his Sunday sermons. 

Anderson’s vocal skills were influenced by her paternal aunt, Betty Faye Anderson, a Juilliard scholar, Gospel singer and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first soprano soloist. Her uncle, David Anderson Jr., and his daughters, Pamela and Jhelisa, along with their mother, Yvonne, had a very successful family gospel singing group that travelled the southern United States. Anderson’s birth father, Dr. Reuben Anderson Sr., is pastor of the Tower of Faith Evangelistic Church of God in Christ, in Compton California. Her birth mother singer Vicki Anderson featured with James Brown during the 1960s and 1970s. Vicki Anderson (birth name, Myra Barnes) married Bobby Byrd (musician, producer, bandleader, singer and childhood friend of James Brown). Byrd formed a group with James Brown in the late 1950s called The Flames, which was later named James Brown & The Famous Flames.

”You’ll never be ready for how great Carleen Anderson is”.

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