Tonya Watts. Movie star looks. Homeless advocate. Rock and roller. Country girl. Hollywood glam from Alabam. You can’t really sum up Tonya Watts in a simple description. She’s too complex, too multitfaceted to really paint the whole picture and the best thing to do would be to hit up her immensely popular myspace page and listen to her music. She says she is in love with raw truth,and I believe her. She wears her beliefs like battle calls, almost daring anyone and everyone to challenge what she thinks,and who she is. Only a fool would try.
When Tonya Watts first walks into a room,the first thought that comes to mind is how beautiful and tiny she is,probably weighs ninety pounds soaking wet-must be a gentle little thing. That may be true some of the time, but don’t expect her to be quiet and just look pretty. This girl has big talent,a big heart and a pit bull determination to right whatever injustices she takes on, and that makes her more of a warrior than a former pageant princess.
Born and proudly raised in Alabama,Watts grew up in the world of beauty pageants and tailgate parties, listening to Guns and Roses and Michael Jackson. in her twenties, David Allen Coe would speak to her soul and it was in his music she turned to for inspiration. She began a music career after racking up some acting credits in Hollywood, writing with grit, passion and determination. A debut album entitled Handcuff My Soul released this year features her incredibly honest and lyrical imagery delivered in a voice that is so stylistic,one will know immediately that she truly is an original.
All of this is impressive about Tonya beyond words,and yet the one thing that takes it even further, is her crusade to help the homeless. The B.Love foundation (named after a homeless man Tonya met on the streets of Nashville named Booger Love) is her project to help raise awareness and help change the climate of homeless intolerance in Nashville. This mission came about when Nashville actually began a campaign that encouraged people PLEASE HELP: DON’T GIVE to the homeless.
Tonya wrote this in response on her ever popular myspace blog:
“It says numerous things in fine print that proves that whoever came up with this slogan did have good intentions…sort of. I do not want to argue whether or not somewhere underneath that awesomely negative slogan there is indeed a positive thought…I just want to say this…When I am passing by another human being in need, and I am feeling a moment of compassion, I have every right to act on that feeling. They say the money is better spent going directly to charities that help with shelter, job training, etc.
This may be true, but I am not going to trust any government over my heart telling me which charity is best. So I have to go home and research where the best place for my charitable donation is. In the meantime NO ONE is going to tell me to not GIVE when I feel the urge, and so what if my dollar goes to buying one more beer…life is hard,and some have it harder than others…it is only though compassion and love that we can survive.”
This important cause found its way onto her album in a song she recorded (featuring her good friend Waylon Payne) called ”Cumberland Angels.” Many a homeless person lives down by Cumberland River in downtown Nashville,and they have an angel of their own in Tonya Watts. And we need to follow her lead. After all, like she sings,”it could have been you and me,if a different coin was tossed.”
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Brigitte London, otherwise known as The Highwaywoman, is an accomplished singer/songwriter out of Austin, Texas. She’s a poet, dreamer, and host of her own radio show she conducts while touring on the road. She enjoys roller skating, watching poker tournaments on cable, cussin’ at the television,and singing dirty ditties.
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