Home > Riverboat News > Blues Cruise No. 5: DieDra and The Ruff Pro Band

Blues Cruise No. 5: DieDra and The Ruff Pro Band

August 18, 2019

Blues, Rock and Soul . . . Divafied

Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, DieDra has been singing since she can remember. It was a God-given talent that has exploded into a gift that she shares with the world. DieDra was raised by her maternal grandfather, who wrote and sang songs in the church. DieDra was a part of the family singing group at the age of nine. As the lead singer, she has been inspired by Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, and Whitney Houston.

DieDra has spent a majority of her life in Jacksonville, Florida. As an ex-military spouse, she taught herself how to get around the city in search of a manager for her career. In 1996 she met the late Charlie Cross, of Brunswick, Ga. He signed her to his management company and her career began. DieDra has had the opportunity to open up for Betty Wright, Bobby Brown, Candi Staton, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Bar-Kays, Glenn Jones, Denise LaSalle, Al Green, Avant, Carl Thomas, Sunshine Anderson and currently touring with Bobby Rush.

In 1998, DieDra was signed to Boogie Down Production in The Bronx, New York. Over the next 10 years, she was locked in an unproductive contract with Big East Entertainment.  Keith Ruff was assigned to produce DieDra’s first CD by the company. Because of Keith’s schedule, he was never available to get the CD completed. Now, 10 years later, Keith Ruff of Ruff Pro Records called DieDra and found out that after all these years, her project was still incomplete. DieDra signed on with Keith under Ruff Pro Records, and launched “DieDra and the Ruff pro Band.”  Her debut album “Overcoming Hurdles” was born in one month.

DieDra has an amazing range. She has been put in the category of Anita Baker with her silky smooth approach to slow jams,  Patti Labelle  with her vocal techniques and Aretha Franklin with her gospel background. Never wanting to be compared to anyone and establishing her own sound, DieDra has gotten the title “The Blues Diva.” That she is! Her album “Overcoming Hurdles” was nominated for several award in 2009. Her song “Hip Swingin Blues” went as high as number five on Roadhouse Blues Charts and toped all Beach Music Charts. Now with a sophomore CD called Livin The Bluz,” you will go for a ride through the vocal talents of this 4’11 power house. She is living up to her title “The Blues Diva.”


  • 2010 Blue Note Award
  • Nominated for: Best New Artist by Blues Critics
  • Nominated for: Song of the Year “Hip Swing’ in Blues by JUS Blues
  • Nominated for: Female Artist of the Year 2009 JUS Blues
  • Finalist in the 2009 International Blues Challenge
  • Nominated for “Most Popular Female Artist” 2010 by JUS Blues
  • Nominated for 4 Carolina Beach Music Awards 2010
  • Best Blues Album, New Artist of the Year, Blues Song of the Year, and Best Solo Album

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society promotes seven blues cruises every year from April to October. The Star of Knoxville Riverboat is an authentic paddle-wheeler United States Coast Guard. The main deck is fully enclosed, air conditioned, and heated for year-round comfort. The vessel is equipped with two (2) bars, a dance floor, band stage, and is exquisitely decorated for the most elegant dinner and entertainment available.

If you’ve never been in one of these cruises, you should definitely try to experience one.

Here are the upcoming cruises:
September 22, Jonny Monster Band and Filibilly
October 20, Mighty Blue

Boarding at 3 pm, cruising from 4 pm to 7 pm on the beautiful Tennessee River!

Tickets $16 for members, $20 for non-members, $25.00 day of show.

Call 865-525-7827 for TICKETS or Online at Tennessee Riverboat

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society strives to preserve, promote and perpetuate Blues music and its heritage, and, by so doing, to help foster unity among people of all ages, races, creeds, and economic levels.

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