PINK’: The story behind Dolly Parton, Monica, Jordin Sparks, Rita Wilson and Sara Evans song collaboration
As a song writer, Victoria Shaw often finds inspiration in her everyday life. And that’s exactly what happened with the new song “PINK”. After seeing a public service announcement for Susan G. Komen®, she thought to herself: “someday pink will just be another color and we won’t have to do this anymore.”
The song was produced by Victoria Shaw and co-written with Erin Kinsey and Jodi Marr. Victoria Shaw is a singer/songwriter/producer known for iconic hits like Garth Brooks’ “The River,” Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera’s “Nobody Wants to be Lonely,” among a multitude of others with recorded songs for artists such as Faith Hill, Billy Ray Cyrus, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood, Olivia Newton-John, and many more artists. The song is distributed by Brighter Day Records and available digitally everywhere.
Meet Victoria Shaw
is a songwriter and American country music artist. She has recorded four studio albums, and has charted five singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. In addition, she has co-written four Number One singles for other country music artists, including Garth Brooks’ “The River” as featured on the multi-million selling album Ropin’ The Wind and John Michael Montgomery’s “I Love the Way You Love Me”,which won the 1993 Academy of Country Music award for Song of the Year. With Paul Worley, she is also the co-producer of the debut album of Lady A.
In October five musical superstars joined forces to fight against breast cancer, releasing the new song pink, the new single features, Dolly Parton, Monica Jordan Sparks, Sarah Evans and Rita Wilson, who herself is a breast cancer survivor. This special collaboration benefits, Susan G Komen, and a portion of proceeds from the song will help fund much needed breast cancer research and patient services provided by Komen the moving lyrics and vocals to this song, provide listeners with hope and a future where no one has to lose someone. They love to breast cancer. The future when pink is just another color here on the show today is Victoria Shaw co-writer and producer of the song pink Victoria. Welcome to the show.
I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
I’m so excited to interview you. This is going to be fantastic. Let’s start off. Tell us about yourself. Give us your background.
Well, I am a songwriter producer by trade. I have written successful songs, mostly in country genre, but also in pop. I’ve had songs by Garth Brooks song called the river. She’s every woman country song called. I love the way you love me. A pop song called nobody wants to be lonely with Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin…. A real interesting diverse career. And I’ve had a very blessed life to do that. I’m just, I’m very happy to be able to make my living while I don’t know what to making a living nowadays and in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s been nice to be able to pay my bills with the music business for the last 20 years
And, and listen for, for those of us that are live for those that are listening. Just so you know, Victoria is sitting in front of a wall of just amazing plaques and records and just, I mean, it’s just unbelievable what I can see and that’s only the part that I can see through the webcam. So I’m profoundly impressed. So thank you for taking your time today and talking about it. So tell me what inspired you and other women to write this song,
You know, as a songwriter, you get these ideas that pop into your head and sometimes they could be just something you see quickly, or it could be a book you read could be conversation. You had, you know, when you write down most songwriters, when you get together for writing sessions, they have like scraps of paper or they have, for me, it’s just a a page in my computer that has random lines. And one of the lines I’ve been holding for the longest time was someday pink will just be a color. And I think I had been watching TV and it was a commercial for Susan G Komen. It was just really quick, but my mind is a songwriter, I guess just kind of clicked into two, overdrive. And I thought, yeah, someday pink will just be a color and we don’t have to do this anymore.
And I thought, well, that’s kind of an interesting line. And I wrote it down for my song ideas and I had it for a while actually until I was a day that I had a co-writing session with my friend, Jody, Mar who’s a very successful, a veteran songwriter like myself and a new emerging artists that I’ve been working with named Erin Kinsey. We had plans to write that day Aaron’s managers is a woman named Amy fish. And Amy had just revealed that she had gone through breast cancer the year prior. Like she didn’t tell anybody she did it really quietly. She, she, I don’t know, she just didn’t want to disturb things. And she was working as a manager, but we were shocked that she had done this by herself. And I was so shocked that we started talking about it during the set, the writing session and Erin Kinsey that’s who she manages.
It was also just in shock. And we started talking about it and I said, you know, I’ve had this line for a song for quite a while about breast cancer. I feel like this is the data, right. And we all just got together and it started to just flow out, you know, three women writing the song, because I don’t know anybody that hasn’t been touched by breast cancer, whether it be personally or just through somebody they know, or somebody that related to, it’s very rare that you meet somebody who goes, no, you know, I haven’t put it this way. Everybody’s been touched by cancer period. He knows something, but breast cancer, I can think right now, like, you know, six, seven friends of mine who have gone through it. And I gratefully say, they’re all still here, you know?
Wow. Wow. That’s fantastic. And so, you know, as I mentioned in the intro as Susan G Komen is a beneficiary from, from some of the proceeds from this song. Can you talk a little bit about how you chose Susan G Komen for that?
Honestly, they were the they were the idea for the song. They were the catalyst. And I I’ve said to them, I said, you know, your marketing is really good because obviously that pink ribbon image, you know, stands out. It’s what you equate with, you know, a, a wonderful generous breast cancer foundation. And I just said it was because it was, it was, you know, they are, they are synonymous with the pink ribbon. And that’s what Nick gave me the idea. So it was a, no-brainer obviously to go to Susan G Komen since they are the pink remit ribbon. And I just I’ll tell you honestly, and this is kind of funny. This was I don’t know, maybe three months before this, you know, three months ago, not even, I was sitting around with Aaron Kinsey and her manager, Amy, and I said, we’ve just got to do something special with this song.
I just knew it in my heart that it was really special. So I said, okay, everybody take out your laptop. Let’s find out who is the CEO of Susan G Komen? And we found out that it was polished and lighter and okay. Find her number five or number, which wasn’t as easy. We found her number and I left a message. And this is kind of funny. And I don’t usually do stuff like this, but I knew that, you know, I only had so so many seconds to talk onto a machine. And I said, hi, my name is Victoria Shaw. And I don’t usually speak like this, but I am a very successful songwriter. So please Google me. I said, go ahead and Google me. But I have, co-written the song, which I think is, could bring a lot of money and awareness to your charity. And I would very much like to share it with you.
And they call me back almost immediately. It was really something I sent them the song. And the next thing I know, I had a zoom meeting with Paula, who I feel like is a long lost sister. She’s amazing. She’s amazing. And they saw the vision that I was bringing in, which was, I was thinking of a small but powerful group of women singing the song, a real event record, and they got behind it. And the next thing I know this train is racing towards October because we were only like eight weeks out, nine weeks out. So it’s been a whirlwind.
Wow. And, and you mentioned there’s some really big names and big artists in this song. Tell me, what’s the process like to pull that kind of talent together?
It’s a lot of begging and pleading! No, I’m kidding it actually, wasn’t a lot of begging and pleading and that’s why I thought, “Oh, wow, this is all happening.” I mean, it was coming together almost too easy, which meant that magical things are gonna happen. It’s not everyday that you can get Dolly Parton on a song. I know pretty much everybody in the country music business, but I didn’t know Dolly. So through a contact of Paula’s, I was able to get the song to the Dolly camp. And she was, I think I asked Rita first because, you know, she was obviously, you know, she’s a great songwriter, a singer and a breast cancer survivor, and then went to Dolly’s people and Dolly called or Dolly’s people call back immediately and said, she loves the song. This was on a Monday and she’s going to record it on Thursday.
Well, wait a second. I haven’t even, I haven’t even recorded the full track yet. So we had to give her the demo track and let her sing to what they call the click track. Everything was perfect. We could just, you know, cut and paste and take her vocal out there. But it was like she was moving faster than me. It was such a compliment and a fantastic thing. And apparently through the, you know, like I heard back from the campus that she just fell in love with the song. Like she said, I have to sing this song, which is the ultimate compliment for songwriters, right after that came Monica, which Amy, my friend, Amy, who was one of the use for the song. She had a connection in Atlanta who knew Monica and I mean, my gosh, you know, she’s legendary and fantastic and stunning.
And she brings such a depth and understanding of what the power of music can do. You know she has a wonderful foundation of her own and she, one of the things that she, she does actually try to make women aware of, health issues. And, and especially in Atlanta where I think it’s the highest rate of death rate among black women isn’t Atlanta. So they were really up on all their facts. When I say they, I mean her and her manager who had been delightful and passionate and have come up with these great ideas to continue, not just the launch of the song, but the life of it going forward. And, so they were spectacular after that while Jordan Sparks came into my head, because I think she’s one of the greatest thinkers that we have in this generation. I really do. She is spectacular and lovely.
And I actually knew her manager, a publicist and called her and she got her immediately. So again, I think it’s the power of the song. I think the song says a lot and it says it easily right from the start. So people felt passionate and last but not least, well Rita, obviously Rita Wilson, who she’s been coming to Nashville a lot and playing the Opry sheet. She’s just like one of the gang here and she’s, and she’s a survivor of breast cancer. So it was a no brainer. And she’s just brings her beautiful voice to the, to the party. And I just think as a symbol of a woman, who’s gone through it, not to mention it runs rampant in her family. So she’s quite extensively familiar with it. And then Sarah Evans, the wonderful Sarah Evans, who’s a country music superstar, and an author. And, he’s, she’s fantastic. And her voice is magical. So that was more of, Hey, can you do this? And, you know, she came running that’s, that’s the thing, you know, the power of music, the power of good women. It’s been a very special, magical project.
Wow. That sounds just unbelievable. So talk a little bit about, I mean, what are your hopes for this song? What do you want it to do?
I want it to cure cancer. I really do. I mean, really, that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted it to cure cancer and while it’s curing it, I want it Susan G Komen to do their thing, which is to you know, awareness, awareness, and early detection. I, you know, really hope and pray and plan on this song, raising a lot of money. However, I think even more honestly is the where raising the awareness, because that’s invaluable. You can’t even put a cash total to that because if we can save anybody just because it started a conversation, letting them think, yeah, you know, I haven’t had a breast examination or, you know, we, mom, do you ever get one and all this stuff, if we can raise awareness, like quadruple the awareness that is out there, then slides will be saved before the medical breakthroughs lives will be saved. And that is my biggest wish. And everybody on this is their biggest wish.
Yeah. It’s gotta be pretty amazing that that your writing can serve to inspire and, and likely very likely to save many lives.
It wasn’t calculated to write this. It was really from the heart. It was really because we love our friend Amy so much and it was inspiring. And my, like I said, my cousin’s gone through it. My friends have gone through it and there was no calculation where we wrote it like, Oh, we’re gonna really, you know, because firstly you don’t know until the song has created, what, what you have. And what’s really kind of funny for me is 20 years ago, 21 years ago, actually I was asked to write a song for the cystic fibrosis foundation. Now I had no idea what cystic fibrosis was. I’d heard of it, but I was not familiar with it. But I was on one of brothers as an artist at the time and they wanted, and I was obviously a successful songwriter and they, they,upeople from Warner brothers came and asked me, so I said, well, you know, please first teach me about it.
And they took me to Vanderbilt hospital and I met the children at the time, because at the time if you lived, if you lived to 20, you were, that was a lot. But I met all these, these patients and that with the doctors I learned about the disease and all of a sudden it becomes personal once you make a connection. So I wrote this song called one heart at the time. And I again was a small but powerful group of singers I had in mind. And so who sang on that? One was Garth Brooks, Neil McCoy, faith Hill, Michael McDonald, Brian White, and, Olivia Newton-John. And that was for what they call an orphan disease because I think it’s only 40,000 people in America who have it and we raised millions and it still sells, but it really did really well. And it, and I’m still very involved with the CF foundation as well.
And here again, it wasn’t calculated. The song came out from a natural loving place, but once I had it, I was like, I know the power of music and this is a universal disease that is not an orphan disease. So if we could do so well, hopefully God willing, of course, that was back when people have actually had to buy downloads or buy CDs, actually that streaming is you know, but if we can get it streamed enough, if people can go in and download it and literally buy it, buy that 99 cent down, download and send it to their loved ones or go to the Susan G Komen website and send an e-card, you know, with the artwork on it and maybe send, you know, the song to them about hope somebody who’s going through it. Somebody who lost their loved ones. I just think the song is, is hopeful. And we need more hope because they, they know how bad it is. They need somebody to help show them, you know, brightness and light and hope and belief because I truly believe what the words of the song say, you know, someday, someday is coming any day now.
I love that. And we do, we do need more hope and I appreciate you bringing that to us.
I know I’ve said it already, but I want to credit Jody Mar and Erin Kinsey. My co-writers that song would not be created if we all three of us, wasn’t weren’t in the room at that moment, at that day, at that time, you know?
Well, from, from us to you, all of you, you know, thank you so much for that. So tell us the last thing, where can the song be downloaded? Where can it be purchased
Everywhere that music is digitally, you know, illegally streamed everywhere, everywhere, just stream it please and add it to playlist. You know, and people have playlist on their Pandora or Spotify, Apple music, add it because it actually means something. And you know, if you want to really contribute, even if it’s just 99 cents, go, go buy that, download, go buy it, you know, but either way, please play it and get that word out because this really can have that ripple effect. I truly believe it can where it just is going to spread. Like instead of spreading like a disease, it’s going to spread like love across the land, you know, let’s just get it going.
Right. So wherever you get your music, make sure to search for pink and listen to it, download it, purchase it and share it with friends.
Yes. And get early examinations every year.
That’s right, Victoria, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you for joining me on the show.
Extreme pleasure. Thank you so much.