DieDra Ruff

In her relatively short career as a blues singer, DieDra "The Blues Diva" received no less than 15 awards and nominations for her albums and performances. With the Ruff Pro Band she represented Alabama three times at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and made it to the finals twice.

The song "Hip Swinging Blues" went to no. 5 on the Roadhouse Blues Chart and topped all the Beach Music Charts in the United States. As if that wasn't enough, it inspired a national line dance that still shows up on YouTube these days with various line dancing groups from across the world shuffling and shimmying to the diva's groove.

Born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, she has been singing as long as she can remember. Youngest in a musical nest, she joined the family singing group at age nine, singing gospel and spirituals in churches all over the southern US. 

In 1996 DieDra closes her first record deal with Charlie Cross in Brunswick, Georgia. She opens for big acts like Bettie Wright, Bobby Brown, Candi Station, Frankie Beverly and Maze, the Bar-Kays, Glenn Jones, Denise LaSalle, Al Green, Avant, Carl Thomas en Sunshine Anderson.

Two years later she signs a contract as an R&B artist for Boogie Down Productions in New York. This is where she first meets producer Keithen Ruff, who also works as lead guitar player for blues legend Bobby Rush. Ten years after they meet again by chance and this time Keithen signs DieDra for his own Ruff Pro Records. Although DieDra had not worked as a blues singer before, the collaboration turned out to be a great success and one month later the album "Overcoming Hurdles" was in the stores. Keithen and DieDra marry shortly after.

One year later DieDra receives a nomination for 'Best Female Blues Artist' by JUS Blues. The next year she gets nominated for Best Blues Album, Most Promising New Artist, Best Blues Song, AND Best Solo Album at the Carolina Beach Music Awards 2010. That same year she receives the prestigious Blue Note Award.

In 2014 she reaches the finals of the International Blues Challenge with eight other bands from around the globe. In the spring of that same year she goes on her first European tour, which gets a fast sequel in the fall and, due to ever increasing success, a third one in the spring of 2015. 

DieDra is proof that big things can come in small packages. Standing 5ft tall, she has a vocal reach that is reminiscent of Anita Baker, a technique like Patti Labelle, and a voice that sounds like a young Aretha Franklin. Accompanied by master guitar player and six-string acrobat Keithen Ruff and the Ruff Pro Band, DieDra is guaranteed to leave the crowd breathless with a repertoire full of authentic Alabama blues, spiced with southern soul.