Grammy, CMA and Billboard award-winning artist Juice Newton joins us for a night of songs and stories to benefit the Dystonia Foundation of San Diego. Newton, with multiple platinum and gold albums, over ten million records sold, and 15 Top 10 hits under her belt, is well-known for such chart-toppers as “Queen of Hearts,” “Angel of the Morning” and “The Sweetest Thing.” Juice continues to tour and record. Her last album, Duets and Friends, was released in 2010.

Juice Newton, the “Queen of Hearts,” first picked up the guitar as an adolescent, inspired by the Byrds, Bob Dylan and folk artists like Tom Rush and Ian & Sylvia. By age 13 she was performing professionally (for the extravagant sum of $10), curving her small hand around the wide neck of her nylon-stringed axe and assaying folk and country tunes with her already impressive voice. Before long she’d partnered with some older teen musicians. “I’d written some songs but they weren’t very good,” she recalls, “so I mostly focused on my singing.” She would return to songwriting later, though, with some powerful results.

She, Otha Young and Tom Kealey formed the country-leaning group Silver Spur; they were signed and relocated to Los Angeles in short order, releasing their debut LP on RCA Records in 1975. By the time they moved to Capitol Records a few years later it was as Juice Newton and Silver Spur. In her capacity as a solo artist, she saw action on the charts with songs like “It’s a Heartache,” “Let’s Keep It That Way” and “Sunshine,” among others. Meanwhile, the Newton-Young composition “Sweet, Sweet Smile” became a hit for pop icons the Carpenters in 1978.But it was with 1981′s Juice that the singer exploded into the mainstream, thanks to the enormous hits “Angel of the Morning,” “Queen of Hearts” and #1 country smash “The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known).” Delivering tearful, wall-of-sound pop, sprightly country-rock and everything in between with crystalline tone and infectious energy, Newton brought a sparkling authenticity to an era dominated by artifice. Juice went platinum and became an international monster, “The Sweetest Thing” spent 18 weeks in the Top 40, and Juice Newton earned two Grammy nominations for Best Female Vocalist.The first years of the 21st Century saw the release of Every Road Leads Back to You and American Girl Vol. II, and Newton demonstrated her continued ability to shine in a new pop landscape by appearing on the 2005 TV special Hit Me Baby One More Time and being voted a viewer favorite.
Newton released Duets: Friends & Memories in 2010 featuring duets with Willie Nelson, Melissa Manchester, Glen Campbell, Frankie Valli and others.Proceeds from the event will be equally divided between the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association to help advance Dystonia research. Dystonia is a devastating neurological movement disorder characterized by abnormal and involuntary muscle spasms and contractions in various muscle groups of the body. Some forms are focal and affect one area of the body, and others are generalized and impact the entire body. Dystonia causes varying degrees of disability and pain, ranging from mild to severe. Children and adults of all ages and ethnic backgrounds can be affected and an estimated 300,000 persons in North America alone have some form of the disorder, although the actual numbers are probably significantly higher. Research is desperately needed to develop new and effective treatments and to find a cure. Juice became a champion of the cause when she learned that Paul Fowler, the President of her Fan Club, had a form of a dystonia affecting his vocal cords, making speaking difficult.