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Zakiya Hooker

Zakiya Hooker is quite familiar with the blues. You could even say she had a front-row seat to view the best the genre had to offer, right in her own living room. Her dad was the renowned blues giant John Lee Hooker. She started to follow in her father's career path in 1991, a year that turned out to be bittersweet for the younger Hooker. That was the year she took to the stage with her dad for the first time, and father and daughter delivered a duet. As happy as that occasion was, Zakiya Hooker soon was forced to face tragedy. The youngest of her three children, John, 20, was killed in a car crash. Three years earlier, son Maurice was jailed and faced a long confinement behind bars. Like her father and a generation of blues artists before her, Zakiya Hooker learned how to prevail in the face of adversity. Flavors of the Blues, her CD from Pointblank Records/Virgin issued in 1996, is a testament to the strength of the spirit. Silvertone/Zomba Records released Hooker's debut, Another Generation of the Blues, in 1993. The album lived up to its title with the inclusion of a duet sung by John Lee and Zakiya, one generation of artists joining together with another. Flavors of the Blues also featured a duet with her legendary father. The younger Hooker, whose name at birth was Vera Lee Hooker, didn't change her name until after she'd relocated to California following the breakup of her first marriage. As a single mother, she re-christened herself with a first name that translates from Hebrew as "pure," and from Swahili as "intelligence." In 1987, she became acquainted with her next husband, Ollan Christopher, who had worked previously with Curtis Mayfield. The couple owns a recording studio, and Christopher contributes to his wife's music as bass player, co-songwriter, and producer. He also sang background on her second album. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi
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