The Humanist music artist came into being July 27th, 2019 after a kind stranger pulled her from the ocean. She had already survived brain cancer and a long-term emotionally abusive relationship, so why not attempt to rescue her daughter from drowning?
Though she had sworn off music long, long ago after nearly hitting the big-time, the universe insisted she get back to it, having to nearly kill her to get her to realize it. At first she fought it, but the songs wouldn't leave her alone. Finally, she stopped resisting and got out a notebook and her dusty guitar.
The more she wrote, the stronger she felt. Then she started writing songs to empower herself as well as others who have suffered from abuse. She began championing Humanist ideals – kindness and goodness without a belief in the supernatural - in her lyrics. Most recently she has released Reclaim Your Power, an empowering 7-song EP with an over-all theme of learning to love yourself. The musical influences that can be heard in her catalog of catchy pop songs include The Beatles, The B-52's, Bjork, The Go-Go's, Lady Gaga, The Killers, and many more. Her songs may get stuck in your head, but they only want to empower you.
Madam Who? performs her energetic set at Humanist and Atheist conferences around the country as well as to audiences everywhere who crave a side of meaning and substance to go with the tasty main dish.
Before that fateful day in the ocean, Madam Who? had been Audra. She grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and dreamed of becoming a rock star. After high school she attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN and earned a degree in Music Business. There she formed a band, Merry Madness, with fellow students. Together they toured the Southeast and lucked into a spot on the reboot of Star Search filmed at Pleasure Island at Disney World in Florida with MTV's Martha Quinn.
Her second band, Audra & The Antidote secured a spot on Jimmy & Doug's Farmclub who flew them to L.A. to perform their song, Jenny's Got a Boyfriend, on national television. The next year with the same song, the band got into the top 10 for the very first American Music Awards' New Music Award. They were to fly out to NYC on Sept. 12, 2001 to play at the Bowery Ballroom to a room filled with record company executives with Dick Clark presenting. Of course, because of the events of 9/11 that didn't happen. The event was moved, record company execs couldn't attend, and because of a scheduling conflict Dick Clark couldn't present. Though having been named in Music Row Magazine shortly afterward as one of the top 5 unsigned bands in the city, they broke up.
Heartbroken, Audra and her partner started a website business, had a son, and moved to Maryland's eastern shore. Two years later a surgeon removed a cancerous brain tumor after she suffered a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night. Two years after that, Audra had moved forward on her invention idea (The Hip Klip) that she came up with while dancing in Nashville, birthed their daughter, and moved with the family to a undeveloped tree farm to live off the land.
There she learned to preserve food, make wine and cheese, as well as finish drywall, lay tile, do woodwork, and upholstery. She also went back to gymnastics for a short time and started writing novels while homeschooling the children and cooking elaborate meals from scratch. In 2015 her father was diagnosed with advanced stage four prostate cancer, and she wrote a book about the story, "The Amishland Storyteller" available on Amazon. The event marked the beginning of the end of her domestic partnership and in November, 2018 after 19 years, she was kicked out of the house she literally helped build.
Not having a shop, she started a mobile upholstery service, then moved to a nearby small town where she attended the local open mics, not intending to perform, just to be around musicians again. One of the musicians befriended her, and once she let him hear her old music, he insisted on forming a band for her to front. Unfortunately she didn't pick up on the Universe's gentle nudging to get her back into music, so a few weeks later it gave her a much bigger hint, nearly drowning her while attempting to save her daughter.