Debra-Marie-3-of-5And now it’s my turn,
For years I’ve seen my life, through someone else’s eyes”
-Diana Ross, from her 1980 single, It’s My Turn
Debra Marie (Foots Burris) has always wanted to be a singer. As a matter of fact, singing and acting has been her little girl dream since childhood. En route to the place where she rightfully belongs, her dreams had to take a temporary back seat while she became a working mother and a wife. Debra has also, battled and overcome breast cancer and domestic violence. The talented sultry songstress was born in Rockford, IL. — a city 90 miles northwest of Chicago known as “The Rock.” To escape a strict upbringing, Debra Marie found solace through music, school plays, cheerleading, softball, and church. “Marrying young was not one of my best life decisions, but I matured, grew through it and finally prayed up enough courage to pack up and walk away from the relationship” Debra Marie said. “Life unfolds at the turn of a path.” Opportunity knocked and Debra Marie accepted a Marketing and Sales position with Mark V Productions. “Mark V sponsored in top billboard R&B groups for local concerts, produced the grandest local fashion show fundraisers, dances and ran a small community news publication.“
Dallas, by way of LA
Soon enough, Debra Marie outgrew her comfort level with Rockford and in 1979 she was invited to Los Angeles by her aunt to take advantage of a possible golden opportunity, a change that would mark her first chance to make her childhood dream a reality. But before she ever made it to the City of Angels, her cousin and softball buddy from Rockford, Wanda, lived in Dallas and invited Debra Marie to visit. “I could play softball year round here,” Debra Marie said. “It was over – I was in love with Texas.” In her first week, she joined a local church and landed a job at Texas Instruments in the Dallas suburb of Richardson and never looked back. “Yes, I missed my family, friends and the change of seasons, but not the icy months of winter.”
After leaving TX Instruments, Debra Marie entered into opportunities where she supported and inspired women to look their best when she landed marketing and management opportunities with Mary Kay Cosmetics and Curves for Women. “Fifteen years as an independent senior sales director I developed strong professional relationships and personal bonds within the company. I’m blessed with an amazing circle of influence, a sisterhood for life. Those 15 years with Mary Kay were laced with defining moments. I found my authentic self,” Debra Marie said. The opportunity for Debra Marie to live her childhood dream has arrived, with completion of Stanzas of My Life. The forthcoming CD is a three-fold celebration — 20 years as a cancer survivor, her upcoming 50ish birthday and the drop of her debut CD. The compilation features jazz, blues and R&B rhythms, matched with vibrant tales of life’s trials and a serenade to unconditional love. When asked by an interviewer with Music Notes Newsletter if there were any songs on the CD that spoke to her, Burris said, “Absolutely, all of them! There is one cut, Family, that stands apart and is dedicated to my family and in remembrance of my brother, Timothy.
“This music was penned with heart and soul, and though it gives you a glimpse of some stanzas of my life, it tells relatable life stories. We all have a life story to tell, but how fortunate am I to share verses of my life through song as I live out my ‘little girl dream!’” Debra Marie proudly admitted she wrote all the lyrics for the songs on the CD, and praised the musicians who lent their musical expertise to “Stanzas of My Life …” including saxophonist Rob Holbert, drummer Howard Johnson III, composer Ray L. Baker who played the saxophone and keys and also produced the CD. “At this stage of my life journey, I am thrilled, grateful…blessed to have an opportunity to truly invest in me! It’s my turn…Amen!”  


Listen to Debra Marie’s United Kingdom Interview!