THE FUNK QUEEN An Autobiography by Dawn Silva
Dr Cornel West ~ Philosopher, Actor, Political Activist, Sacramento, Ca.
“I love the Funk Queen.”
Brett Murray ~ Promoter, Concerts For Causes Glenn Dale, MD.
“The Funk Queen is a page-turner, literally, I couldn’t put it down.”
Victor Orlando ~ Percussionist, Recording Artist, Los Angeles, California
“I am so very happy to have received my autographed Copy of “The Funk Queen” by Dawn Silva, the only woman I know that was an intricate part of the FUNK WORLD HISTORY. She has trail blazed through her career, riding the Top of the Funk Echelon. I Victor Orlando, am honored to still be her friend since our relationship with music in the days of The Gap Band. “All Hail Dawn Silva, Queen of Funk.”
Los Angeles, California
“They say don’t meet your heroes too late. I met Dawn Silva today. This woman is a funk icon, a trailblazer, and a contributor to many of your favorite songs. And still after all that, she’s still a sweet, beautiful human being that’s notdone with her legacy. What a treat!”
Diane Brieze Thompson ~ Musician, Performer, Singer, Songwriter
“Dawn, I just finished reading your book, and all I can say is…WOW! What an amazing, heart wrenching, and triumphant story! The writing was SO vivid, I felt as if I was there, witnessing every moment. I have no words to express my respect and admiration for you, and the True Women of Funk who endured so much. I always wondered why PFunk’s most heralded spin off stopped at the height of their success. Now I, (and the whole world) know. SMDH
I’m glad you said what needed to be said. Long overdue. But, the real story is your perseverance and victory over adversity! Once again Congratulations!This is a book that needed to be written, and I’m more than happy that you chose to share this masterpiece with me! PS- I’m waiting for the movie…
Jeanette Perkins ~ Ordained Minister, Singer, Published Songwriter, Performer
“We were elated to receive our copy of Dawn’s autobiography, “The Funk Queen. Dawn gives new meaning to UNCUT FUNK, the BOMB, that’s exactly what this book is! The book is absolutely beautiful, with great photos, history that will wow you, and stories you never knew, that will toss you around in a sea of emotions. Thank you for your honesty and transparency and telling your story. It’s been a long time coming, but you did it. This is your season, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have shared part of your journey, you are truly the Funk Queen.”
Jackie Simley Stevens ~ Mezzo Soprano, Songwriter, Producer, Executive Entrepreneur, Los Angeles, California
"Herein is a National Treasure! I have never read a book written like this! Each chapter chronicogically takes you to the next phase of your life's journey, but it takes us with you in the pages!! Sista Soldier, Queen of Funk, Dawn Silva, you DID IT!! Happy to Funk with you these 38 years family!! Onward!!
Marcel (Dice) Kaatee & Bart Verhoeven Musicians
“Dear Dawn, I have received your autobiography and I am impressed. Apart from excelling in beauty, it's a beautiful illustrated and indispensable reference work of the funk history of which you yourself, have been an important and not to be underestimated part, and you still are! Funk couldn't have a better Ambassador. The extensive footage of your performances with my band *Seven Eleven* in your book is an honor. I look back with pride on our concerts.”
Dee Thompson ~ Marketing, Graphic Designer
Unboxing the Funk Queen Book! If you know the Funk Era, you know it was an unbeatable experience of outstanding music, crazy outfits and unforgettable performances. Dawn Silva is definitely the Funk Queen that contributed to a lot of the most creative genres in music history. Even though this era was before my time, I grew up listening to this type of music due to my mom, exposing us at a young age. My mom was a trailblazer herself in her own walk of life here in Toronto. Her works within the Canadian Music Industry, booking concerts, clubs, and recording sessions for Dawn would be memorable with many of these amazing stories written in this very book. My mom and Dawn Silva were very good friends. They practically became sisters, living in two different countries, but always in communication. I have been honored and blessed to know Dawn, who I call my Aunty. Thank you so much for this precious memory. I know Mom would have been so proud of you. I will Love you forever Aunty Dawn.”
Sandra (MaMa Sandy) Morgan
Funk & Music Historian
“Oh, yeah! I got my Dawn Silva autobiography, with pictures that write their own stories.”
Funkster Jones ~ Funk Historian, Collector
“Dawn Silva is Pure Uncut Funk!”
Gia Sista Funk Riga
“It is I who thanks you, dear Dawn Silva. You illuminate the hearts, and so many beautiful souls with your talent. Thank you for this Funktastic book! It’s a real happiness, this history of music, written by the Queen Of Funk. A very big honor for all of us. Much love from Belgium.”
Calvin Simon ~ TV, Film & Community Network, Vallejo, Ca
“Just completed all 524 pages of The Funk Queen, by Dawn Silva. Good Read and comprehensive in the teaching aspect, in reference to how important royalty rates, publishing, and a musicians union is in the grand scheme of things. It also goes into early radio and record days of Stevie Wonder James Brown the Nite-Liters and more on the musical end to her days with Sly, P-Funk, The Gap Band, The Platters etc.. The cool thing is it comes off as honest & real, but, NOT a hit piece on anyone, but she does get into the *Poli-tricks* that will happen if you are signed to a third-party production company as opposed to being signed directly to a recording label.”
Miles Gray ~ Petersham,
New South Wales, Australia
“Here’s to my Queen of Funk. Dawn it’s been a great pleasure going off to bed with your book on my pillow. The only issue I can see is that I’m getting closer and closer to the end. Oh well, I’ll just start reading it from the beginning again!”
Tony Camm ~ Musician, Songwriter
“This book is too heavy to pick up, and too hard
to put down.”
Marty Neely ~ San Francisco, Ca.
“This is not an Autobiography, it’s a series of number
one best sellers.”
Jim McCarthy ~ Author, Music Historian, East Sussex Great Britain
“When I received Dawn Silva’s superb new book, I wondered what was in the package at first. It felt like somebody had sent me some heavy bricks, - the parcel was that heavy. And what a book it is!! A large glossy paged coffee table formatted tome. Presented
in a wonderful sturdy, protected cardboard boxing. Inside, thick slip sheets are included to protect the book. Opening the
front cover, and nestling in the endpapers are a facsimile ticket stub and a wonderful illustrated color poster heralding
The Funk Queen. This is not just a lovely looking book, its a celebration of that whole slamming, funky scene
that arose and jammed out in my favorite period for music.”
“The book contains the dope on Sly Stone, The Black Panthers, Parliament, George Clinton and Funkadelic,
Gary Shider, Was Not Was with Wayne Kramer (MC5), Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Eddie “Maggot Brain” Hazel (RIP)
Bernie Worrell (RIP). Plus more insights into Marvin Gaye’s last tour era, and a personal flame,
Charlie Wilson fronting The Gap Band.”
“Dawn has a strong personality. Being a woman in this machismo music scene takes some doing. Dawn has survived the inevitable excessive drug scene, the excessive wealth in those torrid days of the U.S. Music Industry; the personal violence towards her and much more… You have excelled yourself Dawn……. You must be super proud and SUPER BAD!! Excellence! ***Jim
Keith Duronslet Jr ~ Sacramento, California
“Phenomenal, educational and inspiring.”
Linda Boulware Wilson ~ Tulsa, Oklahoma
“This is one bad ass book!”
Book #702 and #703 | Book #427
Nancy, Gail, & Josephine | Gail Muldrow
Underground Books Author Talk
“I found myself shouting at the book, and then applauding! Truth, facts, history, believe it!
Joy Sato ~ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
“Dawn, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your magnificent manuscript, with stories, photos, and facts from the belly of a true Funk Queen! There are many true stories between the lines that give some justification to the true geniuses of funk, and the other fierce women who survived all the trauma, misogyny, heartache, physical and mental abuse, and others who just didn’t get their true piece of the funk kingdom pie. I love the cover picture, but I get fired up and start talking out loud when I see the picture of you standing on top of Polygram Records! That’s the true, “Don’t Mess With Me, Tennessee Fierce, Funk Mountain Mama!! There is no other! KUDOS BABY, AND MIGHTY, MIGHTY LOVE!! OneJoy
Dragan Stanoevski ~ Skopje, Macedonia
“Thank you Dawn, for this great honor.”
Cheryl Eckfort ~ Journalist & Freelance Writer or the Los Angeles Sentinel
“This writer gives the book an outstanding review that keeps one’s attention from beginning to end, a shocking and absolute masterpiece.”
Chris Campbell ~ Radio Host, Publicist, Music Critic, Detroit, Michigan
“This isn’t an autobiography, it’s a movement.”
Steffen MotherFunkin ~ Roskilde, Denmark
“Your book has landed in little old Viking country of Denmark!
Scot Brown ~ Associate Professor at Howard University Washington, DC
“Heavy funk history. Great read.”
Scott Goldfine ~ Music Columnist & Critic,
“The Mutha of all Funk Books.”
Eric ET Mobley ~ Scottsdale, Arizona
“An absolutely wonderful and illustrious depiction of the life and music career of Funks-tress Dawn Silva. It’s worth every dollar to learn about the history of funk music through Dawn’s experiences.”
Book #436 & #437
Roxie and Katrina ~ Sausalito, California
“An outstanding memoir.”
Earl Roberson ~ Musician, Producer, Songwriter,
Buffalo, New York
“It’s a blessing to know this amazing lady. I am so proud of you Dawn.”
Cheaza Figueroa ~ Global Artist, Singer, Songwriter, Henderson, NV
“The Funk Queen is Legendary, and a must read!”
Marc Pickman ~ Gourmet Cook &
San Antonio, Tx
“The Funk Queen is a collectible and actual piece of art. By far the best table book I’ve seen and read in years!”
Donna Taylor ~ Vocalists, Recording Artist,
Thousand Oaks, Ca
“What an incredible accomplishment Dawn. This treasure is full of Funk History!”
March 8, 2023
They say, don't meet your heroes. Too late. I met Dawn Silva today. This woman is a funk icon, a trailblazer, and a contributor to many of your favorite songs. And still, after all that she's still a sweet, beautiful human being that's not done with her legacy. What a treat!
Bobby Easton ~ Musician, Brazilian Percussionist,
Los Angeles Ca.
“Excellent book Dawn! Honored to have it in my collection.”
Brian Morgan ~ Multi-Platinum selling singer songwriter, Grammy Nominated, Producer, and recording Artist,
West Hills, Ca.
“How many of us can say we were behind the scenes, in the studio, and on stage with Sly Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, AND The Gap Band? How many can say we were writing in a journal the whole time, in REAL TIME? Only one person can, and that’s why Dawn Silva’s journey is a must read for any music fan!”
Rufus Thompson ~ Fiber Optic Engineer,
Silva has sung and toured with the best, and this book is as funky and heavy as she is! Thanks Diva!!
Melissa A Weber ~ Music Historian, and Educator,
New Orleans, LA.
“Her story is a life well-funked, from young rebel, to rock star, to rock bottom, to revived music maven, to rising above it all. And in telling it all, with this book,
Silva has reclaimed her rightful throne as an original
and reigning Queen of Funk.”
Blaise Schmitter is with Dawn Silva.
March 12, 2023
Biographies by musicians… I’ve read over 50 as I can recall, and probably much more. Some are interesting, a few are useless because the artist tries to polish the angles to please everybody therefore avoiding the ‘touchy’ subjects that everyone encounters in his life, or by not tackling painful memories that they’d rather not remember. But that’s for the shape of the story. In her recently published book, « The Funk Queen », Dawn tells the truth like it happened, wether happy sad, scary, challenging, the ups and downs all along the course of an incredibly rich personal life. Which artist do you know of, that has been a member of no less 3 major FUNK bands groups, that made Funk history, and also being part of her own band, and finally being a successful solo artist on her own? From the top of my head I can’t name any other. Mind you, Sly & the Family Stone to start with, then Parliament-Funkadelic, and later the GAP Band, plus The Brides of Funkenstein, not forgetting her work with The Platters, and her rise as a solo artist at the end of the 90’s… There’s simply too much to talk about, that’s why the book extends all over 525 pages ! Even the die-hard fan will learn much more than he thinks, as well as gaze at an incredibly large selection of beautiful photos (many of which never seen) all spread out on high quality paper… Once read, re-read, re-re-read (!) you’ll be happy to display this beautiful work of art in your library ! Dawn takes you on a personal trip in music history, during the golden age of music and Funk in particular, when the most beautiful pages were written. Do you promise to Funk, the whole Funk and nothing but the Funk? Well she did that (and still does!) and in this book she tells about the Funk but instead of the word Funk replace it by ‘Truth’ … That’s how honest this bio is… After saying that, I guess this has got to be in the Top 3 of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read, and a real beauty of a book. I’ve been privileged to know Dawn for years and honored that she counts me as a friend, and I am so glad that she put a final touch to this long awaited project, and tell her story ! If you’re into Funk, and music in general, you just have to read this book !
Funk Soldier #57 and book #10!
Want you to know I just got my copy of your book today. Thank you so much for signing it. I've only read a few pages and I'll tell you you are the subliminal seducer. I have never been one to curl up with a book and read it while eating my favorite goodies. Well, that changes as of today. I want to honor you because to your point the women in this group were game changers and so dynamic. I truly love what you have done for the funk. My family knows my heart is all the way in
when it comes to the funk and the women of the "p" is truly funky and also worthy of praise! I'm so glad
I was able to witness all the live performances that came to Washington DC. I was there.
I must say I really love you and Lynn. Debbie was my girl too. Man you guys were the bomb!
Much Love and respect to you Dawn!
John Matthews - Funk Soldier #446
Derek Gordon ~ Digital and Computer Technician,
San Bernardino, Ca.
“One of the baddest books ever printed!”
Amelia Weber ~ Student, Howard University
“This isn’t an autobiography Auntie Dawn, it’s a historical treasure chest! I am so proud of you!”
Henry Mayers ~ Film Director, Political Activist,
TV Host, Detroit, Mi.
“I am honored and humbled to receive #2 of the autographed copy of The Funk Queen, the Autobiography of a living legend who has performed with some of the most influential and trailblazing groups in FUNK MUSIC. Her early times touring with Sly Stone, surviving The Black Panthers, her success as a key member of Hall Of Fame inductees Parliament/ Funkadelic, lead vocalist of The Brides Of Funkenstein, and the first black female group to cross over into a new wave rock market. This book takes the readers across the pantheon of all forms of music, and history, with Dawn touring the world, finally landing solo, and achieving the best FUNK album of the 21st century, “All My Funky Friends.” Dawn spent years enduring many levels of abuse and surviving traumas that would have crushed a lesser woman. Many will find this book, not only captivating, but will force you through the whole gamut of emotions from laughing to crying, happy to sad, to getting angry, to finally cheering her strength and courage. This (HERSTORY) of FUNK is a visual and academic masterpiece.” #thekidfromgiza
Rickey Vincent ~ Author, Funk Historian,
@ UC Berkeley Ca.
Funk Queen, Dawn Silva’s book is a Game Changer!
It is unlike any treatment of The FUNK ever done!
Every page leaps out at you! And she breaks the funk tales all the way down! If you’ve ever seen one of her shows you know, Dawn’s both a perfectionist and a master of the RAW FUNK, and she does the same
with this epic full color production of her epic life!”
March 6, 2023
It is unlike any treatment of The Funk ever done! Every page leaps out at you! The stories with Sly! With Lynn, With George, with Charlie Wilson and a dozen others are priceless! The photos are off the chain and deserving of life size blow ups! And Dawn breaks the funk tales all the way down! If you've ever seen one of her shows you know Dawn's both a perfectionist and a master
of the RawFunk and she does the same with this epic
full color production of her epic life!
Books #86 & #87
Orly and Tina Sanna ~ Artist, and Graphic Illustrator, Trieste, Italy
Magnifico! Dawn Silva, the one and only QUEEN OF FUNK. This book is a monumental testimony to
Diem Jones ~ Author, Poet, Motivational Speaker,
Red Bank, New Jersey
“Funk in a whole different perspective.
Stunning, excellent, brilliant.”
Kitty Savage ~ Journalist, Media Producer
“Dawn is The Funk Queen!” #FunkMusic #FemaleSingers #MusicHistory
Zelda Norwood ~ Educator, Music Promoter,
“The Funk Queen by Dawn Silva is a must have and a must read!! It is not only fascinating but also educational.”
Dawn Silva was a first-hand witness to more history and hysteria than most of us could even imagine. I privately wondered how one book could even hold it all; particularly after adding her offstage story to the brew. Well, she did it!
I don’t think I ever mentioned this to Dawn, but there were a few years around the end of the seventies when she was one of the first things I saw when I awoke every morning.
True, it was the same P-Funk poster that adorned thousands of other walls at the time, purchased from a street vendor when the Mothership touched down in London, and she was just one of seven or eight figures captured in the shot, recognizable by their costumes alone.
There she was, though, the First Lady of Funk, and I was genuinely thrilled, when she and I talked for the first time some two decades later, to learn that time had not tarnished that title in the slightest.
Her past had forever been piled up by the turntable; now her present, a debut solo album, “All My Funky Friends,” was in constant rotation on my CD player; and why? Because, as I wrote at the time, “If there was a magic to the Brides of Funkenstein, a knowing naivety, an ingenious genius, which nothing else in the P-Funk catalog came close to eclipsing, Funky Friends recaptures that same magic effortlessly, which leads us immediately to one of the great unanswerable questions of the age, who were the real brains behind those funky Brides? Silva herself still credits George Clinton, but one listen to Funky Friends and you may not be so quick to concur.”
For reasons she makes abundantly clear in this book, Dawn never did a follow-up to “All My Funky Friends.” In a strange way, however, she didn’t need to. That one album, so perfect in both design and delivery, stands not only as the brightest star in Dawn’s constellation; it’s one of those albums that illuminate the entire galaxy of funk.
That galaxy – or a major, massive part of it, comes under a lot of scrutinies in this book. Dawn was already talking about writing her story when we met in 2000, and even then, it sounded like a monstrous undertaking.
Forget about her triumphant solo career and her tenure with the Brides of Funkenstein; Dawn was an integral part of not one, not two, but three of the most phenomenally successful bands of them all.
So I’m not going to tell you what a crazy, action-packed roller coaster of music, madness, and emotion this story is then, you already know, if you don’t, you soon will. But, what I will say is that the Dawn Silva, who writes this story, is exactly the same Dawn Silva who could sit you down in a quiet room and tell you the story, in the same exact way. That’s special. That’s something that you don’t read every day. But, then again, isn’t that what Dawn Silva has always done? It doesn’t matter whether she’s on stage, on record, on a poster, or even writing an exceptional memoir. She never lets you forget that she’s just as real.
It’s one of the most honest in my-life-in-music books you’re going to read, and it’s also one of the most exploratory. Yes, there are many autobiographies, where you feel as though events just occur, one after the other, bang, bang, bang, with no rhyme or reason as to how or why. They appear here as well and with similar regularity, some good, some bad, some triumphant, some tragic. But they are preceded by cause and followed by effect, each one building up a portrait, of people, places, and things, that are themselves as real as the pages in your hand.
Dave Thompson is an English writer and author of more than 100 books in the Rock, Funk, and Pop genres. He wrote regularly for Melody Maker, Record Collector, Rolling Stone, and Goldmine Magazine.