An Amazing Diversity of Talents
At first glance, you wouldn’t guess that the beautiful, youthful looking Wanda Lewis- Fullmer has traveled the world with the likes of Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, and Prince. You’d never guess that she’s had a musical career that expands back a couple decades.
Furthermore, It’s just as unlikely that you would see her as a shark in the boardroom who excels in corporate America. However, with her colorful personality, obvious intelligence and unique flare for life, you just might assess her as the communications guru that she’s proven to be.
Performing with Grammy Winning “Sound of Blackness”
This vocalist is all of those things and more. Fullmer is a soprano with a four-octave vocal range who’s performed with many of the greats. She is a singer who’s graced the stage with three-time Grammy-winning popular gospel group “Sounds of Blackness.”
The Chicagoan is also a pianist. Beyond continuing what has been a full musical career, she seems to have done it all. Fullmer has excelled in endeavors from music, to communications to Corporate America, demonstrating that she is truly multi-talented.
Childhood Birth of a Passion for Music
Fullmer’s passion for music started young. She grew up in a musical family in which her parents always sacrificed to make sure their children had what they needed to flourish in life. For Fullmer, at age four her passion for music began to show.
She recalls, “One time, I was four-years-old and my mom says, ‘go head and sing for your momma,’ and I started singing one of the church Christian gospel songs. …I sang that song and she said ‘You can sing!’”
Realizing her new talent, Fullmer’s mother enrolled her in piano classes. This kick-started her musical career. She attended Morgan Park High School on Chicago’s Southside, where during her freshman year she was being inducted into the acapella choir. During high school, she went on to sing with the Chicago All-City Choir. This honor also gave her the opportunity to sing with the then lead conductor at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sir George Solti.
Expanding Horizons in Music and Beyond
Fullmer became trained in every aspect of music, learning classical and eventually branching off into gospel. In the gospel arena, she was chosen to sing with a leading gospel group, Sounds of Blackness, who won three Grammys while she was a member.
However, her extraordinary vocal ability is not Fullmer’s only talent. With qualifications transcending far beyond music, Fullmer credits her parents for her well-roundedness. According to the singer, she’s was not only exposed to music at a young age, but also to literature. Her parents enforced education and bringing home good grades on report cards. “My entire family has been about creativity,” she said. “But still you better get those grades.”
Working the Left and Right Brain
According to Fullmer, thanks to her parents, she has mastered the art of using both sides of her brain, the left and the right. “My left brain side is like this business corporate lady who’s like let’s get this deal,” she laughed. “My right side is like, let’s write a poem about it.”
Fullmer attended college at Bradley University where she majored in broadcast production and management. For the songstress, this major was imperative if she wanted to address her need to be creative while using her communicative skill-sets to make money. She asserts, “You always have to split the right brain with the left brain,” she said. “Music does not always pay the bills.”
Succeeding Professionally and Creatively
And it worked. Beyond singing, Fullmer is a seasoned media professional. She worked in media with Clear Channel Communications as an account executive, with PBS affiliate WYCC TV20 as an underwriting account executive, and with PSIradio.com as a talk show host. Her media career continues today . She and her husband, Larry Fullmer, currently produce her talk show. The “Wanda Lewis Show” focuses on current events and politics.
In addition, she and Larry are in the process of creating a show that highlights the experiences they’ve had as an interracial couple. With him as a white male and her as a black female, they’re hoping to break down the “hatred that is prevalent in society.” Fullmer further explained, “We’re not pointing fingers,” she said. “But Larry has a perspective and I have one and we come to one, which is our truth.”
And Then There’s The Corporate Side
It would be quite impressive if there was nothing else to be said about Wanda Lewis-Fullmer’s talents. However, there’s more. The talk show host is also part owner of Wanda Lewis Enterprises, a sales and marketing consulting firm. Additionally, she’s the president of Hensaal Management group, a food manufacturing company with a mission to find, manufacture, produce and market healthy and affordable meals to families across the nation.
The Music Continues
With the awesome amount of responsibility she has, Fullmer still finds time for her music. For the accomplished vocalist, her musical career is still a part of her and far from over. She and her husband have converted one of their bedrooms into a music studio. In this studio, the pair hopes to write and record music that can alter people’s lives.
Creating Music to Change the World
“We can write music that changes lives, makes a difference and we can have fun too,” she asserted. “This sounds so coined and that’s okay, but music is the universal language.” Fullmer hopes to create music that can bring back and modernize some the great genres from the past such as R&B, gospel, and rock and roll.
Fullmer enjoys all types of music. She likes to listen to greats like Patti Labelle, Alicia Keys, Isaac Hayes, Dianna Ross and English rock band Pink Floyd. “I’m all over the place,” she said. “But the continuity is that it’s just good music.”
Music: The Most Challenging Track
Out of all her accomplishments, Fullmer faced the biggest obstacle within her musical career. During her time with Sounds of Blackness, Fullmer experienced temptations of the music business that went against her religious beliefs.
“The touring…every time I toured,” she said “I did not date, I did not go out. Not to judge anyone else because I did have my fun, but I had to have restrictions and standards. I said if I’m singing and changing lives then I have to be optimistic.”
Advice from a Winner
Fullmer is a dynamic and accomplished woman. She’s traveled the world and has had, and still maintains, a full musical career. She’s excelled in corporate America and is still working to change lives. So, what’s her advice to others? The biggest advice she offers to those who wish to have a career as expansive as hers is to never become exhausted.
“Don’t get tired and weary and don’t stop,” she advises. “Keep knocking on doors and trying new things. Keep reinventing yourself.”
How does she do it all? According to Fullmer, “We just do what we have to do. “We all do what we can in this lifetime to do well and do good.”