Danette E. Sheppard-Vaughn
“To God Be The Glory For The Great Things He Hath Done” says Danette E. Sheppard-Vaughn, the first featured female vocalist in the 147-year history of Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus. “That is my signature phrase because God is sooo good and continues to bless me beyond my wildest dreams!” Here I am honored to be the Ringmaster of the Omnium Circus.
Danette was born on January 16th at the former Sydenham Hospital in New York City. She enjoys cooking, listening to music, dancing, swimming, socializing with family and friends, and internet technology. She loves bright colors and anything glittery and sparkling. In addition to being artistic, as a child, Danette excelled in school, skipped two grades, and graduated high school at age 16 and she gives all credit for her gifts and talents to God. “I try to bring a certain spirituality to whatever I’m doing, whether it’s gospel, comedy, musical theatre, or the circus. I want God to get the Glory for all that I can do and all that I am!”
After several years in office management, Danette made the decision to try show business full-time (“so I wouldn’t regret it later” and sing the famous shoulda-coulda-woulda song). As a result, in addition to being an artist, she has extensive experience in the “real world” as an Operations Manager. Danette has always put a great deal of effort into her goals as evidenced by her graduation cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Music (Musical Theatre) from New Jersey City University.
A native New Yorker, and current member of Actor’s Equity Association, Danette began singing at the Memorial Baptist Church in Harlem at the age of 14. Since making her professional debut, she has amassed an impressive list of musical theatre credits, including sharing the stage with legends like Patti Labelle, Freda Payne, and Debbie Gibson, just to name a few, a three-month European tour of Jesus Christ Superstar(Soul Girl/Mary u/s), a tour of the musical revue Smokey Joe’s Café with Gladys Knight, a leading role in the Off Broadway production of Red Hot Broadway starring BJ Crosby and regional theatre productions of Pippin (Berthe), In the Heights (Abuela), Sister Act (Mother Superior), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Jewel), The Last Session (Tryshia), Chicago (Mama Morton), Nunsense (Sister Mary Herbert), and Ain’t Misbehavin‘ (Nell, for which she was awarded the Connecticut Critics Circle Award).
Danette is a recent widow and has a sixteen-year-old daughter, Bree (her pride and joy) who sings and performs as well. Danette is able to pursue her dreams thanks to an extremely supportive network and incredible parents. Her mother, Rev. Ellen R. Hoist, is an ordained minister and retired Director of the Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Bronx Community College. Her father, Rev. Ralph H. Hoist III, is also an ordained minister who retired from the New York City Transit Authority. They currently serve as the Pastor and Co-Pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in St. Albans, NY. “I am so blessed to be part of such a wonderful family. They are so supportive and loving and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for all they have done for me.” Mamie E. Sheppard, Danette’s late maternal grandmother and matriarch of the family, was also extremely supportive of her gifts and talents. “I honor her from the bottom of my heart and I thank her for her encouragement.” She truly believed that even with limited financial means (Grant Projects in Harlem), anyone and everyone can be a success in their lives and make their dreams come true with hard work and determination. Danette is a prime example of that. Stay connected with her @dazzlingdanette on IG, FB & Tiktok