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2011 RFT Music Awards Winners: Best Soul/R&B (Solo Artist): Theresa Payne 

Sounds Like: Theresa Payne takes many of her cues from soul and gospel greats of the past, while adding a generous dose of hip-hop appeal to her music. Although Payne's vocals are just as soft and sweet as can be when appropriate, she's at her best when she's showing off her chops. Her remarkably powerful voice — accented by just the right touch of vibrato — is an absolute pleasure to experience.

Recommended If You Like: Angie Stone, Cece Winans, Jazmine Sullivan

Instrumentation: Bass, drums, keyboard, horns

Crowd Response: Many of the spectators at Lola spent the set positioning themselves to get a better look at Payne as her voice filled the room. The intimate setting was well-suited for the performance, and the crowd responded favorably from beginning to end. The live band made for a neo-soul type of vibe, and the guest appearance by Black Spade provided icing on the cake.

Year Formed: 2008

Influences: Eric Roberson, Black Spade, Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott

What's one thing you can't live without? "The one thing that I cannot live without is love! Love is the remedy to so many things. It's because of love that I even exist!" says Payne.

Click here to return to the complete list of 2011 RFT Music Awards winners.

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