ILENE ANGEL’S multifaceted career has taken her from the stages of Carnegie Hall to the top of the Billboard charts, and from writing books, blogs, and essays to advocating for issues of social justice.
Reading music before she read words, Ilene Angel wrote her first pop song by the time she was nine. Pursuing both voice and piano, she got her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, before returning to her native New York to attend The Juilliard School.
Angel’s passion always remained songwriting, so she switched venues from concert halls to nightclubs and local New York TV shows, where she began performing her own songs.
After winning the prestigious Songwriters’ Hall of Fame Abe Olman Award for her song “Silence Where Love Used to Be,” Angel embarked on a fateful trip to Nashville, where she attended a writers’ night at the Bluebird Café and fell in love with the songwriting town. She moved there shortly thereafter.
However, it was not a Nashville country song that would become Angel’s first hit, but a #1 Radio Disney song titled “I Don’t Think About It,” recorded by Emily Osment from the TV show Hannah Montana.
After penning the Disney hit with co-writer Sue Fabisch, the songwriting duo went on to win the Global Voices for Change songwriting competition and followed that up with the widely popular “Costco Queen’ from Fabisch’s hit show Motherhood the Musical, which is still touring worldwide.
But music would not be the entire story for Ilene Angel. While expanding her artistic palette in Nashville, she also worked tirelessly on two presidential campaigns, and eventually became an advocate for issues of social justice that impact millions.
While frequently entertaining friends, colleagues, and complete strangers with tales of her life, Angel penned her first book, In Search of George Stephanopoulos – a True Story of Life, Love, and the Pursuit of a Short Greek Guy.
In an effort to gain fans for her book, she started the blog In Search of…, the popularity of which led to her becoming a contributing writer for HuffPost and then Medium and Thrive Global.
Eventually, Angel returned to New York, where she finished her second book, How to Calm the Hell Down and Be Happy, and she began recording the album, In Color – a wholly positive and inspiring collection of original songs, with Tanya Leah at the helm as producer.
Together, Angel and Leah, enlisted the talents of a dizzying array of Grammy-winning musicians, including the iconic Kenny Loggins, who joined Angel for the duet “Friends Like Me & You.”
The title track, In Color, began taking on a life of its own, being performed by artists at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, black tie galas, and has been adopted as the theme song of Nicori Studios and Productions.
In addition to her solo work, Ilene is one-third of the band, The Inspire Project, along with Tanya Leah and Lorraine Ferro.
Together, the trio of longtime friends and hit songwriters bring not only their talents to audiences, but also, the possibility of dreams realized, both for themselves and for their listeners as well.
As the pandemic put the world on pause, Angel kept creating – online courses and books, a new musical she is currently working on, and monthly virtual concerts on StageIt.com to keep the inspiration coming.
“If this time has taught me anything,” Angel said, “it’s to love fiercely and do the most good I can with the time I have.”