by Claudia Burnett


As Malia Bentley gets ready to sing for her friends and family at the River Ridge Taphouse Voice Take over, she tells me, “If I’m ever gonna do this, the time is now!” At 47 years young, Malia put her singing career on hold years ago to raise her son. She started singing at 8 years of age in the church where her dad was a minister. She sang throughout her childhood.

When she married her husband they traveled and sang together. When Malia became a mother, and her son was 5 years old, he was heavily into sports. She decided to “let him do his sports thing, and be mom.”

As her son got older, she came to River Ridge Taphouse in Clemmons about a year ago for a karaoke night and sang. This was the first time she sang in 15 years. She said, ” karaoke got her singing again.” She would look forward to performing and actually practiced before she sang. She said people started to notice her and would say, “you’ve done this before” and “if you’re not doing this for a living, you ought to!” Malia decided it was time to put a band together and Lasater Union was born. They did their first show at Mac & Nelli’s restaurant. Lasater Union performs covers of mostly country, bluesy, Melissa Ethridge-style music.

A couple months ago, Malia’s husband Rodney brought up the idea of auditioning for The Voice. She was a bit hesitant, but she couldn’t pass up the chance, since it was in Atlanta. She had to make an audition tape singing A cappella. She choose the song “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. As soon as she hit send, she had self-doubt but Malia received a date and time in Atlanta to audition and was on her way.

The Voice was, “the biggest platform ever,” and she was, “proud to be a girl from Clemmons” following her dreams.

Malia auditioned on June 4. Although she did not get a call back she said, “I am proud of myself for doing well, not having a total nervous breakdown, and being as fearless as possible during the audition.”

She also said, “this is the healthiest, happiest and most confident I’ve ever been. Good music has no age.”

Malia will be performing with her band Lasater Union on June 18 from 9-12 pm at Mac & Nelli’s restaurant. !