Rising pop singer Rozzi Crane is celebrating her birthday weekend in a big way - taking the stage at her first major music festival with the rock band Maroon 5 for a duet with lead singer Adam Levine.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Rising pop singer Rozzi Crane is celebrating her birthday weekend in a big way - taking the stage at her first major music festival with the rock band Maroon 5 for a duet with lead singer Adam Levine.
Crane, who turned 22 on Thursday, was scheduled to sing a remix of the Mary J. Blige hit "Wake Up Call" and part of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Friday. Crane toured with the band earlier this year and is the first artist signed to Levine's new label, 222 Records.
"It was pretty crazy," Crane said. "I was writing songs, recording demos, and a friend of Adam's heard my music. When Adam called me, it was pretty shocking."
Landing a deal with Levine, a celebrity mentor on the hit reality TV singing competition show, "The Voice," has jump-started the singer's career.
In the past year, Crane has collaborated with Maroon 5 on the ballad "Come Away to the Water" for "The Hunger Games" soundtrack released by Universal Republic Records. She also recorded her yet-to-be-titled album of original music, which is scheduled to be released later this year.
Crane says Levine has been a big influence, as well as the 1990s R&B and hip-hop stars the young singer enjoyed listening to growing up, such as Outkast and TLC.
"I love southern hip-hop, blues and soul," she said. "I'm a pop singer, and this is definitely a pop record, but it has the R&B and soul influence that I grew up with. I think music you hear as a kid really stays with you. It did for me."
Crane said this summer she'll be moving up from spotlighting with Maroon 5 to opening for the band and pop star Kelly Clarkson when the acts go on tour this August.
After her set with Maroon 5 at Jazz Fest on Friday, Crane is expected to open for the New Orleans band The Meters at Tipitina's music club.
But Crane said her birthday weekend won't be all work and no play.
The singer planned to stay in New Orleans for Fleetwood Mac's set at Jazz Fest on Saturday and for the festival's closing set by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews on Sunday.
"I saw Trombone Shorty perform at a show in the Netherlands, and I was blown away," Crane said. "I had never seen anything like that, that kind of energy. It was amazing."
Crane said she has been wanting to visit New Orleans for years.
"I've always felt a connection to the city," she said. "There's such an emphasis on music, and it's a big part of the culture. I can really relate to that."
Jazz Fest continues through Sunday. Other headline acts this weekend include Willie Nelson, Little Big Town, Frank Ocean, The Black Keys and Aaron Neville.