Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Anthony Riley is an undeniably talented singer/songwriter who found himself inspired into a life of music after the passing of his mother at age 19.
“I was sitting around the house after my mom passed away, eating junk food and not doing much, then my father who is a brilliant man, suggested that I go out on the streets and sing for people. Two weeks later, I felt on top of the world - I was coming out every single day doing something that I loved, and that was the moment I decided I was going to be a performer for the rest of my life.” As Philadelphia Magazine's 2014 Street Performer of the Year his words became a premonition of the success to come.
Unmistakably captivating and unique, Anthony’s stage presence and vocal stylings give a proper nod to Motown greats from James Brown to Michael Jackson, with a dash of class reminiscent of Frank Sinatra. Anthony does not simply stand still and sing, he puts his whole body into the music.
“It’s just in my heart, to always, always, always spread a message of love and positivity…and what better way to do it than to perform?”
After winning first place at the prestigious Apollo theatre in New York City, he took his distinct talents to the studio to self-release To Philly, With Love - a cover album that received notable local success.
It skillfully captures Anthony's roots in street performance as he puts his individual twist on a range of covers from new hits such as "Someone Like You" by Adele to old classics like "Let It Be" by the Beatles. Anthony was featured on season 8 of NBC’s hit show "The Voice” and earned the fastest four-chair turn in the show's history.
Tragically, Anthony passed away on June 2, 2015 at the age of 28. When someone who has lived a long and fulfilled life passes on, it's befitting and appropriate that we should give thanks for, and celebrate their life.
However, when we lose someone in the prime of their life, understandably we are not as comfortable with words and phrases that point towards celebration. Tremendous anger, inconsolable grief, rage, and disbelief are just a few of the emotions that come to us. Clouded in all the pain and sorrow that we feel, there is indisputably something to celebrate.
We can find joy in the fact that we have known Anthony, either through his music or in person, and despite the fact that he is no longer with us we can celebrate that we were privileged and honored to have known him.
Anthony and his music will forever live on in our hearts, and in our souls.