Singer Tops Billboard Chart, Files for Unemployment Same Day

Whitney Shay won the 2019 San Diego Music Awards for Best Blues Album and Artist of the Year

San Diego blues singer Whitney Shay had some really great news delivered this week.

“My album is No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Chart this week,” she shared in a Facebook post.

"Stand Up!", released by Ruf Records, was supposed to have been celebrated with an album-release show on March 26 at the Belly Up, which, of course, did not happen -- not the first pandemic-connected problem for the incredibly hard-working artist, who had a slew of shows canceled after the stay-at-home orders were issued.

The album not only took the No. 1 spot, it debuted there. It should come to no surprise to her local base of fans. In 2019, Shay won the Best Blues Album award for “A Woman Rules the World” at the San Diego Music Awards and was visibly stunned when she walked away with the coveted Artist of the Year award. She's also taken home consecutive wins for Best Blues in 2017 and 2018.

Shay celebrated the Billboard news with live toasts and an AMA ("ask me anything") sessions on Instagram and Facebook. In both sessions, she thanked her producer, label, publicist and all the people with whom she collaborated, but mostly just wanted to reach out to talk with fans who interacted during the live feeds.

“I appreciate you guys supporting me because right now it's an interesting time ... to be named No. 1 on the Billboard Blues charts but then also applying for grants and unemployment in the same day,” Shay posted

Shay has always been appreciated by her peers.

“You have put in the time and dedicated yourself to your craft, released records, been living life on the road touring Europe, signed a record deal last year and now for this SWEET moment that you so totally deserve!” local musical standout Steph Johnson commented.

“After having her album release party ... and all of her upcoming gigs canceled, I was really feeling for my girl Whitney Shay, so when I saw she posted this I just had to share!," Shay's friend Lia Metz posted. "Light in the darkness.”

Shay is already writing and working on new music. She's also going to make a collaborative music video for her track “Far Apart Still Close, and is requesting fan submissions.

“We wrote this song back in October ... but now the song is very poignant,” Shay posted on social

All of Shay's music and merch is available at

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