Law Office of Deborah E. Johnson, Esq.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed ~ Proverbs 15:22 

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Why I Became and Entertainment Lawyer as featured in Lawyer'd Magazine (Spring 2018 Issue)

Posted on August 7, 2019 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (3)

Why did I become an Entertainment Lawyer?

In 2013, I made the difficult decision, and planted a foundation, to leave a well-

paying federal job and transition to a solo firm. My grandmother had months to

live, my first grandchild had just been born, and honestly, I felt stagnate,

professionally. In October of that year, my plans were thrust into full action,

ahead of schedule, and I was laid off from my cushy government job during

massive budget cuts. I decided to jump-start the Law Office of Deborah E.

Johnson, Esq. immediately, in a Dallas suburb.

Colleagues often ask me, “Why did you choose entertainment law?” The truth is -

it chose me. My best friend, who is also a lawyer, married a gospel recording

artist in 2011. Artists and others in the entertainment industry, knowing she was

a lawyer, sought her legal expertise; however, with a full-time position in another

legal field, she genuinely did not have the time or resources to field all of those

potential clients and legal issues. She and her husband heavily encouraged me to

start my own entertainment law firm. They said I possessed the intelligence, wit,

and personality for this unique field. I was hesitant at first, but the demands of

family and desire to spend more time with my children and grandchildren caused

me to consider it. After being laid off, I jumped right into the entertainment law


I hit the ground running, with my mind geared towards mostly a transactional law

firm. I read every article and book I could get my hands on. I accelerated my

learning by attending entertainment law seminars and shadowing other lawyers.

At times, I found the field challenging because Dallas is not really known as a hub

for entertainers. Although Austin is considered a film and entertainment capital, I

quickly discovered that there were only a handful of entertainment lawyers in the

Dallas area.

Starting a new solo firm is challenging in itself, especially for a working mom. But

starting a new solo firm, in an area that is primarily dominated by men, and is

rarely practiced in your geographic region, with very little hands-on experience,

turned into my miracle.

The truth is I went to law school because I wanted to make a difference. What I

found was that much of the practice of law centered around making money,

when what I really wanted to do was serve my community and represent the


What I discovered is that in any area of law, you can do just that. Once I hung my

shingle and the word started to get out that a new entertainment lawyer was in

town, independent artists, filmmakers, musicians, actors, and models all around

the State of Texas began to contact me for legal representation. The variety of

services I provide range from the very simply work-for-hire agreement, to the

extremely complex, such as representing a well-known recording artist who

desires to be released from a tremendously unbalanced and unfair recording


Second, I discovered that people are just people, and you can make a difference

anywhere. The truth is, starting a solo practice is challenging no matter what area

of law you choose. People need help in every area of law. They need your

expertise and education.

Last, in this process, I found a new love and commitment for my family. I found

joy in the luxury and flexibility of having my granddaughter crawl across my office

floor. I found balance in being able to travel to all of my son’s soccer games. I

found life – the way it was meant to be. And I will say this, as women, I do not

believe we can have it all, not all at the same time. I did sacrifice my path up the

career ladder with the six-figure salary to some extent. Yet, what I found was that

I could live on a smaller salary, and I could also provide some stability for my

family (which in the end, actually ends up saving you money in places you did not


So, how did I end up as a female lawyer in a field that is sometimes viewed as


Truth - It chose me. Life chose me. Family chose me. And I would not change a


The Law of Deborah E. Johnson, Esq. is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

For general information or to set up a consultation, email:

You can also connect with Attorney Johnson on LinkedIn

*The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article or on this

profile page should be taken as legal advice for any individual, case, or situation. This information is not intended to create, and

receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. All rights Reserved. Copyright 2018.


Posted on July 31, 2019 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0) Follow me on #LINKEDIN

Written by Deborah E. Johnson, Esq.**

In this digital age, many authors are choosing to self-publish. While self-publishing opens the door of opportunity that many authors would never receive using the traditional publishing method, there are several pitfalls to self-publishing contracts that book authors should be aware of when seeking out services that will allow the author to authentically self-publish.

1. Is it a self-publishing, printing, or distribution service? (Know the difference.)

The digital world has completely transformed the art of book publishing. New companies are popping up offering all kinds of services to self-publishers--distribution, printing, editing, marketing, and even artwork for your book cover. It is important to understand what service you are contracting. Many printing companies vet themselves as self-publishing services, when really what they are providing is just printing. It is important to know the difference. Understanding legalese and asking copious questions before you sign an agreement is absolutely necessary. Seeking legal counsel is also highly recommended. Caveat: there is a rule in contract law called the parole evidence rule that could bar the testimony of oral agreements that were made prior to the written agreement. Therefore, it is extremely important that every term, every numerical value, every item discussed is included in the four corners of the written agreement.

2. Copyright ownership

You are the author and rightful owner of your work and your copyright. (The first task you should have completed once you finished writing your manuscript should have been to send it to the copyright office for registration – if you did not, please stop reading this article immediately and proceed directly to Any contract you sign should state that you will retain all copyright ownership of your manuscript. Look specifically for language on copyright ownership within the four corners of the document.

3. Editing services

Your manuscript should be professionally edited. Is this service included in your contract? If so, how much are you paying specifically for editing and what other services are included in the editing fee? Is the editing fee in line with market value? My experience is that most editing services that are included with self-publishing deals tend to be above market value. I highly recommend hiring a free-lance editor. You will have to pay for the editing services out-of-pocket – but hey, you are self-publishing. Everything you need to get your manuscript on the shelf of a big box retailer will require you to pay out-of-pocket to make it big without a traditional publishing deal!

One popular website that offers professional book editing services is:* However, book authors should complete their own thorough research and look for reviews written online before hiring a professional book editor.*

4. Marketing services

Marketing is going to be an important aspect of promoting your new book. Are the marketing services included in your self-publishing agreement? Is there an additional fee for marketing? Look specifically for and ask questions about the marketing plan. Many self-publishing companies offer marketing services for an additional fee, but you will need to know exactly what marketing services are included with that fee. If no marketing services are offered, I highly advise you to hire an independent marketing or PR expert to help promote your new book.

One popular website that offers marketing services for the self-publisher is:* Again, I cannot stress the importance of conducting your own research of the company you choose to work with, and be sure to read what others say about their services and their experience.

5. If what you really need is straight distribution

What I have discovered is that many companies whom call themselves self-publishing companies, are merely offering distribution services for a fee. If what you need is distribution to online outlets, as well as brick and mortar stores, I recommend that you seek out a straight distribution deal. If the company you are working with wants you to sign a self-publishing agreement, and the agreement appears to be for straight distribution, by all means have the title of the agreement changed. Beware of common pitfalls when seeking distribution, such as:

• Understanding which online and offline vendors the book will be distributed to.

• The percentage of royalties the company will require (keep) to distribute your book.

• Any additional hidden fees/costs.

• Accounting: who will administer the accounting and how often? When will I get paid and/or receive accounting statements?

• What is the term length (how many years are you bound to this contract)?

• Is this contract exclusive or non-exclusive?

6. Know the cost for each service up front

Every service you request should be quantified and written into the contract. Period. Contracts that allude to additional service fees that will be determined at a later date should never be signed. Further, if your contract does not specifically state every service with a quantifiable fee in the contract, you should probably walk away from that deal. Many companies tack on fees for services never agreed to and will take it from your royalty share. Watch for added fees on your accounting statement as well.

7. Length of contract

Most self-publishing contracts are for mere printing services and will not require you to sign an agreement with which the company holds you hostage for 1-2 years. If your contract states a term length, you need to find out what the term length pertains to. If the self-publishing deal includes distribution, what you are really giving the company is permission to distribute your book for a certain length of time. This language should be clear, and you should know exactly what you are agreeing to.

8. Beware of exclusivity clauses

If your self-publishing contact includes a clause that states “company has the exclusive right to….”, it is important that you understand exactly what right you have given exclusively to said company. I have seen distribution companies include this language in their contracts because they want to be the exclusive distributor of your product for a period of usually 1-2 years. A non-exclusive clause would denote that you have the right to self-distribute as well as promote the book to other online and offline vendors, yourself, or through other avenues and third parties.

9. Royalties

Understanding royalty rights should be your second most important concern as a self-publishing author. This is your paycheck, your hard earned cash. You have invested a great deal of money to self-publish. You have the right to earn a living from your manuscript, especially if it does well in the marketplace. Pay special attention to royalty clauses, which give the company the right to keep part of the royalties earned from the sale of your book. A straight-forward printing service should not request any of the author’s royalties. A distribution service, by contrast, may require 20-30% of the incoming royalties. But again, you need to ask the question – what am I paying this company to do? If they are retaining 30% of incoming royalties, what services are they providing to you, the author, for that 30% and for how long? If the company is requesting more than 30% - RUN the other way!

The other common issue that I encounter with authors seeking legal counsel is that they never see one penny of the their rightful 70%. You should ask for direct accounting and demand it if necessary. Accounting spreadsheets should be detailed and numbers should add up properly. Beware of excessive or hidden fees or items you never agreed to (i.e. excessive shipping fees).

10. Is digital conversion included

Most self-publishing authors are not aware that the digital version or e-version format of their manuscript is very different from the hard copy format. Consumers often prefer to download the e-version of books listed online. As an educated author, you need to confer whether or not this digital conversion of your manuscript is included with the service you have paid for. Again, beware of excessive fees for this service.

In conclusion, here are some important items worth noting:

• Leave no question unasked. Take nothing for granted.

• Anything without numbers need to be quantified.

• Ask lots of questions and remember the parole evidence rule.

• All important terms should be included in the four corners of the document.

• Seek legal counsel.

Self-publishing is a great tool for new authors, but can be a costly experiment if not executed correctly. Thoroughly research the companies you plan to work with. Understand your rights as an author. Hire a lawyer who understands the business. Because you have invested a lot of time and money in your manuscript, hiring a good attorney will be money well spent and time saved in entangled legal battles later.

The Law Office of Deborah E. Johnson, Esq. is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For general information or to set up a consultation, email:


Posted on July 24, 2019 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0) FOLLOW ME ON #LINKEDIN

Written by Deborah E. Johnson, Esq. 

1. Hire an Entertainment or Music Lawyer.

Many artists, especially independent artists, fail to see the importance of hiring an entertainment/music lawyer. Some artists feel that it is not in their budget or that it is not a priority. Hiring a music lawyer is of such importance that an artist should budget the cost just as any other budget item, like production fees, photography, video services, etc. A music lawyer is an investment in an artist’s career. Additionally, it will not cost the artist as much up front as it would later down the line, should the artist find himself in a precarious legal situation. My law office makes every effort to make services affordable for the independent artist and my fee scale consists of several flat fee items which allows the artist to easily budget for that cost.

What I tell clients is that you cannot afford not to hire a music lawyer. WHY? You are an artist! You are not trained in the law of music. Even if you are an artist that is music law savvy, your mindset is still that of an artist. Many great thinkers of our time use the mantra: “Stay in your lane.” This is great advice because we are all wired for a specific purpose. People who understand their purpose early, understand they also need to be trained for that purpose. Don’t get me wrong. I have met my share of educated artists; however, the artist’s mind is not constantly thinking of ways to protect their intellectual property while creating it. That is my job! A music lawyer will assist the artist in the protection and preservation of their intellectual property. Notwithstanding, the artist might be losing money without proper legal counsel. Music lawyers can and should assist with negotiations and contract review. They have your best interest at heart and they are detached emotionally from the situation; therefore, they can negotiate the best terms on your behalf. This allows the artist to be an artist while maximizing their dollar as an artist. You do your job - I will do mine. Do not wait until you are in dire legal trouble to hire your entertainment lawyer. Do it now and save time and money down the road!

2. Always copyright your music. 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an artist is failing to properly copyright your music. Your music lawyer can assist with the copyrighting; however, many artists feel comfortable registering their own copyrights. The important point to remember here is – COPYRIGHT, COPYRIGHT, COPYRIGHT.

A copyright tells the rest of the world who owns an original work, as well as enabling its creator to bring legal action for infringement and expanding your rights and remedies under the law. Artists will often use or hear the term “poor man’s copyright.” This means to send the original work to yourself via mail. I do not recommend using the “poor man’s copyright” method because it is more difficult to prove in court, and you may not receive the additional protections provided under federal law when a work is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office creates a time stamp of when the original work was created as well as the denoting the rightful owner. It is your most powerful piece of evidence should you discover that one has copied or unlawfully exploited your intellectual property. Once a piece of music has been created, the creator should seek to register the work with the copyright office as soon as possible. This is fairly inexpensive and well worth the money. Artists should be aware that there are two types of copyrights. First, the artist can copyright what is traditionally called the Sound Recording (SR). Form SR should be used when registering a published or unpublished sound recording. This form is limited to the sound recording itself. Form SR can also be used when an artist is registering both the sound recording as well as the underlying work, as long as the claimant is the same for both. Form PA (Performing Arts) should be used when a claimant is registering the underlying work only, such as a musical composition or lyrics to a song. 

Copyrights on registered works, registered after Jan. 1, 1978 are protected for the life of the creator plus 70 years. More information on copyrights can be located at

NOTE: Registration with the U.S. Copyright office may or may not necessarily provide copyright protection internationally.

3. Register with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO).

There are basically three major PROs: BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC. They all do basically the same thing – track, calculate, and pay the songwriter(s) for royalties earned. This is especially imperative if you are a singer/songwriter. Some PROs require a small fee to join, while others are by invitation only.

A PRO represents songwriters, music publishers, and composers. The PRO’s main function is to collect license fees on your behalf, when your music is played on radio stations, news media, internet, satellite, hotels, clubs, concerts, and other businesses. A percentage of those royalties are then forwarded to the songwriter(s). Songwriters should be aware that they may only affiliate with one PRO at a time - so choose wisely.

Songwriters should also consider setting up their own music publishing company. A music publisher’s sole purpose is to ensure that songwriters receive royalties when their compositions are exploited commercially. In contrast, there is no objection to registering will all three PROs simultaneously, as a music publisher (contrary to songwriter affiliation mentioned above).

These are the web addresses for BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC:

4. Register with Sound Exchange (SE).

Sound Exchange is a fairly new service with its sole purpose to administer services to stream artist content. Translation: SE tracks and pays out to artists on digital performance royalties. Sound Exchange also collects and distributes those royalties back to the artist when the content is played on a non-interactive digital source. Do not confuse this service with that of a PRO. Further good news is that there is no fee to join Sound Exchange. Below are a list of the benefits to joining Sound Exchange (borrowed directly from their FAQ page):

Maximize your revenue through foreign royalty collections.

Maximize your revenue through foreign royalty collections.

Join the effort to fight for long-term value of music.

Conference and equipment discounts.

Additionally, this linked article about SE further demonstrates that is a growing service and provides helpful information in understanding how its service works.

5. ALWAYS complete a Song Split Agreement when you are in the recording studio.

I cannot express the value and importance of song split agreements. Song split agreements delineate the songwriters’ percentage of ownership and contribution to a song, when a musical composition is created. Song split agreements should always be signed after a song is written/produced/recorded but before everyone leaves the studio. When split sheets are not signed in the studio, a musical composition’s authorship can be questioned or disputed. This can cause issues when copyrighting works and registering songs with PROs. Split sheets should include each of the songwriter’s names, authorship, percentage of contribution, and the name of their registered PRO for each song author. Publishing percentages can and should be included as well. Songwriters’ contribution percentages and publishing percentages may differ on the same split sheet. Basic song split agreements can be located online and/or my law firm can provide and explain a basic song split agreement for a small nominal fee.

The Law Office of Deborah E. Johnson, Esq. is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For general information or to set up a consultation, email:

How does your creative process work? Shy Speaks

Posted on July 19, 2019 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

A common interview question for artist Is, “How does your creative process work?”

Well, I want to give you a small glimpse on how the bigger picture turned out…" target="_blank">Watch Short Video

I know that was a super quick snapshot. But it was a mouthful! When the 5-day Interactive Experience starts, there will be no walls between us! You will have full detailed access into my world and how Dear Everybody: The Live Band Mixtape was created!

Talk to you soon,


Copyright © 2019 ShySpeaks & Company, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

ShySpeaks & Company

12895 Josey Ln Ste 124-1088

Dallas, TX 75234-8301

The Guide For Every Screenwriter

Posted on July 15, 2019 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Posted on July 12, 2019 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)


Shy Speaks New Vlog!

Posted on July 6, 2019 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

VLOG 001

A Peek Behind a 90,000+ Attended Faith-Based Event

In this episode, follow along as I breathe in the reality of being a performer at the Texas Motor Speedway alongside some of the most influential faith-based artist & speakers of our time, like Andy Mineo, Jonathan Traylor, KB, Samuel Rodriguez, Tedashii, Grant Skeldon...who all make a cameo appearance). It was quite the experience to share Spoken Word poetry at this epic gathering!" target="_blank">

Stephen Thomas Announces His New Single Like It Or Not

Posted on February 14, 2017 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The new single which has gained worldwide attention with fans and music reviewers is available at all digital outlets including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify.


Stephen Thomas one of the most exciting artists of recent years is pleased to announce he is set to release his latest single titled Like It Or Not, which will be released in January. The song will be available at all digital outlets online iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, and much more.


The song is set to release on 1.16.17 and the artist who has shared the stage with some big names in the music world has been on set filming a New Music Video to the New Single Like It Or Not. The New Single Like it Or Not is a very aggressive, passionate, and motivating record.


Like It Or Not has caused excitement amongst fans who were patiently waiting for his new release after his last successful tracks which included Search Me Lord, and Best Days which were played in more than 30 million homes worldwide.


Stephen Thomas who has teamed up with producer Tone Jonez, Artist E. Carter, and J. Robinson to produce the hit song Best Days that debuted No. 2 on the iTunes Charts, is currently working with director Will Thomas of Space Cherry Films that also filmed his last music video Best Days for his new music video "Like It Or Not."



The new single Like It Or Not was written from the heart. Stephen explained that the words in the song came from a place of reflection.


Stephen said: “I really felt the urge to write a record that has a verbally aggressive approach but in a good way. This New Single "Like it or Not" comes from a place of reflection. Throughout Stephen's career he's had people to come along side him and speak life to him, but he's also had people who said he couldn't do it. This single is for both of those people.”


The artist who has gained a reputation of reaching people’s hearts with his music and making people think about life explained: “I took a different approach with what I wrote for this song. I made it a song with many words of motivation, encouragement, and just that aggressive approach that you may want me to be one thing but I know that I'm looking to be better than what you want. I will be the best me that I can be and that me is not settling for anything less other than being a great man of faith, being successful, being great, being the best leader and role model from the older generation to the newest generation that I can.”


Like It Or Not has gained worldwide exposure with some music experts calling it one of the most inspirational songs of recent times. One thing that is certain, the new single will explode on the music scene in January when it is officially released.


Stephen Thomas has launched a tour called The L.I.O.N promo Tour.


Upcoming TOUR DATES:


Jan. 9 Huntington, WV

Jan. 27 Bluefield, VA

Jun. 7 Boston, MA

Jun. 8 Boston, MA

Jun. 9 Providence, RI

Jun. 10 Providence, RI

Jun. 11 Boston, MA


If you would like to bring Stephen Thomas and The L.I.O.N. Tour to your city email us at


To find out what Stephen is up to, keep in touch with him through his official website


About Stephen Thomas


Stephen Thomas is an artist has become one of the most exciting artists of recent times


Media Contact:



Facebook: @Stephentmusic

Instagram: @stephentmusic

Twitter: @stephentmusic


Distributed by In2town Public Relations



Media Contact

Company Name: Like It Or Not

Contact Person: Stephen Thomas


Country: United States




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Stephen Thomas Formally Known as Steve-O Announces His Return to the Charts with a New Single

Posted on February 25, 2016 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Stephen Thomas Formally Known as Steve-O Announces His Return to the Charts with a New Single and Sound That Has Excited the Music Experts

The singer has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. His previous music was described as unique, fresh and exciting. Stephen Thomas, previously known as Steve-O has decided to return to the music world with a new sound, a sound that has excited the music industry. Stephen's latest Music Video release Search Me Lord has received placement on Revolt TV (Sean Combs aka P. Diddy TV Network) playing in between 20 million - 30 million homes worldwide.

A much-missed artist who left fans wondering when he will return to the music scene has now announced his return. Stephen Thomas, who was known as Steve-O, is excited to share the news with his fans that he is bringing out a new single and sound. The artist, who has gained fans around the world and has shared the stage with some of the greatest artists in recent times, is set to release his new single called Best Days. The single, which Stephen has said will be a crossover into the Mainstream, has excited record producers.

The exciting artist explained his new single is about young people no matter their race, gender, or age that even as a Christian they can still live a great lifestyle. He said they could enjoy their life, have fun and still own a Nice Home, Have a nice ride, a boat, or even a plane and do the things they want to do in life.

Stephen said: "You don't have to go to the streets or sell dope just be creative, get educated, Channel your energy towards productivity & Keep God first & the sky is limit."

The artist is no stranger to success, he has been nominated for many awards since launching onto the music scene and has won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year, beating the likes of Lecrae, Deitrick Haddon, Tye Tribbett, Canton Jones, Uncle Reece, and many more. He is now delighted to let fans know he is back in the studio working on the new single. When asked about his new sound he replied: "it's still the same style but with a little more spice of Hip Hop and more of a CCM feel and don't be surprised if you hear some Pop as well."

He explained that he is now writing uplifting and inspirational music, where he is writing about real life issues including personal things that have happened to him as well as what's it like to be a Christian man. Fans will be pleasantly surprised with the new sound, new style and new look, and hopes his previous fans and new fans will join him on his journey with his new music.

Stephen has been quiet on the music front due to a serious car accident while some may have given up; the artist fought back from his serious injuries to do what he loves best, and that is to share his words and music with the world.

When asked how he feels after his accident, Stephen said, "I feel stronger, better, wiser, and I am ready to go harder than every before."

Stephen Thomas has shown, no matter what life throws at a person, people can overcome those problems and succeed. The singer, was determined to get better after his accident and carry on with what he loves to do and that is to sing. He wants his music to bring inspiration to people and show them, if they believe, they can overcome, and if they overcome, they can succeed.

The new single has been described as one of the most exciting releases of 2016, and fans are being warned to expect a huge surprise.

To find out what Stephen is up to, keep in touch with him through his Facebook page

About Stephen Thomas

Stephen Thomas is an artist who was previously known as Steve-O.

Media Contact:

Twitter: ImStephenThomas

IG: ImStephenThomas

Song Nominated as Best Collaboration Song of the Year

True Praiser:

Music Video Nominated for Best Rhythm & Praise Music Video of the Year

Search Me Lord:




Christian Artist Andrea Helms

Posted on July 28, 2015 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Andrea Helms, known for her powerful voice and performances on Season 4 of BET’s Sunday Best, is a lifelong singer and worshipper from Odessa, Texas. She was an only child and the daughter of a pastor who introduced her to her love of music. Her father, who was the pastor of Friendship Church in Denton, TX, was an accomplished musician; and passed those talents on to Andrea. Music was all around her in school, at home and in church.


Andrea became recognized as a standout performer at a young age. She was chosen to sing with the Texas All-State Choir for three consecutive years. She was also selected for the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, which encompassed the entire Southern Region of the United States. Andrea walked away with the top prize. In addition, she won the Young Artist Competition and earned the opportunity to perform with the renowned Richardson Symphony Orchestra.


Andrea’s later years of success wouldn’t blossom before she faced some adversities within her personal life. As a new mother, Andrea faced severe bouts of postpartum depression and often contemplated suicide. She credits God and her praying mother for bringing her through that tough time. Those experiences enabled Andrea to use her own life experience to minister to other women who were silently suffering, as well. Andrea is now a sought out speaker at many women’s conferences and events.


Andrea’s ability to overcome her odds built a strength that would prove to be an asset to her surprising success on BET’s Sunday Best. Andrea’s journey to first runner-up on Sunday’s Best was one of faith and favor. Andrea admits that she left that platform as a much stronger and more confident performer. Andrea demonstrated her range and ability with her personal renditions of songs performed by some of the industry’s top talent including Tremaine Hawkins, Whitney Houston and Martha Munizzi. She continued to display her boldness as she put her authentic stamp on seven popular songs for her debut album, Moving Forward. She covered Mary Mary’s “Yesterday”, Richard Smallwoods “I Love the Lord”; “Wind Beneath My Wings”; and two classics from Donald Lawrence. The album was well received, reaching #2 on the Billboard Gospel Chart.


In addition to her music, Andrea has been busy with theatre productions and appearances. She performed alongside Le’Andria Johnson in T.J. Hemphill’s play Perilous Times II and was requested to sing at Dr. Martin L King, Jr.’s birthday celebration in Atlanta. Andrea currently resides in Denton, TX with her husband and son. She is still currently the minister of music at her childhood church, Friendship Church, where her husband is now the pastor.


Her greatest goal, however, is to use her music to connect people with Jesus. “I want people to know how big Jesus is through what I sing,” she says. “I want them to know that He is real and that you don’t have to be cleaned up to come to Jesus, you can come as you are. And if that’s accomplished, then my mission is complete.”


Andrea is currently under the management of BPM Music Group, LLC. and is excited about the direction of her musical career.


Life Chat with Shy Speaks

Posted on July 27, 2015 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)


LifeChat Live: Video Premeire and Conversation


 Monday, July 27 @ 7:00 PM — 9:00 PM

 Angelika Film Center, 5321 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206

Make plans to join us as we celebrate our first year in a very big way and watch the premiere of Shy Speaks' new video, P v. R.


And make sure you look real cute for the red carpet -- you know we're gonna post those...


And of course, we're inviting back some of our favorite panelists. If you've missed them before, we dare you to miss them again. They're locked, loaded and ready to tackle those tough relationship questions. We hope you're comin' with questions a-blazin'...


$35 -- VIP $15 -- General $75 -- Vendors


Only 100 seats available.


Get on it, chief.


Michelle Bonilla New Single - Relentless

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

New Single "Relentless" now available for download at

Holiday Greetings

Posted on December 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

written by Deborah E. Johnson

Greetings clients and friends,
As we approach the holiday season, please be aware that the Law Office will be closed December 23-29, 2014, with limited hours from December 29-January 5, 2015.  All requests and emails will be addresses and answered before December 22 and/or after December 29.  If you should have an urgent request, please call me as soon as possible.
I want to thank each and every one of you for being a wonderful client, friend, and in many cases both.  This year has been incredible, and I have grown exponentially as a person and an attorney.  It is to you I give the credit.  You have trusted me with the gentle nature of each individual’s legal needs and you have allowed me to do what I am trained to do, by God and by man. I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of everything that God is doing in each of your lives and the position that HE has allowed me to be in to facilitate that process.

As we enter 2015, I encourage you to reflect on the lessons learned from 2014.   For me personally, I have learned PATIENCE, TRUST, FAITH, AND FORGIVENESS.   I implore you to deepen your faith and relationship with our Creator and the One that sits at the right hand of God, advocating on our behalf (Romans 8:34).   For me and my house, Romans 8 has been an integral part of  our faith for 2014.  At one point, the Lord showed me Romans 8:28 twenty-four times!   I then discovered that my son (15) was also studying Romans 8 in his Bible course at school. One day as we arrived at a soccer game, I looked down to see that he had written ”Romans 8” on each soccer cleat with a sharpie.  I was the proudest Mom because he had just gotten new white soccer cleats and no one likes to mark up their new shoes. HAHA.  But he felt it was important to include that reminder on the shoes that had become the vessel to his success.
As we all enter new gates in 2015, may you let the love, joy, and peace of Jesus reside in your heart and reflect in your daily life. 
May the Lord Bless you and Keep you this Holiday Season!