She’s lovely, friendly, and generous. She also got her start right here in Knoxville. Her career beginnings date back to the late 1980s with Shannon DeVaughn at the Peppertree. For newcomers or those who do not remember, the Peppertree was located downtown on Gay Street across from Regas. It was the site for many great shows and gatherings.
After moving to Pennsylvania in 1997, Whitley appeared on the Maury Povich show three years later.
“That was a great experience and it opened a lot of doors for myself entertaining the gay community,” says Whitley. “ Since then I have had the chance to meet such entertainers as Pepper MaShay that sings the smash hit ‘Let’s Get Soaking Wet’ and Thea Austin from the group Snap with their smash hit ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’.”
“I recently opened for the legendary Mr. Paul Lekakis. He sang the song ‘Boom Boom Boom, Let’s Go Back to my Room.’ I am also hold the National title for Miss Drag Ultra Extravaganza National. That has been my biggest achievement to date,” continues Whitley.
Whitley was a participant in Knoxville’s first Pride celebration in 1991.
It should be noted that in 1991, Eloise Klein, a lesbian mother from Knoxville, was returning home from her job in Pigeon Forge. When the steering went out on her elderly vehicle, she went head on into oncoming traffic on Chapman Highway. She was killed instantly. Her partner, Mickey Hunt, and her Eloise’s son, James, were devastated as were many other members of the community. Whitley quickly stepped up, assisting James in his search for relatives and paying for Eloise’s funeral. This is just one example of Whitley’s generosity and kindness.
Whitley Nicole performed at Club XYZ and the New Rainbow Club West with Angel Collins during her visit to KnoxVegas last year. You may remember her from our coverage of her 2005 appearances.
For further information, call Club XYZ at (865) 637-4999.