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From playing the Zanzibar Lounge on 5th Avenue in Gary to the first-ever concert in Yankee Stadium, and now to being part of Grammy Award-winner Billy Joel's performances, Crystal Taliefero's career has been one impressive feat after another.

Gary native Taliefero, skilled at percussion, sax, harmonica and vocals, has played with Joel since 1989 and was even hailed as the music industry's Best Secret Weapon according to Rolling Stone Magazine's 125-plus People, Places and Things Ruling the Rock 'N' Roll Universe.

"The whole ride has been amazing," Taliefero said. "You never know what Billy's gonna do next, so you just keep focused and ready."

In 2013, Joel signed an exclusive music deal to perform at New York City's legendary Madison Square Garden once a month, becoming a franchise at the venue.

"Being part of this has been a real blessing," Taliefero said.

"I was receiving all of these congratulatory messages on social media and next thing I know we are part of history being made."

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Taliefero has also performed with a range of music icons that have included the likes of Faith Hill, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn and Joe Cocker, to name a few.

In 2013, Taliefero and colleagues launched Nashville-based Rodidah Productions, an all-female music entertainment/production company specializing in helping young musicians in the industry.

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"I am passionate about helping others fulfill their dreams," Taliefero said.

"I love what I do, and there is no greater satisfaction than to have someone else rely on us to help attain theirs. I'm so lucky."

Taliefero is no stranger to giving back, as she often visits schools, music programs and individuals encouraging them to never give up and attain life's fulfillment.

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