Susan Manion’s list of talents are many. The singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman has quite an impressive career path. After leaving Moraine Valley, she continued her college studies in business, as she always dreamed of owning her own business. With a great deal of hard work and focus, that dream came true.
“I opened a janitorial cleaning company in Orland Park, Illinois, called Susan Marie Enterprises, Inc., that services funeral homes, food stores, movie theaters and big box stores,” Susan said. “It allows me to travel for my music and make a good living.”
Although she runs a successful business, Susan’s first love is music. She started performing at the age of four and continued through junior high and high school, performing in her schools’ choirs.
“I sang at weddings, memorial services and talent shows when I was a teenager,” she said.
Some of Susan’s earliest stage performances were at her family’s cottage in Wisconsin, where the neighborhood organization hosted talent shows. “That is where I started to get my performance experience,” she said.
Later, she was given the name of a recording studio in Minneapolis, and she did her first recording with members of Hootie and Blowfish and the Blues Travelers. Susan performed songs that reached the Top 15 on the Christian Country Chart and the Top 20 on the Southern Gospel Chart.
She noted that to be a presenter at music award ceremonies, you must have been on the charts in at least the Top 50. Having met that requirement, she was repeatedly invited to present awards to stars such as Ricky Skaggs for Musician of the Year at the Inspirational Country Music Awards. She has been on that award show for six years and has presented with Holly Tucker from “The Voice.”
Susan also was asked to appear on the “World Idol Show” singing competition, where she was selected out of more than 20,000 performers. Susan appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as part of a tribute to Dr. Ralph Stanley, along with performers such as Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks.
Recently, Susan was awarded the International Country Gospel Music President’s Award. “This was quite an honor, as it is not awarded every year,” she said. “This award means you can do everything – sing, host, act.”
Last year, Susan appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for Country Music Award Week on a show called “Sunday Morning Country” and said it was an honor since many famous people in the industry also appeared on the program.
Susan recently recorded “I’m Awake Now,” which will be on the soundtrack for a Hallmark Channel movie called “The Message.” She also will act in the movie, playing the part of a nurse.
“When I was a student at Moraine Valley, they inspired me to live my dreams and to never give up,” Susan said. “That attitude has played a role in my success. I can sing opera, gospel, pop and blues. God has blessed me, and I thank Him every day.”
For more information on Susan’s career and to see performance clips, visit her website at susanmanion.com.