NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB)–Marsha McWilson has been singing from her soul ever since she was a little girl.

Born and raised in WNY, she was a regular in churches and a standout in the choir.

“When I was six- years -old I started singing at the St. Johns AME Church where my brother was the choir director,” McWilson said

That golden voice has taken the Niagara Falls hairdresser around the world to work with well-known artists including Tom Joyner, Shirley Ceasar, Yolanda Adams, and Tyler Perry.

“I was one of the first to win the movie search with Tyler Perry and that’s how I began my journey in television. I beat 3,000 people and he put me in if loving you is wrong.”

Now, she’s finally getting recognition in her hometown. McWilson is the first black woman to be inducted into the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame.

“I said Oh my God do you know what that means? That means I made history. And I’m just so honored that God chose me, someone that’s just trying to serve and trying to bring healing and joy.”

McWilson says while she’s surprised that in 2021 she’s the first black woman to be inducted, she’s grateful she has been blessed to pave the way for others making sure she won’t be the last.

“To reach others and to let them know the whole purpose of this is about love. They said you can’t, you can’t so I say yes I can. He’s turned my blues into blue skies.”

Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.