With a simple blood draw, life as Kimberly Brown had known it was changed forever.
She was at an event for the American Heart Association in January 2011, preparing to sing as an encouragement for people to get smart about their heart health.
After a sound check, Brown decided to put her words in action and get herself tested.
The results rocked the Blaine woman to her core.
A nurse approached her with the results of her cholesterol test, which was significantly above acceptable levels, and encouraged Brown to see a doctor that day.
That moment served as a wake up call for Brown.
Since then Brown has worked to shed pounds, improve her diet and incorporate exercise into her life.
“It’s been a slow, long process,” she said. “That was a personal wake up call for me.”
With a history of stroke in her family, Brown considers herself lucky.
“I’m blessed to be on the before side of the fence,” she said.
Brown’s personal efforts have resulted in “Get Up Get Moving,” a song encouraging listeners to just get moving for the sake of their heart.
The song has become like an anthem for Brown, who encourages others to get moving just as she has done.
It is also serving as a theme song of sorts for the Minnesota chapter of the American Heart Association. Its sales are also a fund-raiser for the organization, with all the proceeds going to the American Heart Association.
“Get Up Get Moving” is the one of the first songs Brown has written. She wrote some music in the 1990s before giving up writing music in the last 1990s.
Brown said she would go to events for the American Heart Association and sing a few songs, but with copyright issues and other things it was difficult to find songs to support the organization’s mission.
“It was hard to come up with songs to sing,” Brown said.
“I just told myself I’d write a song.”
And so Brown hopped on her treadmill and began writing.
The finished product is about just getting yourself moving, something Brown herself was in the process of doing following her cholesterol test results.
“I had to speak to my soul before I could speak to anyone else,” she said.
The first line of the song says it’s time to make a change, something Brown is actively doing.
“All those things that came to me, I just wrote them down,” she said.
“This message is for the person who’s doing absolutely nothing.”
It’s something that has helped change her life and Brown hopes it also inspires others to do the same.
“I have never been as passionate about anything as I am about this,” she said.
Although she had not many written songs prior to “Get Up Get Moving,” Brown has been singing and performing all her life.
“I loved music from the time I could hear,” she said. “I always just took to music.”
Brown recalls first singing at age three and performing in crowds by the time she was seven.
A pastor’s daughter, Brown often sang in church, but has never had any formal training.
“I was never shy or anything,” she said.
She credits God with giving her the gift of music.
“It’s just totally an innate gift, talent, attraction for me,” Brown said.
Brown does not come from a musical family, she said.
Born in Houston, Texas, Brown grew up in Minneapolis until the age of 12. The family then moved to Champlin where she completed high school. She lived in Andover before moving to Blaine in 2010, where she lives with her husband, daughter and eight foster children.
In 1984 she joined the Sounds of Blackness, singing with the group for 15 years.
During that time its members received two Grammy awards and recorded music for a movie soundtrack. The group also provided Brown with an opportunity to travel and perform throughout the world.
In addition to her work with the American Heart Association, Brown also performs seasonal and gospel music. She is also currently working on writing a song for the American Heart Association focusing on survivors. Her goal is to write enough music to record a CD to benefit the association.
The “Get Up Get Moving” CD single release and fund-raiser is Sunday, May 20 from 6 to 8 p.m., at Pinstripes, 3849 Gallagher in Edina.