Actress/Singer Mary Millben Releases Virtual Performance for Diwali 2020

American Actress/Singer, Helen Hayes Award Nominee, and recording artist Mary Millben perform India’s National Anthem for the 74th Anniversary of India Independence Day on August 15th, 2020.
American Actress/Singer, Helen Hayes Award Nominee, and recording artist Mary Millben perform India’s National Anthem for the 74th Anniversary of India Independence Day on August 15th, 2020. (photo: Mary Millben)
By Susan JenksNovember 20th, 2020

NEW YORK – American Actress/Singer, Helen Hayes Award Nominee, and recording artist Mary Millben shares a moving virtual performance for Diwali 2020.

“India, the people of India, and the Indian-American community are very special to me. What a blessing to perform virtually for Diwali 2020 - an annual, Indian festival of lights where India, Indian Americans, and people from all over the world gather this year virtually to celebrate new harvest, gratefulness for prosperity, and celebrate light over darkness through the beauty of lamps.” said Millben.

Music by Canadian Screen Award and Grammy nominated composer Daryl Bennett, Mary shares a spiritual and original arrangement of ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’ with a diverse creative team - Hollywood and Sony Pictures producer Tim Davis, award-winning engineer/mixer Jorge Vivo, Executive Directors John Schaus and Trent Massey of Arizona-based production company Ambient Skies, and BridalbyDeena owner Deena Mali. Mary thanks The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona and the City of Sedona for their partnership in this virtual performance.

“As a daughter of retired ministers, my singing roots originated in the African-American church and this upbringing shaped my faith. As a woman of faith, I value the diverse ways many worship across the world. ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare,’ a beautiful Hindi hymn commonly sung during Diwali and in Indian households across the world, is a song of worship and celebration. This hymn continues to move me, touch my spirit, and stir my passion for Indian culture. My mother Reverend Althea Millben was the first one to encourage me to consider recording and performing this song. During these times, we all need spiritual reinforcements that unify our souls.” said Millben.

Mary has become a new and beloved voice in India following her moving performance of India’s National Anthem for the 74th Anniversary of India Independence Day on August 15th, 2020. This performance received global acclaim, a viral presence in India across global airwaves, social platforms, TV, and print media, and has now been viewed by millions.  Praise poured in for Mary’s performance – from the Government of India to Indian communities worldwide.

“My relationship with the Indian culture and love for India has grown through my learning and study of Hindi.  Thanks to my beloved Hindi coach, Embassy of India First Cultural Diplomat and Teacher of Indian Culture Dr. Moxraj, I have been immersed into the culture, cinema, and music of India. These last several months learning ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare,’ have been a true blessing to my life.” Millben said.

Mary was also the opening, featured virtual entertainment performing India’s National Anthem for the 2020 Nudge Foundation Forum (global edition) presented in partnership with The Rockefeller  Foundation and The Skoll Foundation.  The inaugural forum was a 24-hour non-stop global platform featuring world leaders and stakeholders coming together for India’s development and in celebration of India Independence Day.

“Patriotism is a universal virtue.  As I have traveled the United States performing America’s National Anthem and patriotic music honoring America’s heroes, I was also honored this past August to salute and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have fought courageously to defend India’s freedom.  The United States and India, the world’s two largest democracies, share the value of freedom.” said Millben.

Last month, Mary was the featured entertainment for the 2020 Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit which convened top philanthropists and leaders from India and the United States to break new ground in strategic thinking towards global philanthropic engagement. A two-part summit streamed live in India, the United States, and across the world, Mary performed a moving rendition of “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” a message of global peace and harmony. Mary shared the virtual stage with Indian music producer and Grammy Award winning composer Ricky Kej in addition to keynote addresses from global philanthropists Romesh Wadhwani, Founder of the Wadhwani Foundation, and Vidya Shah, Chairperson and CEO of EdelGive Foundation.

“Impact through philanthropic partnerships is a new personal priority. India’s migrant workers, the backbone of India, have faced tremendous challenges during COVID19 and their struggle has consumed my attention. I look forward to partnering with my friend and Indiaspora Founder M.R.

Rangaswami and the Indiaspora network to help uplift those in need in the Indian diaspora, and give greater awareness here in America to the conditions of India’s migrant workers. And, I really look forward to spending time with India’s migrant workers and their families when I visit India next year.”

"Indiaspora is delighted to expand our relationship with a highly skilled vocalist and our good friend, Mary Millben. Her strong affinity for India and the Indian diaspora shines through in her work,” said Sanjeev Joshipura, Executive Director of Indiaspora.

As an independent artist, Mary has become one of the world’s new celebrated voices having performed for three consecutive U.S. Presidents (President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, and President Donald Trump), international royalty, and world leaders. Mary has performed for other notables including Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Her Royal Highness Princess Basmah Bint Al Saud, His Royal Highness Prince Dimitrije "Dimitri" Karadordevic of Yugoslavia, His Excellency Cui Tiankai (Chinese Ambassador to the U.S.), His Excellency Paolo Zampolli (United Nations Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Dominica) Her Excellency Mathilde Mukantabana (Rwandan Ambassador to the U.S.), Oprah Winfrey, and Canadian billionaire and business magnate Jim Pattison to name a few.

Furthermore, Mary has been featured at The White House, the United States Congress, for the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), 2016 RIO Olympics, and in concert halls worldwide.

Most recently, Mary was named to Ideagen’s 2020 Power 10 List - 10 Global Leaders Empowering Women & Girls alongside Oscar/Emmy/Tony Award Winning Actress Viola Davis, Melinda Gates – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair, Kate Johnson – Microsoft US President, Adena Friedman - CEO of Nasdaq, Jo Ann Jenks – CEO of AARP, and more. Mary is a passionate and devoted advocate for women and girls across the world.

February 2020, Notefornote Entertainment released Mary’s debut single “Grace Will Lead Me Home” on THE MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS original motion picture soundtrack now on all leading digital platforms globally. Academy Award/Oscar eligible, “Grace Will Lead Me Home” was produced with 2018 Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductee, three-time Grammy/six-time Emmy nominee Steve Dorff and lyrics by two-time Emmy Award winner and four-time Grammy nominated songwriter Maribeth Derry.

Mary is the host of the new online TV series “IMPACT NOW” with Mary Millben on Ideagen® TV and presented by Microsoft. Birthed during COVID, “IMPACT NOW” recently featured guests NBA Toronto Raptors and 2019 NBA Champions Head Coach Nick Nurse, Canadian tech CEO Karolyn Hart, and Robert J. Brown, former Special Assistant to Richard Nixon and advisor to the late Dr. Martin Luther King and President Nelson Mandela. October 30th, Mary featured special guest Richard DeVos Jr., President of The Windquest Group. Mary is a former White House Presidential Appointee to President George W. Bush and Global Ambassador for Education Africa.

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