Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the girl known by age two as Dilana Smith discovered a love for music at an early age, participating in school and church choirs as an escape from an unpleasant home life. Inspired by such visceral singers as Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, she left school at sixteen to follow her own dreams and soon found herself with a promising music career in Holland, becoming one of the country’s most coveted live acts. Her 2000 album Wonderfool scored five singles, four videos and a string of touring and festival gigs throughout the region.
By way of Houston, Dilana made it to L.A. and wound up auditioning for “Rock Star Supernova.” As one publication noted, “The minute she stepped on the Mayan Theatre stage in Los Angeles in Episode One and performed Nirvana’s ‘Lithium,’ she instantly became the show’s frontrunner.” Her powerful vocals and commanding stage presence amassed legions of new fans from around the world. That acclaim has inspired Dilana to pursue her musical passion with characteristic tenacity.
Dilana has performed with rock legends Tommy Lee and Mick Mars (Mötley Crue), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Panic Channel) and Gilby Clark (Guns N’ Roses). In 2007, she opened for Aerosmith and Beth Hart, and launched two solo tours spanning North America and Western Europe that consistently earned stellar reviews. Dilana finished 2009 touring her native South Africa.
Following the release of seven singles, Dilana spent much of 2008 in the studio. In November 2009, she just unleashed InsideOut, a compilation of 12 original songs, her first full-length album in nine years. She also began her venture into film acting in 2009. The singer/songwriter won the BEST ACTRESS award at the Action On Film International Film Festival as well as winning both the BEST ACTRESS award and the BEST MUSIC award at the American International Film Festival for the 9 songs she wrote/performed, in the soon to be released rock drama, Angel Camouflaged.
Dilana has toured the world extensively and performed in afghanistan for the troops in 2009/2010. Dilana was a part of the Go Army Concert Series tour in August 2011, opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Doobie Brothers as well as touring Holland, South Africa, and the USA.
While music remains the focus of her life, Dilana is also committed to helping others, especially children. She has given her support to the Lili Claire Foundation as well as the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, asking her fans to donate to the cause. "Growing up in South Africa I saw a lot of pain and death. I saw babies die of AIDS. Anything I can do to help prevent that kind of suffering is worthwhile," says Dilana, an artist who is maturing in more ways than one. Dilana was recently awarded by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles for her part as spokeswoman for the foundation for domestic violence, Safe Passage.
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