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Shirley Strawberry: A Timeless Icon in Media

Ageless Grace: Celebrating Shirley Strawberry's Timeless Impact in Media

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the remarkable career and extraordinary influence of Shirley Strawberry, a true icon in radio and media.

With a career of over three decades, Shirley has captivated audiences with her unique voice, infectious personality, and unwavering dedication to her craft.

From her early days at Chicago’s WCGI-FM to her rise to national fame as the co-host of The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Shirley has become a household name and a role model for aspiring broadcasters everywhere.

Join us as we explore the life and legacy of this extraordinary woman, whose impact on the media landscape continues to inspire and resonate with millions of listeners nationwide.

Early Life and Education

Early Life and Education

Shirley Strawberry’s journey began in the vibrant city of Chicago, Illinois, where she was born on July 28, 1954.

Growing up in the heart of Chicago, Shirley faced significant personal challenges that would shape her resilience and character.

Tragedy struck early in her life when her father, Homer, passed away in a car accident when she was just an infant.

Despite this heartbreaking loss, Shirley’s mother played a crucial role in her upbringing, providing unwavering support and guidance.

Her mother’s strength and dedication greatly influenced Shirley’s determination and work ethic, laying the foundation for her future success.

Shirley attended local schools in Chicago, where she developed a strong foundation in communication skills.

Her passion for media and broadcasting emerged at a young age, as she actively participated in various school activities that honed her public speaking abilities.

Early Career in Radio

Early Career in Radio

Shirley Strawberry’s illustrious career in radio began in the mid-1980s when she joined WCGI-FM in her hometown of Chicago.

Her initial role involved co-hosting “The Doug Banks Show,” where she quickly made a name for herself with her distinct voice and engaging presence.

Shirley’s talent and charisma on the show led to a surge in her popularity.

Her relatable and dynamic on-air personality resonated with listeners, making her a standout figure in Chicago radio.

1. Rising Popularity on “The Doug Banks Show”

The success of “The Doug Banks Show” helped Shirley build a strong foundation and network in the radio industry, setting the stage for her future endeavors.

In the early 1990s, Shirley’s rising fame caught the attention of industry professionals, leading to a significant career move to 92.3 The Beat, KKBT-FM in Los Angeles.

This transition marked a pivotal point in her career, expanding her reach to a broader audience and showcasing her versatility as a radio host.

2. Meeting and Collaborating with Steve Harvey

At KKBT-FM, Shirley met Steve Harvey, who would become a crucial figure in her professional life.

The collaboration with Steve Harvey began when she joined him as a co-host on his morning show, where they developed a strong rapport.

Steve Harvey recognized Shirley’s exceptional talent and dubbed her “The Best Voice in Radio,” further elevating her status in the industry.

Their dynamic partnership contributed to the show becoming the #1 morning show in Los Angeles and laid the groundwork for their future success together on “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Rise to National Fame

Shirley Strawberry’s journey to national prominence began in 2000 when she joined “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” as a co-host, marking a significant milestone in her career.

Her role on the show allowed her to reach a nationwide audience, bringing her unique voice and personality to millions of listeners.

“The Steve Harvey Morning Show” quickly became a top radio program.

It featured celebrity interviews, comedy segments, and Shirley’s popular “Strawberry Letter” advice, which captivated listeners.

Shirley’s candid and heartfelt advice in the “Strawberry Letter” segment became a highlight of the show, fostering a deep connection with the audience.

1. Recognition as “The Best Voice in Radio” by Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey’s recognition of Shirley as “The Best Voice in Radio” highlighted her exceptional talent and contributions to the show.

This accolade boosted her reputation and underscored her importance to the program’s success.

2. National Syndication and Broad Reach of the Show

In October 2005, “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” was nationally syndicated through Premiere Networks.

It expanded to over 100 radio stations, reaching nearly seven million weekly listeners, making it America’s top syndicated morning show.

This broad reach amplified Shirley’s influence and solidified her status as a national radio personality.

The show’s impact extended beyond entertainment, with significant community engagement initiatives led by Shirley and Steve.

Shirley’s role in the show’s success earned her numerous industry accolades, including multiple mentions in Radio Ink’s list of the “Most Influential Women in Radio.

Contributions Beyond Radio

Shirley Strawberry’s impact extends far beyond the airwaves, as demonstrated by her success as an author and her ability to connect with audiences through various platforms.

In 2011, she published her first book, “The Strawberry Letter: Real Talk, Real Advice, Because Bitterness Isn’t Sexy,” based on her popular segment from “The Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

The book provided readers with honest and practical advice on relationships and personal challenges, showcasing Shirley’s ability to offer heartfelt guidance beyond the radio.

Shirley’s transition from radio personality to author was met with critical acclaim. Her book received positive reviews for its relatable approach to common life issues.

In recognition of her work, she was honored with the NAACP Image Award for Best New Author, further solidifying her status as a versatile and influential figure in the media industry.

Podcast Success and Other Engagement with Fans Through Written Work

Building on the success of her book, Shirley launched a podcast that continued the themes of “The Strawberry Letter,” allowing her to engage with an even broader audience.

Her written work and her podcast expanded her influence and provided additional platforms for her to connect with listeners and readers alike.

In all her work, Shirley is dedicated to empowering others.

She uses her platform to promote personal growth, self-esteem, and positive relationships, reinforcing her role as a trusted advisor and mentor.

Collaborations and Networking

Throughout her career, Shirley Strawberry has collaborated with prominent figures in the entertainment industry, forming significant partnerships that have greatly contributed to her success.

Her long-standing partnership with Steve Harvey on “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” is a cornerstone of her career, providing a platform for her to reach a national audience.

Besides her work with Harvey, Shirley has collaborated with notable personalities like Cedric the Entertainer and DL Hughley on various projects and broadcasts, expanding her influence and reach.

These collaborations have profoundly impacted Shirley’s career and reputation within the industry.

Working with high-profile figures has broadened her audience and strengthened her credibility as a leading voice in radio and media.

Her dynamic interactions and chemistry with these prominent figures have made their joint projects successful and engaging for listeners.

It solidified her status as a respected and influential figure in the entertainment world.

Awards and Recognition

Shirley Strawberry’s remarkable contributions to the media industry have been widely acknowledged through numerous awards and accolades.

In 2018, the Alliance for Women in Media honored her with the prestigious Gracie Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements by women in the media industry.

Receiving this award highlighted Shirley’s significant contributions to radio and solidified her status as a trailblazer and influential figure in the field.

Throughout her career, Shirley has been repeatedly recognized as one of the “Most Influential Women in Radio” by Radio Ink magazine.

These accolades acknowledge her impactful presence and leadership in the radio industry, underscoring her ongoing contributions and influence.

Her consistent recognition inspires many within the field, showcasing her voice’s power and ability to shape the media landscape.

Shirley’s awards and recognitions extend beyond these notable accolades, reflecting her multifaceted talent and dedication to her craft.

Her achievements are a testament to her hard work, resilience, and ability to connect with audiences deeply and personally.

The recognition she has received from industry peers and listeners highlights the broad and lasting impact of her work in media, cementing her position as a respected and influential figure in the entertainment industry.


Shirley Strawberry’s remarkable journey is a testament to her unwavering dedication, resilience, and ability to connect with audiences on a profound level.

From her early days in Chicago to her rise as a national radio icon, Shirley has left an indelible mark on the media landscape.

Her contributions extend far beyond the airwaves. She has used her platform to advocate for women’s rights, mentor young girls, and support communities in need.

Shirley’s legacy is one of inspiration, empowerment, and the power of authenticity.

As she continues to grace the radio with her presence and touch lives through her work, Shirley Strawberry remains a timeless icon, a role model, and a beacon of hope for future generations.

So, let us celebrate and honor this extraordinary woman whose voice and spirit have forever changed the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Has Shirley Strawberry Worked for Steve Harvey?

Shirley Strawberry has been working with Steve Harvey on his morning show since 2000, marking over twenty years of successful collaboration.

Who is Shirley Strawberry’s Husband?

Shirley Strawberry is married to Ernesto Williams, a hairstylist and entrepreneur, who married her in 2015.

How Much Does Shirley Strawberry Make on The Steve Harvey Show?

While her salary is not public, reports suggest Shirley Strawberry earns a substantial income from her role on The Steve Harvey Morning Show.

Does Shirley Strawberry Have a Granddaughter?

Yes, Shirley Strawberry has a granddaughter named Jade and a grandson named Max, who bring her immense joy and pride.

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