Lady D

When people think of Appalachian music, they may not immediately think of soul, R&B or the blues. Doris Fields, or “Lady D,” as she is known on stage, does not care what people think. The self-proclaimed “West Virginia’s First Lady of Soul,” Fields recognizes the power of music and wants to share it with Southern West Virginia.

Fields wears many hats. Depending on the day, she considers herself to be an actor, singer, dancer, playwright, producer, artist and community organizer.

As a Black woman living in Southern West Virginia, she struggles. Fields said that there are still people in West Virginia who want things to go back the way they were when coal was a booming industry and segregation was legal.

Yet she can’t seem to allow herself to leave. So instead she works to tell stories and create art about the things that are important to her.

To her, the performing arts are the perfect medium to convey messages of social justice. ​​”The performing arts lends itself, like the blues, to the truth,” Fields said. “There is always room to tell the truth in art.”

In April 2021, she released the song “Disturbing My Peace,” which chronicles her struggles of living during the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movements the previous summer.