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Originally published Friday, September 4, 2009 at 2:01 AM

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Singer Brittani Senser keeps Minneapolis home base

Brittani Senser has deep roots in Minneapolis, where her father played for the Minnesota Vikings and where the singer grew up.

AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES —

Brittani Senser has deep roots in Minneapolis, where her father played for the Minnesota Vikings and where the singer grew up.

But it's her hometown's musical heritage that keeps her based there as she pursues her fledgling R&B-pop career.

"I live in a city that's full of musicians and singers. I take pride in them, including Prince, the Time," she said.

She has only to drop into a local club to see one of her favorite singers, Stokley Williams.

"It's inspiring. I'm in good company," said Senser, who recently visited Los Angeles for club appearances promoting her first album, "After Love" (MN Finest Records/Bungalo Records/UMVD).

She's scheduled to sing the national anthem Sept. 26 for the Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox game, said her spokeswoman, Belinda Foster.

Senser's dad, Joe Senser, who played tight end for the Vikings in the 1980s and now owns a successful chain of sports bar-restaurants around the Twin Cities, provided the soundtrack for her childhood: She grew up listening to his Motown albums.

She also gained inspiration from his athletic success.

"He is a perfect example that if you follow your dream, your dream can come true if you work hard and have a passion for it," Senser said.

A tryout for the TV show "Making the Band" in 2005 boosted her determination.

"I got to meet P. Diddy (Sean Combs), and to have the opportunity reignited a fire in me," Senser said.

For "After Love," which she started recording more than a year ago, Senser co-wrote most of the songs with several contributors. She and Bobby Valentino ("Slow Down," "Beep") duet on the "Piece of Me" track and music video.

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"What's really great is every song has a little bit of how I was feeling at a certain time," Senser said.

Among the influences she cites are Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Gladys Knight and Anita Baker ("Nobody has a voice like that").

But the ultimate role model? Beyonce.

"She's a huge inspiration ... with all the things she's been able to do. I would love to have a career like that, love to get into acting," Senser said.

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On the Net:

http://www.myspace.com/brittanisenser

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

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