In Your Ear: Vernice 'Flygirl' Armour

Vernice 'Flygirl' Armour, the first African-American female combat pilot, stands in front of a helicopter. i i

hide captionVernice 'Flygirl' Armour, the first African-American female combat pilot, stands in front of a helicopter.

Doby Photography
Vernice 'Flygirl' Armour, the first African-American female combat pilot, stands in front of a helicopter.

Vernice 'Flygirl' Armour, the first African-American female combat pilot, stands in front of a helicopter.

Doby Photography

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As part of Tell Me More's occasional series "In Your Ear," the first African-American female combat pilot shares her musical inspirations. They include Jill Scott's "Golden," Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity" and Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning."

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ALLISON KEYES, host: And from a diva on the air to a diva in the air, the first African-American female combat pilot, Vernice Armour. Armour flew the meanest helicopter in the U.S. military, the Super Cobra. That earned her the nickname Flygirl. No challenge is too big for the former Marine Corps captain. She plays football and the trombone. She rides horses and motorcycles. And she fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a cop. And now she's taken on a new challenge: being a motivational speaker.

She recently stopped by our studios to talk about her new book from "Zero to Breakthrough." She also shared some of the music that starts her engines as part of our occasional series In Your Ear.

VERNICE ARMOUR: Hello, everyone. It is Vernice "Flygirl " Armour. And what is on my iPod? I have so many amazing artists. But I have to say the top two, Jill Scott, "Living Life Like It's Golden." I have all her music, all her CDs, but she is just amazing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOLDEN")

JILL SCOTT: (Singing) I'm taking my freedom, pulling it off the shelf, putting it on my chain, wearing it 'round my neck...

ARMOUR: I just love the energy, the driving baseline, the upbeat, the lyrics, the - how it, you know, the music pounds in your chest, and you just feel good inside and out.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOLDEN")

SCOTT: (Singing) I'm livin' my life like it's golden. Livin' my life like it's golden. Livin' my life like it's golden. Livin' my life like it's golden. Livin' my life like it's golden, golden. Livin' my life like it's golden. Livin' my life like it's golden. Livid' my life like it's golden. Livin' my life like it's golden. Livin' my life like it's golden, golden. I'm taking my own freedom, putting it in my song, singing loud and strong...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIRTUAL INSANITY")

ARMOUR: Let's see, Jamiroquai. I love "Virtual Insanity."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIRTUAL INSANITY")

JAMIROQUAI: (Singing) ...we're living in. Let me tell ya. It's a wonder man can eat at all when things are big that should be small. Who can tell what magic spells we'll be doing for us? And I'm giving...

ARMOUR: Why do I, Flygirl, like "Virtual Insanity"? Just think about it. We are living virtually, and it's all insanity. The guy was way before his time. (Singing) Virtual insanity...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIRTUAL INSANITY")

JAMIROQUAI: (Singing) The future's made of virtual insanity, and I always seem to, be governed by this love we have for useless, twisting, our new technology. Oh, now there is no sound, for we all live underground. And I'm thinking what a mess we're in...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUNDAY MORNING")

MAROON 5: (Singing) Yeah.

ARMOUR: So when it comes to Maroon 5, "Sunday Morning." Digging out on a Sunday morning, what's better than that?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUNDAY MORNING")

5: (Singing) Sunday morning rain is falling. Steal some covers, share some skin. Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable. You twist to fit the mold that I am in.

ARMOUR: There is nothing better than flying high, riding on your motorcycle, sitting at home in your den, chilling out listening to Jill Scott, Jamiroquai and Maroon 5.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUNDAY MORNING")

5: (Singing) That may be all I need. In darkness, she is all I see. Come and rest your bones with me. Driving slow on Sunday morning, and I never want to leave.

KEYES: That was Vernice "Flygirl" Armour, telling us what's playing in her ear. To hear my full conversation with the first African-American female combat pilot, please go to npr.org and select TELL ME MORE from the Programs page.

And that's our program for today. I'm Allison Keyes and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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