Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam

Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam were one of the most successful and talented music acts of the 80's & 90's.

They scored million-selling hits with their pop tunes, dance tracks, and wonderful ballads. They are also one of the most well known freestyle music groups.

Lisa Lisa (born Lisa Velez on January 15, 1967 in Hell's Kitchen, New York) was discovered by percussionist Mike Hughes, who was with the band, Full Force. She was hired as a roadie for Full Force.

Then Lisa was signed to Full Force's production and management company, nicknamed her "Lisa Lisa" and members Mike & his friend, guitarist Alex "Spanador" Moseley were added to the group.
In 1985, the group released their debut album, "Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force" which peaked at #52 on the Billboard 200 chart and #16 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
Their first single, "I Wonder If I Take You Home" became a hit, peaking at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1985, #6 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in July of 1985, staying on the chart for 22 weeks, and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart & Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart for a week in June of 1985. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA.
The second single from the album, "Can You Feel The Beat" peaked at #69 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of 1985, #6 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in January of 1986, #9 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #40 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in December of 1985, staying on the chart for 26 weeks.
The last single from the album, "All Cried Out" became their first pop hit, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October of 1986, #12 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in September of 1986, staying on the chart for 23 weeks.
In 1987, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam released their second album, "Spanish Fly" which peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200 and Billboard's R&B Albums chart simultaneously. The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA in the United States and Gold in Canada.
The first single from the album, "Head to Toe" topped the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, and Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart for a week in June of 1987, becoming their first #1 hit song.
The second single, "Lost in Emotion" became the group's second #1 pop hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in October of 1987. The song also peaked at #8 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, #3 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #27 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.
The third single from the album, "Someone to Love Me For Me" peaked at #78 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of 1987 and #7 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in May of 1988, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Everything Will B-Fine" peaked at #22 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in May of 1988, #31 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #7 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in May of 1988, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.
During that same year, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam released a single, "Go For Yours" which was featured on the "Caddyshack II" movie soundtrack and peaked at #19 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in July of 1988, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.  
In 1989, the group released their third album, "Straight to the Sky" which peaked at #77 on the Billboard 200 and #18 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album, "Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star" peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1989, #7 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, and #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in June of 1989, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.
The second single, "Just Git it Together" peaked at #7 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in August of 1989 and #16 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in September of 1989, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.
The last single, "Kiss Your Tears Away" peaked at #26 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in November of 1989, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.
In 1991, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam released their last album together, "Straight Out of Hell's Kitchen" which peaked at #133 on the Billboard 200 and #29 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album, "Let the Beat Hit 'Em" peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1991 and topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart for 3 weeks in July of 1991 & Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart for a week in September of 1990, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.
The follow-up single from the album, "Where Were You When I Needed You" peaked at #65 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart in November of 1991, staying on the chart for only 6 weeks.

During that same year, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam went their separate ways. Alex Moseley and Mike Hughes went on to do other various projects.
After the group broke up, Lisa Lisa released her debut solo album, "LL 77" on Pendulum Records. The album didn't appear to make the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single from the album, "Skip to My Lu" peaked at #105 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and #38 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.
The follow-up single, "When I Fell in Love" peaked at #28 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in June of 1994 and #96 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart in May of 1994, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.

The Spanish-language version, "Cuando Me Enamore" peaked at #16 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart in July of 1994.

In 2001, Lisa Lisa appeared on the Nickelodeon teen show, "Taina" playing the role of Gloria Morales, Taina's mother. The show ended in 2002.
In 2008, Lisa Lisa released her second album, "Life 'N Love" on the Mass Appeal Entertainment record label.

Alex Moseley plays guitar in a house band at NYC's "Cafe Wha?!" As for Mike Hughes, his whereabouts are unknown.

To see the music video for "Can You Feel The Beat," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEWdlp29s2k

To see the music video for "I Wonder If I Take You Home," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5m8lj5DCtI

To see the music video for "All Cried Out," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-fSv9jClCw

To see the music video for "Head To Toe," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51Iq8JmmfxY

To see the music video for "Lost in Emotion," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxkbTG6PeCI

To see the music video for "Someone to Love Me For Me," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBfmTu1J9j8

To see a live video of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam performing "Everything Will B-Fine," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bzx3ofGN3w

To see the music video for "Just Git It Together," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X6APuPTMqk

To see the music video for "Kiss Your Tears Away," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f93IOIGBIX0

To see the music video for "Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-g8jkNTxuQ

To see the music video for "Let The Beat Hit Em," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7Zz4n7WFkk

To see the music video for "Where Were You When I Needed You," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_65BIe2JL4U

To see the music video for "Skip To My Lu," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYQ0poq11as

To see a fan-made video for "When I Fell in Love," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRepnCPQPmY

To see a fan-made video for "Go For Yours," go to:


[updated on 09\08\12]

Guy

Guy is an R&B group from Harlem, New York that was successful in the New Jack Swing music scene of the late '80s/early '90s.

The original line-up consisted of singer/songwriters Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall, and Timmy Gatling. Teddy and Timmy were childhood friends and collaborated together in a band called Kids At Work.

As a teenager, Teddy formed his first band, Wreckx-N-Effect with his brothers, Markell Riley and Brandon Mitchell. After that, he founded Guy in 1987 with Aaron and Timmy. Under the guidance of their manager, Gene Griffin, Guy signed to Andre Harrell's Uptown Records label.
In June of 1988, Guy released their self-titled debut album which peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200 and topped Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

Timmy left the group after the album recording was completed and was replaced by Aaron's younger brother, Damion for their tour with New Edition.
The first single from the album, "Groove Me" peaked at #33 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #17 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #4 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
The second single, "Round and 'Round (Merry Go 'Round of Love)" peaked at #24 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.
The third single, "Teddy's Jam" peaked at #25 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #8 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #5 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.
The fourth single, "I Like" peaked at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100, #36 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #9 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #2 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Spend the Night" peaked at #35 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #15 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.

During 1988, Teddy found himself in strong demand as a producer and songwriter. He produced Bobby Brown's "Don't Be Cruel" album which helped new jack swing music crossover into the pop mainstream. Guy would later fire their manager, Gene Griffin, claiming that he allocated funds from them.
In 1989, Teddy Riley and Guy were featured on the Spike Lee film soundtrack, "Do The Right Thing" with the track "My Fantasy" which peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100, #6 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and topped Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart for a week in September of 1989, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.

Teddy continued to produce and remix for other musicians and established himself as the driving force behind the New Jack Swing music scene. Sadly in 1990, Teddy's brother, Brandon was killed in a shooting.
During that same year, Guy released their sophomore album, "The Future" which peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 and topped Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

After the group fired their manager, it angered Aaron so much, he didn't sing on half of the album and Teddy sang lead vocals for roughly half of the album.

Things got out of hand while on tour with New Edition. Even though New Edition were headliners, Guy happened to upstage them a few times which caused a deadly rivalry that caused one of New Edition's production managers, Ronald Boyd to shoot & murder Anthony Bee, who was a member of Guy's security detail.

One of the songs from their album "Long Gone" was dedicated to Anthony and Teddy's brother, Brandon.
The first single from the album, "I Wanna Get With U" peaked at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100, #27 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #12 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #4 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.
The second single, "Let's Chill" peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100, #10 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #3 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.
The third single, "Do Me Right" peaked at #47 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #18 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #2 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.
The fourth single, "D-O-G Me Out" peaked at #15 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #8 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.
The last single, "Let's Stay Together" peaked at #39 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #16 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 19 weeks.
Another single, "Her" peaked at #58 on the U.K. Singles chart, but didn't make the charts in the United States.

By the time they released the last single from their second album, Guy had split up and pursued individual endeavors. Aaron and Damion each released solo albums while Teddy started another successful music group, Blackstreet.
In 1995, Guy was featured on the "New York Undercover" soundtrack with the song, "Tell Me What You Like" which managed to peak at #66 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 2 weeks.
In 1999, Guy reunited to release their first album in nine years, "Guy III" which peaked at #13 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single from the album, "Dancin'" surprisingly became their highest chart appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #19 on the chart. The song also peaked at #4 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
The follow-up single, "Why You Wanna Keep Me From My Baby" peaked at #50 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 13 weeks. The album was poorly promoted and the group soon broke up. 

Since 2005, Guy has reformed periodically every now & then. Despite rumors of working on a new album, the trio has yet to release another one.

To see the music video for "Groove Me," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAu2bsV9CiQ

To see the music video for "Round and 'Round (Merry Go 'Round of Love)," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA2DOESjTz0

To see a fan-made video for "Teddy's Jam," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmJM9vth8Ws

To see a fan-made video for "I Like," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfLSNltFUtk

To see the music video for "My Fantasy," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR4b4V-lH1I

To see the music video for "I Wanna Get With U," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnH0HGhQgyU

To see the music video for "Let's Chill," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wj8Yxa309E

To see the music video for "Do Me Right," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdFceqWv2OI

To see the music video for "D-O-G Me Out," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOG-K7ASCvA

To see the music video for "Let's Stay Together," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpGj1rEGjyw

To see a fan-made video for "Tell Me What You Like," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwlJeOA5gZA

To see the music video for "Dancin'," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MibT9cPslUU

To see a fan-made video for "Why You Wanna Keep Me From My Baby," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCs31CGWv7k

To see the music video for "Her," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpoUIzb8y80


[updated on 03/10/13]

Friday, September 26, 2008

Brenda K. Starr

Brenda K. Starr (born Brenda Joy Kaplan on October 15, 1966 in New York City, New York) is a female freestyle\dance\pop singer from the '80s.

Her father, Harvey Kaye was an original member of the 1960s band, the Spiral Starecase (who were well-known for their 1969 hit song "More Than Yesterday").

Brenda began singing when she was 8 years old and by the time she was 12 years old, she had auditioned for various television commercials as well in theater and had the opportunity to make her first music demo. She was also a member of a break-dance group called the Dynamic Dolls.

After Brenda met singer Harry Belafonte in the early '80s when she was just 14 years old, she earned a role in his 1984 film, "Beat Street." Her appearance in the movie gained some attention which led to her getting a record deal with Mirage Records.

In 1985, Brenda released her debut album "I Want Your Love" which didn't appear to make the Billboard album charts.
The first single from the album, "Pickin' Up Pieces" peaked at #9 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in September of 1985 and #83 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 4 weeks. It also peaked at #9 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
The follow-up single, "Suspicion" was released, but it's unknown how or if the single ever made the charts.
In 1987, Brenda released her self-titled sophomore album on MCA Records which peaked at #57 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single from the album, "I Still Believe" peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1988 and #14 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, becoming Brenda's highest chart appearance to date.

The Spanish-language version, "Yo Cre En Ti" peaked at #10 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in July of 1988. Eleven years later, singer Mariah Carey's cover version of "I Still Believe" was successful on the charts.

During that time, Brenda helped Mariah Carey (who was her backup singer at the time) score a record deal with Sony\Columbia Records by giving the executive of the label, Tommy Mottola a demo tape of Mariah's to him and the rest is history.
The second single from the album, "What You See Is What You Get" which peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October of 1988, #11 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #6 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in February of 1987.
The third single, "Breakfast in Bed" peaked at #18 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in December of 1987 and #29 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

The Spanish-language version, "Desayuno De Amor" peaked at #6 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in February of 1988.
Two more singles: "Straight From the Heart" and "You Should Be Loving Me" (which was featured on the soundtrack to the film "She's Out of Control") were released, but didn't make the Billboard charts at all. During that same year, Brenda contributed the song "Sweet Surrender" to the "License to Drive" movie soundtrack.
In 1991, Brenda released her sophomore album, "By Heart" on Epic Records which was a commercial flop, failing to chart at all on the Billboard charts.

Despite being considered her best English-language album and one of her best moments overall, the album didn't gain commercial success because it didn't get the same promotion that her previous one received.
The only single released was "If You Could Read My Mind" which failed to make the Billboard charts at all. She was also featured on George Lamond's song, "No Matter What" which received moderate success on the charts.

After Brenda was dropped from her record label, she worked odd jobs for several years to help support herself & her family such as working at a mall in New Jersey. In 1993, she was featured on Concept of One's single, "So in Love."
To help revive her career, Brenda learned Spanish and switched to performing salsa, tropical & Latin pop music.

In 1997, she released her first Spanish-language album,"Te Sigo Esperando" on Platano Records. It's unknown how or if the album ever charted.

The single, "Herida" became a hit, peaking at #1 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart, #28 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in May of 1997, and #14 on Billboard's Latin Pop Songs chart in April of 1997.
In 1998, Brenda released her fourth album, "No lo Voy a Olvidar" which didn't appear to make the charts at all.

The first single, "Si Me Preguntan Por Tí" peaked at #31 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in April of 1998. The second single from the album, "Senor Amante" peaked at #37 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in January of 1999.

A remake of "I Still Believe" entitled "Creo en Tí" peaked at #20 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart. 
In 2000, Brenda released her fifth album, "Petalos de Fuego" which also didn't make the Billboard album charts. The title song peaked at #15 on Billboard's Tropical Songs chart in April of 2000.
In 2002, Brenda released her sixth album, "Temptation" which peaked at #28 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart and #3 on Billboard's Tropical\Salsa Albums chart.

The album won a Latin Grammy Award for "Best Salsa Album" & the title song peaked at #3 on Billboard's Tropical Songs chart in April of 2002.

The follow-up single, "Por Es Hombre" featuring Tito Nieves & Victor Manuelle, peaked at #1 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart, #11 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart & #33 on Billboard's Latin Pop Songs chart in May of 2002.

The single won another Latin Grammy Award for "Best Salsa Single." The last single, "Rabia" peaked at #11 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart.
In 2005, Brenda released her seventh album "Atrevete a Olvidarme" which peaked at #9 on Billboard's Top Tropical Albums chart.

The single, "Tu Eres" peaked at #19 on Billboard's Latin Tropical Airplay chart and earned her a nomination for "Best Salsa Single" at the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards. The title song also managed to peak at #21 on Billboard's Latin Tropical Airplay chart.

After leaving the Sony Record Label, Brenda took a hiatus from the music scene, raising her family and hosted her own radio show called "Under the Stars with Brenda K. Starr" on New York radio station Mix 102.7.

In 2011, she released her first single in ten years called "Body of Proof." In 2016, her daughter, Gianna Isabella was a contestant during the final season of "American Idol" where she made it to the top 10 before she was eliminated from the competition.

These days, Brenda continues to be active in the music business. In 2017, she released a new single called "Amor Mio" (which is available on CD Baby).

To see Brenda's official website, go to:
http://www.brendakstarr.com/

To see the music video for "I Still Believe," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI8gsPnCISY

To see the music video for "Breakfast in Bed," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXrFTen2FeQ

To see a video of Brenda performing "What You See Is What You Get" live, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6PF_kiFmYA

To see a video of Brenda performing "Straight From the Heart" live, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j20DgZEyVlk

To see a video of Brenda performing "You Should Be Loving Me" live, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enveug-gwOU

To see a fan-made video for "Pickin' Up Pieces," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5UwU-_8DCo

To see a fan-made video for "Suspicion," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfiU4_BFtRY


[Updated on September 22, 2017]