Wednesday, October 14, 2015

TAKE TWO: REGINA BELLE


Regina Belle is a remarkably flexible vocalist that can easily glide between a smooth jazz ballad, slick pop tune, fiery soul jam or a tear-the-roof-off gospel number with very little effort. While she never became a major player in the business, Belle consistently made wonderful music that delivered inspiration, explored heartbreak, brought you to tears or made you want to fall in love.

Born and raised in Englewood, N.J., Belle found her voice in church as she sang her first solo at the age of eight. She explored all areas of music throughout school and attended the prestigious Manhattan School of Music after graduation.

While trying to make her way with a career in music, Belle met the soul group, The Manhattans, best known for the hits "Kiss and Say Goodbye" and "Shining Star", through a friend. She eventually would open for the band on tour and recorded a duet with them called "Where Did We Go Wrong" in 1986.  This opened doors for Belle as she was signed to their label, Columbia Records and released her debut, "All By Myself" the following year. The album had three top-twenty hits on the r&b chart with the first single "Show Me The Way" peaking at number two.

More hits followed for Belle with her reaching the top of the r&b chart in 1989 with "Make It Like It Was". She was asked to perform a duet with Peabo Bryson for the animated Disney film, "Aladdin". Not only did the film become one of the biggest hits in 1992 but the love theme,  "A Whole New World" became a number-one smash on the U.S. pop chart.

In 2001, Belle signed with Peak-Concord, a jazz label and released two well-received albums, "This Is Regina!" and "Lazy Afternoon" in 2004. Four years later, she recorded her first inspirational album, "Love Forever Shines" which made it to number three on the gospel chart. During this time, it was discovered that Belle had a brain tumor.

After recovering from this serious health issue, she recorded another gospel album, "Higher" in 2012 . Recently, Regina Belle has focused on her family; husband, John Battle, a former NBA player, married since 1991 and together have four children. Listen to two of my favorite songs from this dynamic singer:

"Show Me The Way" - Regina Belle (1987) mp3

"Baby Come To Me" - Regina Belle (1989) mp3

And this is a bonus of the music video for Belle's number one hit with Peabo Bryson:

TAKE TWO: TEDDY PENDERGRASS

Back in the '70's, if you wanted to create a sexy mood, all you had to do was turn down the lights, pop open a bottle of wine and...