CollectionsBackup Singer
IN THE NEWS

Backup Singer

FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 1987 | By Jack Lloyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
After years of relative contentment as a backup singer for Patti LaBelle and other top pop names, Carla Benson decided to take some of the advice she kept giving her 13-year-old son. "I would say, 'Larry, you have to stretch, you have to work hard and be everything you can be,' " Benson said. "I guess Larry and I are growing up together. It was time. I just woke up one day and decided the time had come. I might always be a background singer, but I know I have to give this a chance to happen.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 1998 | By Jack Lloyd, FOR THE INQUIRER
A number of critics may have rolled their eyes in disbelief when Michael Franks hit the jackpot in 1976 with a record titled "Popsicle Toes," but no one was more surprised than the singer-songwriter himself. "It just never occurred to me that that would happen," Franks said of the hit single from his debut Warner Bros. album, The Art of Tea. "I didn't even want to put it on the album. It's funny how things work out. " Franks, 43, who will perform Saturday at the Trump Marina, was talking from his private recording studio in Woodstock, N.Y., where he has lived for several years.
NEWS
May 17, 2007
Last night after another unforgivably padded results show, full of noise and flash but signifying nothing, Melinda Doolittle was sent packing on American Idol. The result was somewhat surprising because the 29-year-old Tennessean was widely assumed to be a shoo-in for next week's finals. Instead, Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks will face off for the Idol crown. All season Melinda had been a model of consistency and clearly the judges' favorite. Her experience as a backup singer was evident in her polished, often flawless performances.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 29, 1988 | By Ken Tucker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Help Save the Youth of America (Elektra ) presents fine protest- folk songs from Billy Bragg, an English singer-songwriter who may write better political pop songs than anyone else around. The six songs on this record include a live performance of the title song sung to an audience in the Soviet Union, as well as a few uncommonly eloquent pleas to help the poor and the exploited. No doctrinaire leftie, no Springsteen-mongering populist, Bragg is his own man. Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens Thokozile (Virgin/Earthworks )
NEWS
January 25, 2013
GROWING UP, my sisters and I had our own singing group modeled after 1960s-era Motown singing group the Supremes. We called ourselves the Midget Supremes and performed in our parents' living room and anywhere else we could get anyone to "Stop! In the Name of Love" and pay attention to our loud, off-key singing. I, of course, took lead singer Diana Ross' part. Looking back, I was like a pint-size drill sergeant, and I don't know why my poor sisters didn't just go outside and ride their bikes to get away from me. I'm ashamed to admit that I kicked one out for not taking her role as my backup singer seriously enough.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 1997 | By Faith Quintavell, FOR THE INQUIRER
G.E. Smith rocked the North Star Bar on Saturday when he and his Generic Blondes threw down some righteous electric blues. The band is a rotating cast of musicians organized by Smith, former leader of the Saturday Night Live house band and a natural blond. On Saturday, he was joined by bassist Paul Ossola, also from the Saturday Night Live band and a bottle blond, and drummer Steve Holley, a brunet. This is cliche by now: It's amazing how much power can come from three instruments when the players are pulling their weight.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1990 | By Jim Farber, New York Daily News
On stage, Van Morrison has always been a loose cannon. He's given shows like the one at New York's Palladium in 1979, where he mumbled angrily through four or five numbers, then stormed off, leaving the backup singer to sing "Moondance. " On the other hand, he's given shows like the one at New York's Beacon in '84, where his exploratory phrasing carried such spontaneity and wonder that each number threatened to spiral the audience closer and closer to heaven. Too bad the latter show wasn't recorded for posterity.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 1992 | By Faith Quintavell, FOR THE INQUIRER
"We're all gathered here because of a terrible disease called AIDS; I'm going to stop talking about it now before I start to cry," said Natalie Merchant, lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs, in a quavering voice at the Mann Music Center Thursday night. Nine thousand people had gathered to hear Merchant's band and five other alternative rock acts play a benefit concert for ActionAIDS and public station WXPN-FM's (88.5) syndicated World Cafe. 10,000 Maniacs - a quintet that gained recognition for its sturdily propulsive yet sobering songs - presented a lively, cohesive mix of new tunes from its soon-to-be-released Our Time in Eden (Elektra)
NEWS
March 13, 2007 | By Amy Rosenberg INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Here we go again, America. There are 12 Idol finalists but only one can win. What are the odds? Haley Scarnato 24; San Antonio, Texas Haley who? Haley how? Haley what? 100 to 1. Brandon Rogers 29; North Hollywood, Calif. Backup singer with the dubious ability to turn any song into Jell-O; caught a break because Sundance Head was just too weird. Not long for the Idol spotlight. 75 to 1. Sanjaya Malakar 17; Federal Way, Wash. Simon accused him of imitating Paula's hairstyle and here he is, top 12. The impossibly-straight-hair vote is always unpredictable, as is the can't-avert-your-eyes train-wreck vote.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 1987 | By Jack Hurst, Special to The Inquirer
Country music - and "real" country music, at that - is back on the pop charts. The Trio album of Dolly Parton-Linda Ronstadt-Emmylou Harris recently was in the Top 15 of Billboard Magazine's Top 200 pop LPs, while Randy Travis' Always & Forever was No. 39, Dwight Yoakam's Hillbilly Deluxe was No. 58 and The Judds' HeartLand was No. 86. On the chart's lower half were Travis (again), Hank Williams Jr., George Strait, Yoakam (again) and Reba McEntire. ON THE ROAD. Charley Pride - whose excellent album After All This Time has just been released on 16th Avenue Records - recently returned from a tour of England, Scotland and Ireland during which he reportedly sold out every show but one. It had been three years since Pride's last appearances in the United Kingdom, and the promoter of his Irish shows said the demand for tickets was so strong he didn't even have to advertise.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next »
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
Director Morgan Neville's 20 Feet From Stardom , a celebration of the female African American backup vocalists who are the unheralded heroines of rock and roll, starts off with the sound of Lou Reed's "Walk On the Wide Side. " The film, which opens Friday at the Ritz Five, puts forth what Neville calls "the meta arc of the backup singer. " Most prominent in his tale are Darlene Love, the uncredited powerhouse behind Phil Spector's Wall of Sound; Merry Clayton, who sang with Carol King and Lynyrd Skynyrd but is best known for her role with the Rolling Stones on "Gimme Shelter"; and Lisa Fischer, who stood toe to toe singing with Mick Jagger during the Stones' dates in Philadelphia this month, as she has with the band since 1989.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | BY MARK OLSEN, Los Angeles Times
  LOS ANGELES - You've seen them, but not noticed them. You've heard them, but not listened to them. The new documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" shines a light away from center stage over to the world of female backup singers. Directed by Morgan Neville, the film looks most specifically at the lives and careers of six women - Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, Claudia Lennear and Judith Hill - who span generations of music and have worked with a broad spectrum of artists including the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Phil Spector, Stevie Wonder, Sting and Ike and Tina Turner.
NEWS
January 25, 2013
GROWING UP, my sisters and I had our own singing group modeled after 1960s-era Motown singing group the Supremes. We called ourselves the Midget Supremes and performed in our parents' living room and anywhere else we could get anyone to "Stop! In the Name of Love" and pay attention to our loud, off-key singing. I, of course, took lead singer Diana Ross' part. Looking back, I was like a pint-size drill sergeant, and I don't know why my poor sisters didn't just go outside and ride their bikes to get away from me. I'm ashamed to admit that I kicked one out for not taking her role as my backup singer seriously enough.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2012 | By Layla A. Jones, Inquirer Staff Writer
Vivian Green is best known for the way she belted each line of her first single, "Emotional Rollercoaster," with pain and angst you knew signaled the love was fated to end. More than 10 years later, on her new album, The Green Room , she's singing about the excitement of new love. What's inspiring all the happy lyrics? "I am single. I will say that," she said. "My first album [ A Love Story ], I was sad," said the 33-year-old Philadelphia native, "and the second album I was angry.
NEWS
August 27, 2012 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer
CHERI ANN VANDYKE had a voice that took her from singing backup for Jon Bon Jovi to performing the national anthem at an Eagles game. Her talent, which ranged from singing standards in her early career to gospels at area churches later, gave her the chance to travel widely. But something changed for her when her beloved sister, Donna D. Bond, was murdered under bizarre circumstances in 2005. Her sister was her devoted friend and also her biggest fan. "It really hurt her," said VanDyke's niece, Shavawn Bond, Donna's daughter.
NEWS
October 13, 2010 | By JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573
Even after he stopped making records and performing, Pat Marioni couldn't quit writing songs. "He was always writing something," said his daughter Kristin Ferrante. The songs wound up with his family and weren't likely to be performed. It seemed as if Pat wrote them for his own pleasure, probably with little thought that they would ever be sung. Pat Marioni, who made his mark in his youth singing with a group of fellow South Philadelphians, cutting records and backing better-known vocalists while barely out of their teens, died Oct. 8 of heart failure.
NEWS
April 23, 2008 | By David Hiltbrand INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Alicia Keys brought her soul revue to the Liacouras Center on Monday night, a show that struggled to be all things to all people. After a taped introduction featuring Cedric the Entertainer as a bombastic preacher played on the giant screen over the stage, Keys took the stage, dressed in a sleeveless black vest, black leather pants, and kicky sequined high heels, and shouting, "Philly!" The opening numbers were medleys, the choreography hectic and the pacing rushed. It felt as though the singer's tour bus were double-parked.
NEWS
May 17, 2007
Last night after another unforgivably padded results show, full of noise and flash but signifying nothing, Melinda Doolittle was sent packing on American Idol. The result was somewhat surprising because the 29-year-old Tennessean was widely assumed to be a shoo-in for next week's finals. Instead, Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks will face off for the Idol crown. All season Melinda had been a model of consistency and clearly the judges' favorite. Her experience as a backup singer was evident in her polished, often flawless performances.
NEWS
March 13, 2007 | By Amy Rosenberg INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Here we go again, America. There are 12 Idol finalists but only one can win. What are the odds? Haley Scarnato 24; San Antonio, Texas Haley who? Haley how? Haley what? 100 to 1. Brandon Rogers 29; North Hollywood, Calif. Backup singer with the dubious ability to turn any song into Jell-O; caught a break because Sundance Head was just too weird. Not long for the Idol spotlight. 75 to 1. Sanjaya Malakar 17; Federal Way, Wash. Simon accused him of imitating Paula's hairstyle and here he is, top 12. The impossibly-straight-hair vote is always unpredictable, as is the can't-avert-your-eyes train-wreck vote.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 2003 | By David Hiltbrand INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Mariah Carey's concert at the Tower Theater on Wednesday night was like a Jerry Lewis telethon: an erratic show with chintzy production values and an odd bird whose taste for sappy sentimentality seems unbounded. Oh, there's the voice. Always the voice. At 33, Carey sings with the same remarkable range, power, expressiveness and agility that made her a star. Her bravura, if ostentatious, renditions of "My All," "My Saving Grace," and "Always Be My Baby" were arresting. But although her rich repertoire includes 15 No. 1 hits, she chose to do some of her more misshapen and unpopular material, such as "Clown" and "Can't Take That Away.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next »
|
|
|
|
|