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  Cherrelle
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One of the most successful female r&b singers of the mid-to-late 80s, Cherrelle was essentially the template for Janet Jackson.  Her work with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, which includes "Saturday Love," "You Look Good To Me," and "Everything I Miss At Home," established the formula the production duo would replicate with Ms. Jackson to greater acclaim: memorable keyboard hooks, sleek rhythm tracks, sultry and sassy vocals. 

Born Cheryl Norton, she had worked on the periphery of the music industry for several years before being signed to Clarence Avant's Tabu label in 1983. Her debut, Fragile, was released the following year and went gold on the strength of "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On," a top 10 single that was covered by Robert Palmer a few years later. 

1985's High Priority continued her momentum with the hits "Artificial Heart" and "You Look Good To Me."  But its signature track is "Saturday Love," a collaboration with fellow Jam & Lewis act Alexander O'Neal that stands as one of the definitive soul duets of all time. The blend of Cherrelle's sexy lead, O'Neal's powerful response, and the insanely catchy "SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday love" chorus was the perfect combination, lifting the single to number two and generating significant crossover action. 

This was followed by what many consider Cherrelle's crowning achievement, Affair. For this album, Jam & Lewis used the idea of a failed love affair as the concept behind the record, and the result was her most mature statement. Covering the wide variety of emotions that affairs generate, Affair is an 80s classic with the essential tunes "Everything I Miss At Home," "Affair," and "Never Knew Love Like This," another duet with O'Neal.  This would be her third and final gold album.

After this creative peak, Cherrelle was surpassed in popularity by a new wave of artists that included Karyn White, Vanessa Williams, Jody Watley, and her cousin Pebbles. She released only two albums during the 90s, The Woman I Am (1991) and The Right Time (1999), bookending that decade nicely.  Today she is a popular act for venues around the globe and is fondly remembered. 

Cherrelle's Deepest Grooves

Fragile (Tabu, 1984)

High Priority (Tabu, 1985)

Affair (Tabu, 1988)

The Woman I Am (Tabu, 1991)

Best Of Cherrelle (Tabu, 1995)

The Right Time (Power, 1999)

Greatest Hits (Tabu, 2005)


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