- Category: Arts & Entertainment
- Created on 18 December 2018
- Written by Beverly Hill (Shelley)
- Hits: 2014
Most of us remember Meli’sa Morgan’s 1986 debut studio album, Do Me Baby! It reached number 41 on the US Billboard Pop Albums and number 4 on the US R&B Albums chart.
It features the number one R&B hit “Do Me Baby”, a cover of the song originally by Prince!! Well, let me be the first to tell you that she is back and coming at you strong, so don’t count her out!!
A native of Queens, New York, Meli’sa grew up in the neighborhood of Corona where her first experience with singing started in the church choir. Their family home was located across the street from the church. She lovingly recalls, “Mom would take us every Sunday. When we got older, she would make sure we walked across the street to attend. During my time there, I found out about a community choir called the Starlets of Corona. Mom took me to audition because rehearsals were on Saturday, and she wanted to get me out of her hair and out of the house (laughing).” In their house they listened to legendary musical sounds of Aretha Franklin, Temptations, and James Brown…all of the greats!! She continues, “My family was the type that went from house to house having parties every weekend. There was always good fun and good food in our home, and I was always singing. Mother would have people to come over to hear me sing Aretha Franklin songs. I sang so well that my sister and I would put on a little show singing to her record! That was the real beginning of me singing.” Later she joined another local choir. The choir director, Hornrette Washington, took Meli’sa under her wings. Upon realizing that she could sing, Washington gave her a record titled “I must tell Jesus”. She was told to go home and listen to it. She expresses, “I learned that song exactly the way the artist sang it! When I did that, it became apparent there was a talent underneath that Washington would pull out!”
Many memories were made when Meli’sa began singing in various clubs in New York. She sang at a club called the Cellar in Manhattan where famous artists would frequent. And although she had many experiences, one moment stood out. She recalls, “A lady named Norma, who worked with Patti LaBelle, would come to hear me sing every weekend. A time I’ll never forget is when she brought Patti to one of my shows and surprisingly she came on the stage to sing with me! We sang her song, “If Only You Knew”. That was a very, very memorable occasion for me.”
Meli’sa released a song titled, “Body to Body”. This was a dance song that garnered number one on the dance chart!! This is the song that gained her recognition by notable people in the music industry. Opportunities opened and she was asked to go on tour with the Kashif, Chaka Khan and other artists. She even sang background on Whitney Houston's first album! With much gratitude, she states, “What did all of that for me was “Body to Body”! Subsequently, after doing a show on Broadway, the management company Hush Productions, who was working with Kashif, asked if I was ready to be a solo artist. Of course my reply was a resounding YEAH!! They signed me right on the spot!” Meli’sa was put on the phone with David Grisman, the president of Capitol Records. Grisman had been holding “Do Me Baby” for two years. He said the next female R&B singer that he signed would sing that song...and fortunately for her, Meli’sa was that next one!!
To my surprise Meli’sa Morgan has many hobbies, talents and interests. She enjoys crocheting, creating tablescapes (table-settings with an artistic flare), decorating and renovating. For about five years, she has been working on her boutique to sell her very own line of crochet scarves and blankets. She enjoys creating and displaying her beautiful tablescapes for every holiday. She also continues her renovation project on her house in South Carolina. Besides her homes in South Carolina and New York, she also has a peaceful place in a resort community in Aruba! She has been going there for over 17 years!! Meli’sa has a deep spiritual side and states, “Aruba is where I become one again with the universe. I get rid of all the negativity and things that have happened during the year. If I had my way, I would live there six months out of the year.”
For 2018, Meli’sa is excited about her new album coming out on the Cleopatra label. All of 2017 was dedicated to working on covers, and originals for this project. She says, “I'm very excited for fans to hear the NEW more modern sound of Meli’sa Morgan. You don't want to get stuck in what you did 20 years ago even though that was good.” Sharing her excitement she states, “I'm so excited for people to hear this NEW person!” Who is the NEW Meli’sa Morgan? She's more energetic. She has more understanding of who she is, what she is and what she needs to do. She adds, “You don't understand those things in your 20’s (chuckling). We think we know, but we're going through the motions following a journey which we really don’t know. I didn't find myself until I did things like going to Aruba, working with people like Patti LaBelle, and Chaka Kahn, experiencing things in the industry, having lots of experiences in this life, experiences in the journeys I’ve taken with my family and loved ones…and becoming one with the universe! Those are the things that ‘turn you’ and help you be who you need to be to survive. I know who I need to be to survive!”
When asked the question about if the music industry had hindered or helped her, Meli’sa had this response, “The music industry has helped me and also hindered me. It has helped me by making me a stronger, smarter, more intelligent, and wiser woman. On the same note, it has hindered me in the same way. Being a strong, wiser and intelligent woman doesn’t’ seem to be what the industry wants.” Meli’sa is now a softer person, more in touch with her surroundings, and more relaxed. She concludes, “I'm not trying to compete. I'm too old for that (laughing). I'm not trying to be Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé or anybody else. I like Meli’sa Morgan…I like who I am. I like the journey that I am taking…and the bumps in the road along the way. I like the ME that I have become. That’s who I'm embracing, and that's who I'm trying to get people to see and embrace as well. I want them to see me being Meli’sa Morgan and nobody else.”