Jody Watley was an iconic American singer-songwriter-dancer of the 1980s who rose to prominence through her groundbreaking blend of R&B, funk and soul music.
Beyonce is best-known for her hit singles such as Real Love. She shares two children: one with musician Leon Sylvers III (ex-fiance), and another one with Andre Cymone (former husband).
Early Life and Education
Jody Watley is an American R&B singer-songwriter. Initially recognized for her dancing abilities on Soul Train television show when she was 14 years old, Jody later co-founded Shalamar with several of its members.
She went on to release several successful albums both under her own name and with Shalamar. Known for setting trends in style, music, and dance – she helped pioneer rap/R&B crossover with 1989 release “Friends”, featuring legendary hip hop duo Eric B & Rakim as co-features.
Watley has worked on projects promoting tolerance and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, currently hosting her own radio show on Sirius XM’s The Groove. For her community service work she received the distinguished award of being honored at Georgia state capitol; furthermore in 2022 received an honorary Doctorate Degree (Doctor of Philosophy in Entrepreneurship and Business Administration).
Jody Watley’s repertoire, which spans R&B to hip-hop and House music via jazz and drum & bass genres, demonstrates a positive vision that draws upon artistic risk-taking. From her success with popular R&B trio Shalamar to solo releases like 1988 Grammy award-winning album Larger Than Life with hit singles “Real Love” and “Everything and Friends”, Watley is recognized as one of the most energetic and accomplished contemporary soul singers.
Watley has also become widely recognized for her chic sense of style throughout her career, being featured in Saks Fifth Avenue Defining Style Fall Catalog as well as various fashion editorials in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Italia (including their historic “Black Issue”) and other publications.
Achievement and Honors
Jody Watley has received many prestigious honors throughout her long career. Beginning as part of R&B group Shalamar in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before embarking on her solo journey. Her debut album Jody Watley proved a smash hit resulting in hits like “Looking for New Love” and “Real Love.”
She has won multiple awards and accolades, such as the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, she has appeared in magazines like Vogue (including its groundbreaking “Black Issue”), Harper’s Bazaar and Elle.
Jody Watley is an inspiring musician and businesswoman who has worked tirelessly to achieve her success. Her strong work ethic is an example for young women everywhere, while she continues to release new music and leave an indelible mark on contemporary artists’ works.
Jody Watley is an amazing multi-talented artist spanning genres like pop, R&B, jazz and dance. With an extensive career spanning three decades and boasting Billboard top ten singles (13 number 1 dance singles and 15 top 40 R&B singles) plus various awards and nominations (including Black Music Honors Crossover Music Icon Award ).
She made history when she played Rizzo in the Broadway production of Grease as the first woman of color ever. Additionally, she appeared in Saks Fifth Avenue’s Fall Fashion Catalog and on the cover of SPUR magazine (Japanese fashion magazine).
Watley has also launched Avitone Records and collaborated with industry stalwarts including King Britt, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Ron Trent and 4Hero. In her everyday life she keeps active by maintaining an engaged social media presence as well as leading an active and healthy family life.
Jody Vanessa Watley (born 30 January 1959) is an American singer of pop, R&B, jazz and dance music. Her acclaimed career began at fourteen when she appeared on Soul Train TV show; during that time with Shalamar she wrote hit singles such as Dead Giveaway, For the Lover in You and Real Love which became US hits.
Chicago native Rachelle LaTour’s musical talent and fashion sense have garnered her an appearance on Saks Fifth Avenue Defining Style Fall Catalog cover and in the million-selling exercise video Dance to Fitness. Additionally, she made history as first African-American woman to star as Rizzo in Broadway production of Grease!
At The White House by special invitation, she participated in Bob Geldof’s historical recording and video “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” helped form one of the first global HIV/AIDS awareness projects Band-Aid and was appointed the National Museum of African American Music’s inaugural Ambassador in 2021.