Melba Moore

Melba Moore

born on 29/10/1955 in New York City, NY, United States

Melba Moore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Beatrice Melba Hill[1] (born October 29, 1945), known by her stage name, Melba Moore is an American singer, actress, voice actress, and entertainer.[2] Moore is the daughter of saxophonist Teddy Hill and R&B singer Bonnie Davis.

Early life

Moore was born Beatrice Melba Hill on October 29, 1945,[5] in New York City, New York, to Gertrude Melba Smith (known professionally as Bonnie Davis) and Teddy Hill, and raised in Harlem, New York, until she was 9 and her divorced mother remarried jazz pianist Clement Leroy Moorman. She attended Newark Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey,[6] Graduating in 1958.[7]

Her mother, Bonnie Davis, had a No. 1 R&B hit with "Don't Stop Now", prior to Melba's birth. Although her biological father was Big Band leader and saxophonist Teddy Hill, it was her stepfather Moorman (who played on "Don't Stop Now") who became a prime influence and encouragement in Moore's musical pursuits, insisting that she learn to play the piano. When she graduated from college she worked as a music teacher, but she soon decided to pursue the spotlight.

Early career

Moore began her recording career in 1967, cutting the track "Magic Touch" which was left unreleased until 1986. It has become an enormous track on the Northern Soul Scene, eventually leading to Moore performing it live in 2009 at the Baltic Soul Weekender 3 in Germany north of Hamburg. She began her performing career in 1967 as Dionne in the original cast of the musical Hair along with Ronnie Dyson and Diane Keaton.

Moore replaced Keaton in the role of Sheila. In 1970, she won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Lutiebelle in Purlie. She would not return to Broadway until 1978 when she appeared (as Marsinah) with Eartha Kitt in Timbuktu! but left the show after a few weeks and was replaced by Vanessa Shaw.

Following the success of Purlie, Moore landed two big-screen film roles, released two successful albums, 1970's I Got Love and Look What You're Doing to the Man, and co-starred with actor Clifton Davis in the then-couple's own successful variety television series in 1972. Both Moore and Davis revealed that the show was canceled after its brief run when their relationship ended. When Moore's managers and accountants left her in 1973, she returned to Newark and began singing in benefit concerts. Her career picked up after she met record manager and business promoter Charles Huggins after a performance at the Apollo Theater in 1974. They married in 1975.

Music career

In 1975 Moore signed with Buddah Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, which included the minor hit, "I Am His Lady". The following year she scored her first significant hit with the Van McCoy-penned "This Is It", which reached the Billboard Hot 100, the top-20 position on the R&B chart, and top-10 in the UK, becoming her biggest success in that country. 'This is It' also became the number 1 disco track in the UK for that year. It would be 18 years later that Australian singer Dannii Minogue will cover this song and make it to number 10 on the ARIA charts.

In 1976 she scored her third Grammy nomination with the R&B ballad "Lean on Me", which had been recorded originally by Vivian Reed and later by Moore's idol Aretha Franklin who recorded the song as a B-side to her 1971 hit "Spanish Harlem". The song is most notable for Moore's extended long note at the end. In 1983 she re-recorded the song as a tribute to McCoy, who had died four years earlier. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Moore struggled to match the success of "This Is It" with minor R&B/dance hits. However, her hit 'Pick me up I'll dance' released in May 1979 produced by McFadden & Whitehead and released on Epic Records did have considerable UK disco success, reaching UK chart position 48, along with a further hit that same year, also produced by McFadden & Whitehead with a cover version of the Bee Gees' hit "You Stepped Into My Life", which reached the top 20 on the R&B charts and 47 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1981 Moore signed with Capitol Records and reached the top 5 on the R&B charts with the dance-pop/funk single "Love's Comin' At Ya", which also hit the top 20 in the UK (on EMI America EA 146) and became a sizable hit in some European countries for its post-disco sound and followed by "Mind Up Tonight", which was another top 40 hit in the UK reaching position number 22. A string of R&B hits followed, including 1983's "Keepin' My Lover Satisfied" and "Love Me Right", 1984's "Livin' For Your Love", 1985's "Read My Lips"—which later won Moore a fourth Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, making her just the third black artist after Donna Summer and Michael Jackson to be nominated in the rock category—and 1985's "When You Love Me Like This".

In 1986, she scored two number 1 R&B hits, including the duet "A Little Bit More" with Freddie Jackson and "Falling". She scored other popular R&B hits including "Love the One I'm With (A Lot of Love)" and "It's Been So Long". In 1986, Moore also headlined the CBS television sitcom Melba; its debut aired the same night as the Challenger explosion and the show was abruptly cancelled, though five episodes aired that summer. Her success began to wane as the decade closed, although she managed two further Top 10 R&B hits, "Do You Really (Want My Love)" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing". Moore had a starring role in the 1990 horror film Def by Temptation.

Current work

Moore returned to Broadway in 1995 landing a part in Les Misérables. A year later, she started her long-running one-woman show, Sweet Songs of the Soul, later renamed I'm Still Standing. In 2003, Moore was featured in the film, The Fighting Temptations, which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles. In 2007, she landed a role in the Broadway revival of Ain't Misbehavin'. In 2009 independent label Breaking Records released the EP Book of Dreams, in which Moore was featured. That same year Moore told her life story on TV-One's Unsung and later that year released her first R&B album in nearly 20 years, a duet with Phil Perry called The Gift of Love. Her song called "Love Is" debuted on the R&B charts in 2011 at #87.

Personal life

Moore, a born-again Christian, engaged in a four-year relationship with television star Clifton Davis.[8] Davis later admitted that the relationship didn't work due to his drug abuse and mistreatment of Moore.[9]

In 1975 Moore married Charles Huggins and the two formed Hush Productions. After 15 years of marriage, in 1991, Huggins abruptly divorced Moore leaving the singer in financial ruins.[10] In 1999, Huggins filed suit against Moore claiming that she had defamed him in the public as she stated that he abused her economically.[11][12]


In addition to her Tony Award, her music career brought additional accolades. She was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1971 for 'Best New Artist'. Her 1975 second album, Peach Melba, saw her get a Grammy nomination. In 1976, she earned another Grammy nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Female for the song "Lean on Me",.[13]

Moore was also nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal in 1986 for "Read My Lips". Moore is also the 2012 Recipient of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival Theatre Legend Award. Moore was inducted into the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame on October 4, 2015, in Detroit.

Moore received the prestigious 2015 Sandy Hosey Lifetime Achievement Award during the Artists Music Guild's 2015 AMG Heritage Awards broadcast held on November 14, 2015, in North Carolina.[14]

Ms. Moore stars in the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's production of "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill" to great acclaim in the sold-out run.

Stage work:

  • Hair (1967)
  • Purlie (1970)
  • Timbuktu! (1978)
  • Inacent Black (1981)
  • Broadway at the Bowl (1988)
  • From the Mississippi Delta (1993, est)
  • Les Misérables (1995)
  • Brooklyn (2006)
  • Straight 2the Head (2013)
  • Great God A'Mighty (2013)


  • Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) – Singer at the Apollo Theater (uncredited)
  • The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker (1970) – Model at Party
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) – Whippet Angel (voice)
  • The Fighting Temptations (2003) – Bessie Cooley



Year Album Chart positions Certifications
1970 I Got Love
  • Released: June 9, 1970
  • Label: Mercury
1971 Look What You're Doing to the Man
  • Released: January 29, 1971
  • Label: Mercury
157 43
1972 Melba Moore Live!
  • Released: July 21, 1972
  • Label: Mercury
1975 Peach Melba
  • Released: June 10, 1975
  • Label: Buddah
176 49
1976 This Is It
  • Released: April 13, 1976
  • Label: Buddah
145 32
1976 Melba '76
  • Released: December 2, 1976
  • Label: Buddah
177 30
1977 A Portrait of Melba
  • Released: November 6, 1977
  • Label: Buddah
1978 Melba '78
  • Released: September 29, 1978
  • Label: Epic
114 35
1979 Burn
  • Released: September 21, 1979
  • Label: Epic
1980 Closer
  • Released: July 20, 1980
  • Label: Epic
1981 What a Woman Needs
  • Released: October 12, 1981
  • Label: EMI America
201 46
1982 The Other Side of the Rainbow
  • Released: October 10, 1982
  • Label: Capitol
152 18
1983 Never Say Never
  • Released: November 14, 1983
  • Label: Capitol
147 9
1985 Read My Lips
  • Released: March 22, 1985
  • Label: Capitol
130 30
1986 A Lot of Love
  • Released: July 18, 1986
  • Label: Capitol
91 7
1988 I'm in Love
  • Released: June 1, 1988
  • Label: Capitol
1990 Soul Exposed
  • Released: March 26, 1990
  • Label: Orpheus / Capitol
1996 Happy Together (with The Lafayette Harris, Jr. Trio)
1999 Solitary Journey
  • Released: February 23, 1999
  • Label: Encore Music Group
2001 A Very Special Christmas Gift
  • Released: October 23, 2001
  • Label: Believe Music Works / Lightyear
2002 A Night in St. Lucia
  • Released: June 25, 2002
  • Label: Image
2003 I'm Still Here
  • Released: February 25, 2003
  • Label: Shout Glory
2004 Nobody But Jesus
  • Released: August 31, 2004
  • Label: Believe Music Works / Lightyear
2007 Live In Concert
  • Released: August 7, 2007
  • Label: Soul Concerts
2009 The Gift Of Love (with Phil Perry)
  • Released: September 29, 2009
  • Label: Shanachie
2016 Forever Moore
  • Released: April 10, 2016
  • Label: Muzikk Matrixx
"—" denotes release did not chart or was not released


Year Album Chart positions Certifications
1979 Dancin' With Melba
  • Released: 1979
  • Label: Buddah
1995 This Is It: The Best of Melba Moore
  • Released: March 21, 1995
  • Label: CEMA / Razor & Tie
1997 The Magic of Melba Moore (A Little Bit Moore)
  • Released: January 28, 1997
  • Label: EMI
"—" denotes release did not chart or was not released


Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
1966 "Don't Cry Sing Along with the Music"
b/w "Does Love Believe in Me"
Non-album tracks
1969 "I Messed Up a Good Thing"
b/w "I'll Do It All Over Again" (Non-album track)
Living to Give
"We're Living to Give (To Give to Each Other)"
b/w "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sun Shine In)"
1970 "Black Enough"
b/w "My Salvation"
Cotton Comes to Harlem various artists soundtrack
"Time and Love"
b/w "Facade"
Living to Give
"I Got Love"
b/w "I Love Making Love to You" (from Living to Give)
111 I Got Love
"We're Living to Give (To Give to Each Other)"
b/w "Purlie" (from I Got Love)
Living to Give
"Look What You're Doing to the Man"
b/w "Patience Is Rewarded"
Look What You're Doing to the Man
1971 "Loving You Comes So Easy"
b/w "If I Had a Million"
"Take Up a Course in Happiness"
b/w "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" (from Look What You're Doing to the Man)
Non-album tracks
1972 "I Ain't Got to Love Nobody Else"
b/w "Love Letters"
1975 "I Am His Lady"
b/w "If I Lose"
82 Peach Melba
"Must Be Dues"
b/w "Natural Part of Everything"
1976 "This Is It"
b/w "Stay Awhile"
91 18 2 9 This Is It
"Lean on Me"
b/w "One Less Morning"
"Free" 14 Dancin' with Melba
"Make Me Believe in You" 6
"Play Boy Scout" 14
1977 "Good Love Makes Everything Alright" 36 Melba (Buddah)
"The Long and Winding Road"
b/w "Ain't No Love Lost"
"The Way You Make Me Feel"
b/w "So Many Mountains"
108 62
"The Greatest Feeling"
b/w "The Long and Winding Road"
UK release only
1978 "Standing Right Here"
b/w "Living Free"
69 53 A Portrait of Melba
"I Don't Know No One Else to Turn To"
b/w "Just Another Link"
"You Stepped Into My Life"
b/w "There's No Other Like You"
47 17 5 Melba (Epic)
1979 "Pick Me Up, I'll Dance"
b/w "Where Did You Ever Go"
103 85 22 48
"Miss Thing"
b/w "Need Love"
90 41 Burn
"Night People"
b/w "Hot and Tasty"
1980 "Everything So Good About You"
b/w "Next to You"
47 Closer
1981 "Take My Love" 1
b/w "Just You, Just Me" (Non-album track)
15 12 What A Woman Needs
"Let's Stand Together" 1
b/w "What a Woman Needs"
1982 "Love's Comin' at Ya"
b/w Instrumental version of A-side (Non-album track)
104 5 2 15 The Other Side Of The Rainbow
1983 "Mind Up Tonight"
b/w Instrumental version of A-side (Non-album track)
25 17 22
b/w "Underlove"(M&M mix, non-album track)
35 42 60
"Keepin' My Lover Satisfied"
b/w Instrumental version of A-side (Non-album track)
14 57 Never Say Never
1984 "Livin' for Your Love"
b/w "Got to Have Your Love" (Instrumental version, non-album track)
108 6
"Love Me Right"
b/w "Never Say Never"
1985 "I Can't Believe (It's Over)"
b/w "King of My Heart"
29 Read My Lips
"Read My Lips"
b/w "Got to Have Your Love" (from Never Say Never)
104 12
"When You Love Me Like This"
b/w "Winner" (Editied instrumental, non-album track)
106 14
1986 "Love the One I'm With (A Lot of Love)" (with Kashif)
b/w "Don't Go Away"
5 A Lot Of Love
"A Little Bit More" (with Freddie Jackson)
b/w "When We Touch (It's Like Fire)"
1 96
b/w "Got to Have Your Love" (from Never Say Never)
1987 "I'm Not Gonna Let You Go"
b/w "Dreams"
"It's Been So Long"
b/w "Don't Go Away"
1988 "I Can't Complain" (with Freddie Jackson)
b/w "There I Go Falling In Love Again" (from A Lot of Love)
12 I'm In Love
"I'm in Love" (with Kashif)
b/w "Stay" (from A Lot of Love)
"Love & Kisses"
b/w "I'm in Love" (Summertime Shorts version, with Kashif—non-album track)
1990 "Do You Really (Want My Love?)"
12" single with four different mixes
Only the original version appears on the album
10 39 93 Soul Exposed
"Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing"
b/w Same song with narration by Rev. Jesse Jackson (Non-album track)
1998 "Everybody"
CD single with five different mixes
Solitary Journey (Featuring three of the five mixes)
2005 "My Heart Belongs to You"
12" single with three different mixes
Non-album tracks
2011 "Love Is" 87
"—" denotes release did not chart or was not released
  • ^1 "Let's Stand Together" and "Take My Love" charted together on the US Billboard Dance chart, but charted separately elsewhere.

See also

  • List of disco artists (L-R)
  • List of post-disco artists and songs
  • List of female movie actors by name: M
  • Guests on Soul Train
  • List of performers on Top of the Pops
  • List of Broadway musicals stars
  • List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart


  1. ^ a b "The HistoryMakers". Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  2. ^ a b McCann, Bob (2010). Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. p. 237. the University of California; ISBN 9780786437900
  3. ^ Adam White, Fred Bronson (1993). The Billboard Book of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits. Billboard Books 1993; ISBN 978082308-2858
  4. ^ "Billboard Book of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits". Jet. 107: 36. May 16, 2005. 
  5. ^ "Happy Birthday Melba Moore". October 29, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived April 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ The Ultimate New Jersey High School Year Book. 1998. 
  8. ^ Moore, Melba. "Moore on being a born again Christian". The Show Biz Wizard. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Moore, Melba. "Clifton Davis tells of his relationship with Moore". People Magazine. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ Moore, Melba. "Huggins divorces Moore". MTV. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ Huggins, Charles. "Huggins files suit against Moore for Defamation". Cornell. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Martin, Michel. "Songstress Melba Moore Is Back From Hiatus, Tells Of Hardship". Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  13. ^ "The Envelope - Awards and Industry". Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  14. ^ Awards, 2015 AMG Heritage. "Melba Moore takes home honors at the 2015 AMG Heritage Awards". Artists Music Guild. Artists Music Guild. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  15. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 377. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

Further reading

  • Als, Hilton (8 February 2010). "Critic's Notebook: Let the Sunshine In". The New Yorker. 85 (48): 13. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 

External links

  • Melba Moore's Official Myspace page
  • Melba Moore at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Melba Moore on IMDb
  • profile of Melba Moore
  • Melba Moore @
  • Melba Moore 2012 Audio Interview at
This page was last modified 11.06.2018 05:28:22

This article uses material from the article Melba Moore from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.