born on 14/11/1954 in Philadelphia, PA, United States
Alias Tawatha Agee
Tawatha Agee is an American background singer and song-writer. Her voice was described in the New York Times as an "acrobatic, gospel-charged soprano". She was the lead singer from the soul/R&B band, Mtume, whose soulful lead voice that was featured on the 1983 R&B hit, "Juicy Fruit".
Agee has worked consistently as a backing singer from the mid-70's through to the present day, predominantly with James Mtume who produced her one solo album Welcome To My Dream for Epic Records in 1987. She was born in Philadelphia, but later became based in New York.
Mtume and backup singing
She began her debut with Mtume's second 1978 album, Kiss This World Goodbye that features "The Closer I Get to You", originally done by Roberta Flack from her 1977 Atlantic Records Blue Lights in the Basement with Donny Hathaway and 1980 album, In Search of the Rainbow Seekers that features "Mrs. Sippi" and "Give It on Up (If You Want To)". She also sang backup on 3 albums by Stephanie Mills, such as What Cha' Gonna Do with My Lovin', Sweet Sensation and Stephanie, plus the 1981 album, produced by Bobby Eli and Isaac Bolden, entitled, Keep It Comin' by Jean Knight and Premium. She also co-wrote the duet "Two Hearts" with James Mtume/Reggie Lucas for Stephanie Mills and Teddy Pendergrass, and "Getting Ready For Love" with Howard King for her friend, Ullanda McCullough from her 1982 album, Watching You Watching Me. In 1980 she sang and co-wrote the song "Keep goin' on" for the saxophonist Gary Bartz.The album entitled "Bartz" was produced by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas.
She was also the featured vocalist on many of Mtume's hits including "Juicy Fruit" (UK Top 40, 1983 and the number one R&B spot, in the States, for eight weeks in summer 1983. In writing "Juicy Fruit", Tawatha Agee would be recording one verse while James Mtume would be writing the verse that would follow it. She and her band released the last 2 albums, You, Me and He from 1984 and Theater of the Mind (1986).
Solo Recording debut 1987
Tawatha Agee's only solo album to date, Welcome to My Dream, was issued by Epic Records in 1987 and was produced by James Mtume and Mtume member, guitarist Ed Moore and James Batton.
Return to backup singing
After Welcome to My Dream, Ageee retired from lead singing and went back to backup session singing. She has recorded with artists including Bruce Fisher, ('Red Hot', 1977), Cabo Frio, The Heath Brothers, David Sanborn, B.B & Q., LeVert, Kashif, Keni Burke, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Roxy Music, Rena Scott, Jewel, David Bowie, Celine Dion, R Kelly, Sting and The O'Jays.
- Welcome To My Dream (Epic 1987)
- Pareles, Jon (20 September 1983). "Rick James Performs". New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2013
- White, Gina (25 July 1985). "Musical Family Man Leads Concert". Wilmington Star. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- Morse, Steve (13 November 1988). "Vandross, Baker Score with Singles". Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 october 2013.
- Tawatha Agee on AllMusic
- Interview on SoulMusic.com