Sunday, December 20, 2009

Debra Laws

Debra Laws (born Debra Renee Laws on September 10, 1956 in Houston, Texas) is an R&B singer/actress from the '80s.

She is the seventh child in a family of eight children. Her siblings Eloise, Hubert and Ronnie Laws all work in the music industry.

Debra began her music career in 1977 as a teen on her brother Ronnie's album "Friends and Strangers." In 1979, she was a lead singer on her brother Hubert's album "Land of Passion."
In 1981, Debra released her debut album "Very Special" on Elektra Records. The album peaked at #70 on the Billboard 200 and #13 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. It was produced by Ronnie and Hubert.
The first single "Be Yourself" peaked at #31 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.
The second single "Very Special" peaked at #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #11 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart, staying on the chart for 19 weeks, becoming Debra's highest chart appearance to date.
The last single from the album "Meant For You" peaked at #47 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart, staying on the chart for 9 weeks.

After that, Debra worked with her siblings, recording music and performing live in the US and abroad. Throughout the '80s, she provided vocals to various movie soundtracks.

In April and May of 1991, Debra toured with the Commodores in Europe and in November of that same year, she performed at a benefit for the children of Africa in Lagos, Nigeria with musicians such as Rita Marley, Shabba Ranks, Third World and Kool & The Gang.
During 1992, Debra toured in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. In 1993, she released her second album "Moments" which was released in Japan.

Debra produced, wrote & co-wrote 9 of the 12 songs on the album. The single "Moments Like This" peaked at #18 on the Japanese music charts.

In November and December of 1994, Debra began touring again. She also acted in plays and on the popular soap opera "General Hospital."

She has also performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and the Berkeley Jazz Festival.

In 2003, Debra sued Sony Music Entertainment\Epic Records, claiming that singer Jennifer Lopez sampled "Very Special" for her #1 hit song "All I Have" without her permission, but lost the case.

A year later, she sued Elektra Records, claiming that the label was contractually obligated to get their consent before allowing the "Very Special" sample to be used in "All I Have." The case was dismissed and later settled on undisclosed terms.

These days, it is unknown what Debra is up to and it seems as if she has faded into obscurity.

To see a fan-made video for "Very Special," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztUD3UNFsWE

To see a fan-made video for "Be Yourself," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT7daEo5s_s

To see a fan-made video for "Meant For You," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0prVrHujDSQ



[updated on 06/02/13]

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