Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rachelle Ferrell

Rachelle Ferrell (born on May 21, 1961 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania) is a female R&B\jazz singer and musician.

She started singing when she was six years old and has the ability to sing in the whistle register (she references her highest notes in "it only took a minute" as "Minnie Riperton wailing"). Rachelle received classical training as a violinist when she was thirteen and in her mid-teens as pianist and singer.

When she was 18 years old, Rachelle enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston where she honed her musical skills in songwriting, arrangement and of course, singing. She graduated from Berklee within a year and taught music for a while with Dizzy Gillepsie for the New Jersey State Council of Arts.

Rachelle was also a backup singer for artists such as Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, George Duke, and Vanessa Williams. In the late '80s, Rachelle sent a composition tape to Blue Note Records and was signed to a record contract.
In 1990, Rachelle released her debut album, "First Instrument" in Japan which was recorded with bassist Tyrone Brown, pianist Eddie Green, drummer Doug Nally, trumpet player Terence Blanchard, pianists Gil Goldstein & Michel Petrucciani, bassists Kenny Davis & Stanley Clarke, tenor saxophone player Wayne Shorter and keyboardist Pete Levin.

The album was released in the U.S. in 1995 on Blue Note Records. The album was able to peak at #151 on the Billboard 200, #2 on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart and #6 on Billboard's Heatseekers albums chart. In Japan, the album was quite popular with jazz fans.
Also in 1990, Rachelle released the album "Somethin' Else" which was also released in Japan and Europe for commercial reasons.
Two years later in 1992, Rachelle released her self-titled album and first album released in the U.S., which peaked at #161 on the Billboard 200, #25 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart and #4 on Billboard's Heatseekers albums chart.
Rachelle's first single "Til You Come Back to Me" peaked at #19 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks, becoming her highest chart appearance to date.
The second single from the album "Welcome to My Love" peaked at #42 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. The third single "Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This" featuring singer Will Downing, peaked at #72 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.

The last single from the album, "With Open Arms" peaked at #68 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks, making it her longest chart appearance to date.

Despite the excellent reviews Rachelle's self-titled album received, it didn't receive a lot of commercial success mostly because the album received scant radio play.

Rachelle did extensive tours in America and her record label provided heavy promotion before and after her concerts. They also produced a promotional concert video for local broadcasts to coincide with area appearances.
In 2000, Rachelle released the album, "Individuality (Can I Be Me)" which peaked at #71 on the Billboard 200 chart, #16 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart, and topped Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. The album included R&B, jazz and gospel music.
In 2002, Rachelle released a live album, "Live at Montreux 91-97" which peaked at #8 on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart. These days, she continues to be active in the music biz, still performing.

To see Rachelle's official website, go to:
http://rachelleferrell.com/

To see the music video for "Til You Come Back to Me," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h65azRDIg4Q

To see a video of Rachelle performing "With Open Arms," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdhUdhMV-bs

To see a video of Rachelle performing, "Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This" featuring Will Downing, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf83djaaTS4


[updated on 05\07\12]

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