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Marcella Detroit

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Marcella Detroit (born Marcella Levy, June 21, 1952 [1] Detroit, Michigan) is a Jewish American vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. She was a member of the band Shakespears Sister, along with Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama. Detroit's soprano voice provided lead vocals on their biggest hit, "Stay", which was number one in the UK Singles Chart for eight weeks in 1992.


Detroit began playing with the Bob Seger band in the early 1970s, then toured and recorded with Leon Russell and the Gap Band in early 1974, before joining Eric Clapton's band in September 1974. While working with Clapton she wrote several songs with him, including "Lay Down Sally." After leaving Clapton's band, she did session work for a number of artists, including Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Alice Cooper and Bette Midler. In 1980, she duetted with Robin Gibb on the song "Help Me!", featured on the soundtrack of the film Times Square. The single peaked at #50 in the USA. In 1981, she provided the singing voice for the character Frankie in Ralph Bakshi's animated movie American Pop. She recorded her first solo album, Marcella, under her birth name, in 1982, and wrote material for Chaka Khan, Belinda Carlisle, Al Jarreau and Phillip Bailey, amongst others. In 1985 she worked for Clapton again, and performed with him at Live Aid.

In 1988 she was introduced to Siobhan Fahey by mutual friend and producer, songwriter, Richard Feldman. Together they wrote songs which formed the first Shakespears Sister album, "Sacred Heart", where Detroit also performed backing vocals. Initially conceived as a Fahey solo album, the failure of its first single led to London Records revamping the group as a duo with Detroit, achieving a UK top 10 hit with You're History in August 1989, although she was still not a full member and the album only featured Fahey on the cover. At about this time she adopted the name Marcella Detroit, after her birthplace. By the second album she had been promoted to "50% member", and the group had its biggest success in 1992 with the ballad "Stay", the only song by the group on which Detroit was the primary lead vocal. Tensions arose between Fahey and Detroit, and Fahey ended the partnership in 1993 and continued by herself as Shakespears Sister for one more album.

After leaving the duo, Detroit, still signed to London Records, restarted her solo career and released the album Jewel in 1994. The album peaked at #15 in the UK and went gold, and she had three UK top 40 hits: "I Believe" (UK #11), "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" (a duet with Elton John) (UK #24), and "I'm No Angel" (UK #33). Dissatisfied with London Records, she left the label in 1995.

In 1996 she released the album Feeler, under her own label AAA Records Ltd. The album featured more aggressive alternative rock songs, in contrast to her previous pop album. Four singles were released off it: "I Hate You Now...", "Boy", "Flower" and "Somebody's Mother". The album earned strong reviews but was a sales disappointment in the UK. However, she achieved success in Australia and Japan with the single "Boy".

Her next album was 2001's "Dancing Madly Sideways", which was sold through her website. In 2002, she collaborated with dance band Aurora, singing lead vocals in the cover "If You Could Read My Mind" and the original "To Die For", which were released on the group's self-titled album.

In 2004 she began using her birth name again, as she returned to her blues roots and started playing with Carlos Guitarlos. She also signed a publishing deal with A7 music and started writing music for Charlotte Church and Alex Parks, among others. In September 2006 she released a blues album, The Upside of Being Down under the name Marcy Levy Band.

In April 2007 she released digitally a pop/dance song called "Mystery to Me" with Loverush UK. In 2008, she collaborated with Swedish band Vacuum on the song "My Friend Misery", and with British band Rosie and the Goldbug on the track "Soldier Blues".

Other appearances have included a 1996 episode of Absolutely Fabulous, in which Detroit played an angel (and performed a few songs alongside Marianne Faithfull), and the novelty album The Simpsons Sing the Blues, on which Detroit was a vocal talent. One of her most recent recordings was with Alex Dixon, grandson of legendary bluesman Willie Dixon, on his 2009 release titled Rising From The Bushes, in which she appeared on two tracks which are "Fantasy" and "Paint You A Picture".[2]

Personal life

Detroit is married to Lance Aston (one time member of Prima Donna and brother of Bucks Fizz star Jay Aston). They have a child, Maxwell, born in 1991.[3]


Studio Albums

  • 1982: Marcella (as Marcy Levy)
  • 1994: Jewel
  • 1996: Feeler
  • 1996: Without Medication Plus MTV "Buzz Live" Japanese release
  • 1999: Abfab Songs
  • 2001: Dancing Madly Sideways
  • 2006: The Upside of Being Down (as Marcy Levy Band)


Year Title Chart positions Album


1978 "Millie and Billie" (as Marcy Levy with Alice Cooper) - - From the Inside
1980 "Help Me!" (with Robin Gibb) 50 - Times Square OST
1982 "Close to Her" - - Marcella
1986 "Come and Follow Me" (with Max Carl) - - Short Circuit OST
1994 "I Believe" - 11 Jewel
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" (with Elton John) - 24
"I'm No Angel" - 33
1995 "Perfect World" - 134
1996 "I Hate You Now..." - 107 Feeler
"Boy" - 102
"Somebody's Mother" - -
1997 "Flower" - -
2001 "Lust for Like" - - Dancing Madly Sideways
2002 "If You Could Read My Mind" (with Aurora) - - Aurora
2007 "Mystery to Me" (with Loverush UK) - - -
2008 "My Friend Misery" (with Vacuum) - - -


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Marcella Detroit. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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