Susannah Melvoin grew up in a Los Angeles based musical family, the daughter
of legendary composer, keyboardist and long-time NARAS President Michael
Singing from the age of 8 Susannah got her first taste of professional recordings
as a jingle singer for television and radio. By her late teens she was working as a
session singer in Los Angeles by night, for David Geffen and MCA Publishing by
Some of her earliest sessions were alongside R&B star James Ingram, for the
legendary Quincy Jones who subsequently employed her as a staff singer and as
a member of his newly crated a-cappella group.
By 1983 she had come to the attention of then up and coming musician Prince
via long time friend Lisa Coleman, keyboard player in his backing band The
Blown away by Susannah’s impromptu version of Aretha’s ‘Until You Come Back
To Me’ Prince became enamoured with her voice and asked her to sing on the
debut album from Apollonia 6 before enlisting her as co-lead vocalist for a new
group called The Family, who would score a US Top 10 R&B hit with ‘Screams Of
Passion’. After the dissolution of The Family Susannah joined twin sister Wendy
as a member of the newly expanded Prince & The Revolution and contributed to
numerous successful albums including ‘Around The World In A Day’ (which also
featured her late brother Jonathan), ‘Parade’, ‘Sign O The Times’, and ‘The Black
Album’. ‘Sign O The Times’ quirky ‘Starfish & Coffee’ gave the public the first
glimpse of Melvoin’s immense songwriting talents.
After leaving the “Prince camp” publisher/producer Dick Rudolph (Minnie
Ripperton, Teena Marie) signed Susannah to development deal but sadly a solo
album was never released.
She worked in the studio and on the road with with Wendy & Lisa on their debut
album, co-writing the European hit single ‘Honeymoon Express’ as well as
subsequent releases ‘Fruit At The Bottom’ and ‘Eroica’ before inking a publishing
deal with Chrysalis Music.
Some of the artists to have recorded Susannah’s material include Madonna (‘Ray
Of Light’ album), Eric Clapton, B.B King, Arc Angels, Doyle Bramhall II and UK
pop outfit All Saints who scored a massive hit with her song ‘Pure Shores’, one of
the biggest selling singles of 2000. During this period the ever creative performer
tried her hand at acting and appeared in several critically acclaimed independent
Susannah’s resume also boasts projects, studio work and/or live performances
with Seal, Billy Idol, Donna Summer, Trevor Horn, Questlove, Erykah Badu,
Tchad Blake, Mitchell Froom, William Orbit, Neil Finn (of Crowded House fame),
UK dance outfit The Grid, PInk Floyd’s Roger Waters and, most recently the
forthcoming project for the legendary Chaka Khan.