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Michel'le (R&B)

One of the more interesting urban contemporary vocalists of the late '80s and early '90s, the Los Angeles-based Michel'le was known for having a squeaky, high-pitched speaking voice and an aggressive, full-bodied style of singing. Some people jokingly called her the Betty Boop of urban contemporary, although the Boop comparisons had more to do with her speaking voice than her singing (which could be quite gritty at times). Michel'le, who is best-known for her smash hit "No More Lies," favored a very hip-hop-minded approach to R&B, and that isn't the least bit surprising when you take into consideration the company that she kept. The members of N.W.A. -- especially Dr. Dre and the late Eric "Eazy-E" Wright -- were partly responsible for the success of Michel'le, who pronounces her name "meesh-a-lay." And her manager was music industry veteran Jerry Heller, who was also managing N.W.A. back then.

Arguably, the singer was ahead of her time. Before Mary J. Blige was exalted as the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" -- and before the rise of Faith Evans and Lauryn Hill -- Michel'le was a young neo-soulstress who had strong ties to the hip-hop world. It was in 1989 that Michel'le signed with Eazy-E's Ruthless Records, which was the home of N.W.A. as well as Dallas native the D.O.C. and the female pop-rap group J.J. Fad (of "Supersonic" fame). Ruthless was distributed by different labels, depending on the artist. N.W.A. (one of the most important and influential groups in the history of gangsta rap) went through Priority, while the D.O.C., J.J. Fad, and Michel'le were signed to Ruthless/Atlantic. Although Ruthless was primarily a rap label, Dre and Eazy wanted to branch out into urban contemporary singing; and Michel'le, although quite hip-hop-influenced, was very much an urban contemporary singer. In 1989, Dre produced Michel'le's self-titled debut album; Eazy served as executive producer, while the mixing was handled by Dre and DJ Yella (another N.W.A. agitator). But, despite the participation of all those N.W.A. members, Michel'le's album didn't sound anything at all like that group's controversial and disturbing gangsta rap; and unlike N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, it enjoyed a great deal of exposure on urban radio. The funky "No More Lies," Michel'le's debut single, was a major hit on the same R&B stations that went out of their way to avoid Straight Outta Compton; it was also a big pop hit and reached the Top Ten on Billboard's pop singles chart. The equally funky "Nicety," which was released as a single in 1990, was another major hit, and "Keep Watchin'" (the album's third single) also fared well.

In 1991, Michel'le became the victim of some East Coast/West Coast rivalry; that year, Bronx rapper Tim Dog (formerly of the Ultramagnetic MC's) said some insulting things about Michel'le and Dre on his angry, West Coast-bashing single "F**k Compton." Unlike the infamous, well-publicized feud that L.A.'s Death Row Records/Suge Knight clique and New York's Puff Daddy/Bad Boy Entertainment/the Notorious B.I.G. clique had several years later, Tim Dog's war of words with the members of N.W.A. didn't turn deadly; nonetheless, Michel'le was said to be furious over the things that Tim Dog said about her on "F**k Compton." But, as much attention as Michel'le received in 1989 and in the early '90s, her popularity didn't last long. In 1996, the Southern Californian had a cameo on the Dogg Pound's single "Let's Play House," but her second album, Hung Jury (a Priority release), didn't come out until 1998 -- nine years after her self-titled debut -- and it wasn't nearly the smash that Michel'le's previous album had been. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Classic!
Love it Love
I love R& B divas. Michelle is incredible. What a voicemail!
OH SO FEELS SO GOOD TO BE REACQUAINTED WITH A QUEEN YOU DEE!!.HSAN,S M I L E
I still love you Michelle a.
Love her !!! Esp on R&B Divas
I love this song. This is real singing. Michel"e you go girl keep singing.
If...totally forgot about this song. Loving it still
That's my girl keep your head up cuz u can sanggggg
SHE HAS A HELL OF A VOICE! THIS IS REAL MUSIC!
Something!
now this is real love music
tonya_invest o r
There's no limit to the love I'm giving!
I love this music?
cphillips350
An incredibly talented songstress. So sad that she didn't reach the heights that she could had. She really was "The One."
Michel'let is a talented and gifted vocalist. In Back in the day she dropped a few jams that wete superbly produced. She speaks like a little girl, but her singing voice is the bomb beast! The sister can blow! I wish she would record again.
silvester.ha m p t o n
There is something that has me hooked on you, Michel'le. You can sing that song to this old man anytime. Everytime I hear that song causes me to just go in a good place. I do not hear anything that is going on around me when that song come on.
Michel' le was gifted with an unique voice which became her trademark for life and our gift for a lifetime. Enjoy you OG Black Gourmet Coffee with me from: simplymarvel o u s c o f f e e . m y o r g a n o g o l d . c o m
Michel'let cannot help her speaking voice. It was given to her by God almighty. What is important is what words come out of her mouth. So far, I hear nothing but positivity from her. It is really a shame that so many feel the need to pick on a sister who was blessed with such a wonderful voice and uses it to make others feel good about life.
Wow! Loved me some Michel'let's back then! She could definitely blow! Watched her on the cable show Divas, and was so impressed with her strength, dignity and courage. She is very intelligent and very inspirationa l .
audra562
Classic jam for sure
such cruel comments,she can blow for real that 1 and only Cd was the jam yes !!!! NICETY was the JAM TOO @music Lvr so did I lol
laylaj316
very powerful 'singing voice but her talking voice smh nah
I can listen to her sing all day..... but talking not so much
Something in my heart has me hooked on this song forever!
My cut in the day use to cut that rug up in the bar !
Wow, she only had one album. I didn't realize. Anyway, wanted to put - Nicety - on a personalized car tag in high school. yeah - totally 90s baby. parents said no. oh well.
Classic
kamipyt
classic r&b at its best! love, love, love this song!
Your songs issososososo s o s o s o s o s o s s o s o s o s o s o s o s o s o s o s o s o s o hot
No more games
A lot of people comment about Michel'le's speaking voice but ask yourself would you give up your singing or speaking her voice to have her singing voice-as long as you had her speaking voice? I wouldn't mine because I'm already a singer, but for those who aren't wouldn't you?
Something in my heart!
LUV U CHIC
The best music in my area. It's the real deal
one of the greats.
snoopy_91103
Love this song!!
shynittakell y
This my $hit !!!!
There's something u should kno she got the last laugh on Dre cause Suge took her right along with Death Row !x!x!x! Be careful how u treat women !x!x!
$HE BAD
I Love this song..... this is hitting my soul it is reading me like an open book..
So many memories oh yeah baby
Throwback
Something in my heart, brings back all types of memories.
Come on back. Waitting for that time to come. Like this song and the others.
This makes u go back to your teen age time love it
I love the 90 s long live it!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! !
something in my heart thats my song
Loved her and this song way before R&B Divas...but NEVER knew her speaking voice was so childlike... w h e n her singing voice is POWERFUL!!

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