By Gary A. Johnson – Black Men In America.com
Melba Moore is a 5 Octave singer and award-winning actress. She has had success as an actor on Broadway, and as a singer with Soul/R&B, Pop, Rock, Jazz, Gospel, and Classical music.
Did you know that Melba Moore was the first female pop/R&B artist to do a non-operatic solo concert at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House and at the Olympia in Paris?
Melba landed her a role in the cult classic “Hair” on Broadway in 1969. It was in “Hair” that Melba became the first African American woman to replace a white actress, who happened to be the acclaimed Diane Keaton, in a lead role on Broadway. One year later, she starred in “Purlie,” which earned her a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her portrayal as ‘Lutiebelle.’ At that time, Melba was one of the first Black women to win a Tony Award.
Over a four-decade career, she’s been successful on the stage, screen and in the recording studio. She’s had 8 top 10 R&B hits including two #1 smash hits and 3 GRAMMY® nominations, several American Music Awards, a Tony Award®, Ellis Island Award, Artist Guild Award, Trumpet Award of Excellence, NAACP Spingarn Award, and a History Makers Tribute feature.
I got a very clear sense that Melba Moore is most proud of being a mother and God-fearing and caring person.
In the 80s and 90s, Melba Moore gifted us with classic jams like “Lean On Me,”(my favorite), “This Is It,” “You Stepped Into My Life,” “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” “Livin’ For Your Love,” “Falling” and “A Little Bit More,” her #1 duet with singer Freddie Jackson. She currently has a new single, “Imagine.”
In recent years, the resilient and always the renaissance woman, Moore’s recording projects have primarily been gospel albums, including the CD “Nobody But Jesus.” In 2002, she released “I’m Still Here” and in 2010 she released “The Gift of Love,” a duet album of classic songs and unforgettable originals.
Melba Moore’s produced version of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” which was entered into the United States Congressional Record as the official Negro National Anthem in 1990, was just named an ‘American Aural Treasure,’ by the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for Ms. Moore’s co-produced recorded rendition of the anthem.
“Music is what God allows me to do,” declares Melba Moore.
Watch my interview with Melba Moore and learn more about early childhood, her musical influences and the secrets to a long career.
A special thanks to Angelo Ellerbee (Double XXposure Media Relations) and Kevin Goins (New Grooves Radio) for arranging this interview.
Listen to Melba’s latest single “Imagine.”
Terri Lyne Carrington with Melba Moore, Bebe Winans, Bobby Brown, Howard Hewitt, Gerald Albright, Jasmine Guy, Debbie Allen, Jeffrey Osborne Louis Gossett, Freddie Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Anita Baker, Take 6, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and more.