Jane Stansfield (known as the girl with the curl which always resided
on her forehead) was born in Manchester on April 11th 1966. When
Lisa was 11 her family moved firstly to Heywood and then on to live
in Rochdale where Lisa grew up. Lisa has two sisters called Karen
and Suzanne who have supported her throughout her career as one
of the worlds leading female solo artists. Jazz, soul and dance
are among the styles of music that Lisa produces and her inspirations
for her music come from her idols Barry White and Marvin Gaye.
At the young age of 14, Lisa entered a talent
contest which was sponsored by the Manchester Evening News. She
had no previous experience of singing, having had no voice lessons
and attending the competitions was a good way to practice her vocals.
She won numerous singing competitions and this led to a career in
acting for Lisa before she became a solo artist. Lisa has starred
in films which include ‘Swing’ which was made in 1999
and a film for Comic Relief entitled ‘The Invasion of the
Comic Tomatoes’ which was made for television in 1990. When
Lisa was 16, she began producing record music, making mostly pop
music. She was so eager to have her music broadcast she sent copies
of her music on tape and photographs of herself to a show called
‘Razzamatazz’ who eventually signed her as a presenter
for the 80’s children’s program. Lisa not only has an
individualistic style when it comes to her voice, she is also strikingly
beautiful. However, acting was not the path that Lisa wanted to
follow and in 1982 she began to focus once again on making music.
In 1983, Lisa formed a group with two of her
former classmates, Andy Morris and Ian Devaney. The group was called
‘Blue Zone’ and was signed by a small, individual record
label named ‘Rockin’ Horse records’. The group
released 2 singles, ‘On Fire’ and ‘Thinking about
his baby’ which had a B side called ‘’Big Thing’.
The clubs and Kiss FM heard the released B side and the record sold
over 10,000 copies in the U.K. Eventually the small label was bought
out by Arista Records, but this was not the end for ‘Blue
Zone’, instead it was the start of something huge and the
making of Lisa Stansfield.
Andy Morris and Ian Devaney had previously
worked with a production company called ‘Coldcut’ before
they joined the band ‘Blue Zone’. Remembering the good
quality of the work that had been produced the pair decided to work
with ‘Coldcut’ on the single ‘People Hold On’.
Together they released the single and the song reached number 11
in the U.K. Charts. The video was shown to Arista Records and Lisa
was signed by Arista as a solo artist on the strength of her vocal
skills. However, the trio remained together, just this time not
as a band. Andy and Ian were to be the backbone for Lisa’s
career, composing and producing most of Lisa’s later material.
They are also noted for being the musicians for Lisa in later years.
‘Coldcut’ produced Lisa’s next hit ‘This
is the right time’ which reached no 13 in the U.K. Charts.
In 1989, Lisa’s next hit ‘All Around
The World’ reached number 1 in the U.K. Charts.
The album ‘Affection’ was released
in 1990 and became an international hit selling 5 million copies
worldwide. From the success of the album Lisa was to win many awards
in 1990 including; A Brit award for the Best British Newcomer, the
DMC Award for Best British Album, the Silver Clef Award for Best
British New Artist, the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary
Song and the Billboard Award for Best Newcomer. In all Lisa really
was flavour of the year at the Award ceremonies!
1991 was to be a huge year for Lisa’s
career. She performed at the Rock in Rio festival which was for
an AIDS Research fundraiser. She also released the album ‘Real
Love’ which was a big success and sparked the releases of
the hit singles ‘Change’, ‘All Women’, ‘Time
to make you mine’ and ‘Set Your Loving Free’.
The album also sparked hints of another Brit award that was coming
Lisa’s way. She won the 1991 Brit Award for the Best British
Female Artist. The album ‘Real Love’ also won the Best
Album DMC Award. In total Lisa has won 3 Brit Awards and has been
nominated for a Grammy Award.
Her appearance at the Freddie Mercury
Tribute Concert, broadcast to a TV audience of over 1 billion viewers,
saw her join George Michael and Queen on 'These Are The Days of
Our Lives', which was later to become a number 1 hit single. She
also sang the song 'I Want To Break Free' complete with Coronation
Street hairnet, rollers and vacuum cleaner.
Lisa released ‘So Natural’ in 1993 and then decided
that it was time for a break from the music industry. She came back
4 years later with her self-entitled album, called ‘Lisa Stansfield’
(just incase you didn’t get it)! On this album was a remake
of Barry White’s song ‘Never Never Gonna Give You Up’.
This album was very special to Lisa as she found it an honour to
have a song on the album that had come from one of her heroes who
had inspired her to sing in the first place.
In 1999, apart from appearing in the
film ‘Swing’, a romantic comedy film which follows the
exploits of a band from Liverpool, Lisa contributed most of the
soundtrack with fellow Mancunian, Georgie Fame. The soundtrack was
recorded at Gracieland in Rochdale. Her performance in 'Swing' won
critical acclaim and helped make swing music more popular, pathing
the way for the likes of Robbie Williams to follow suit in the future.
Her performance may at some point convince the producers at Granada's
Coronation Street that she may be able to have a dream part in her
favourite show - just maybe.
Lisa also contributed tracks to the
movie soundtracks for films including ‘The Bodyguard’
and ‘The Wedding Planner’.
Lisa’s new album which was released in
2001 is called ‘Face Up’. The album was critically acclaimed
and highlights her extraordinary talents as per usual. Unfortunately
the album failed to win Lisa any awards even though it was so highly
critically acclaimed. The album shows that she is still in tune
with current musical tastes with a range of jazzy, soulful and modern
collections of songs.
In 2003 Lisa released her greatest
hits album titled ‘Biography’. The album features 17
of her greatest hits and a few extras as an added bonus. It highlights
how good Lisa Stansfield was at the height of her success and how
unfortunate she was that the press no longer deemed her fashionable
enough in later years.
Lisa Stansfield - 100% talent - 100%
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Lisa Stansfield discography]