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lisa stansfield - from rochdale to all around the world
Lisa Stansfield
"Lisa's family are the only family in the whole of showbiz to make mine sound posh. She always reminds me of when she was little and at the Rainbow Rooms, or Talk Of The North, one of them hard-grafting Salford gaffs, and she always came first in the talent shows, whilst my dad, who was trying to be a stand-up comedian at the time, always ended up coming second."
- Shaun Ryder

Lisa 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% Rochdale!

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