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Tue, 03.10.1964

Neneh Cherry, an International Pop Voice

Neneh Cherry

On this date in 1964, Neneh Cherry, an Black European pop singer, was born.

She was born Neneh Mariann Karlssson, the daughter of West African percussionist Amadu Jah and artist Moki Cherry in Stockholm, Sweden. Raised by her mother and her jazz trumpeter stepfather (Don Cherry) in both Stockholm and New York City, she left school at 14. In 1980, Cherry moved to London to sing with the punk group the Cherries.

After working with the Slits and the Nails, she joined the experimental funk outfit Rip Rig + Panic, and appeared on the group’s albums "God" (1981), "I Am Cold"(1982), and "Attitude" (1983). Then Cherry sang with Float Up CP, and led them through one album, 1986’s "Kill Me in the Morning." The band broke up and Cherry began rapping in London, releasing her first single, "Stop the War."  She attracted the attention of composer and musician "Cameron McVey," who, under the alias "Booga Bear," wrote much of the material on Cherry’s 1989 debut LP "Raw Like Sushi." She proposed to him, and they have two daughters, Tyson (1989) and Mabel (1996).

Cherry’s cover "Buffalo Stance" was an international smash of eclectic fusion of pop smarts and hip-hop energy. After the record’s release Cherry caught Lyme disease and, apart from a version of Cole Porter’s "I’ve Got You Under My Skin" in 1990, remained silent until "Homebrew" two years later. Cherry returned to the charts in 1994 in duet with Youssou N’ Dour on the global hit "Seven Seconds.: She then took time off to raise her children. She resurfaced with the distinctive Man in 1996.

Neneh Cherry has her own groundbreaking blend of pop, dance, and hip-hop that is the emergence of both alternative Rap and Trip-Hop.  In 2011, Cherry collaborated with the experimental jazz group The Thing, to release the record The Cherry Thing.  In 2013, Cherry collaborated with London duo RocketNumberNine (named after a Sun Ra track), a.k.a. the Page Brothers, Ben and Tom Page, to record an album called MeYouWeYou.  

Reference:
All Media Guide
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