Happy birthday to Narada Michael Walden!

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    He is a singer, a lauded multi-instrumentalist, and award winning songwriter and producer with more hits than we can count. And he helped change the musical landscape in the 1980s with his seminal work with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Angela Bofill and many more. Happy birthday, to Narada Michael Walden, born on April 23, 1952.

    Narada Michael Walden has a career filled with unlikely zigs and zags, each of which seemed to increase his visibility and influence. Playing the drums, keyboards and bass, he played with several bands in the Miami area before landing a contract on Atlantic Records in 1976. It was his third album, 1970’s Awakening, that made him an R&B star with the hit “I Don’t Want Nobody Else (To Dance With You).” Even bigger was his follow-up album, The Dance of Life and the Top 5 dance number “I Shoulda Loved Ya.”

    He is a singer, a lauded multi-instrumentalist, and award winning songwriter and producer with more hits than we can count. And he helped change the musical landscape in the 1980s with his seminal work with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Angela Bofill and many more. Happy birthday, to Narada Michael Walden, born on April 23, 1952.

    Narada Michael Walden has a career filled with unlikely zigs and zags, each of which seemed to increase his visibility and influence. Playing the drums, keyboards and bass, he played with several bands in the Miami area before landing a contract on Atlantic Records in 1976. It was his third album, 1970’s Awakening, that made him an R&B star with the hit “I Don’t Want Nobody Else (To Dance With You).” Even bigger was his follow-up album, The Dance of Life and the Top 5 dance number “I Shoulda Loved Ya.”

    While Walden continued to record into the late 80s, he really made his mark as a top tier producer on such smashes as Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know,” Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love,” Angeal Bofill’s “Too Tough,” Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love,” Tevin Campbell’s “Tell Me What You Want Me To Do,” and top projects by George Benson, Lisa Fischer, Regina Belle, Sister Sledge, and dozens of others. In the process, he won three Grammy Awards, including as Producer of the Year in 1987.

    Walden has remained active working with artists ever since, and even went back behind the drums as a member of Journey in 2020.

    We wish Narada a very happy birthday and more great music!

    By Chris Rizik

     
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