High Inergy was a briefly popular girl group from Pasadena, California. Initially consisting of Michelle Martin, Linda Howard and sisters Vernessa and Barbara Mitchell, the quartet was discovered by Berry Gordy's sister Gwen and was signed to Motown in 1976. Their debut album Turnin' On was a success on the strength of their popular single "You Can't Turn Me Off (In the Middle of Turning Me On)." Unfortunately that would be the quartet's commercial high point.
High Inergy never landed another hit in either the Soul or Pop Top 40, though it wasn't for lack of trying. They released an amazing eight albums in a six year period, the last half dozen of which were made without Vernessa, who left for a successful solo Gospel career. They hit the lower end of the Soul charts with "Lovin' Fever" and "Shoulda Gone Dancin" and had a very nice, if underappreciated, final release, the pop/dance number "He's A Pretender," before splitting in 1984.
Vernessa went on to score a number of Gospel and Dance hits over the 80s and 90s, the biggest of which was the Gospel stepper "This Joy," and came back in 2004 with a popular club hit, "You Took My Life." She now heads Higher Ground Ministries and continues to record and perform around the U.S. in Gospel shows. Sadly, group member Linda Howard died in December 2012, just a few months after releasing her first solo single, "I'm Not Mad."
By Chris Rizik