Like many Soul Music vocalists, Queens, New York native Meli'sa Morgan began singing as a child in church and dreamed of a performing career. By the time she was a teenager, Morgan was singing in local bands and entering talent contests. She was accepted and attended Julliard School of the Performing Arts and also attended the famed Lee Strassberg acting school.
Once out of school Morgan began paying her dues as a backup singer, both on stage and in the recording studio, working with a number of major artists including Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan. She also had a brief stint as a featured singer in the dance group Shades of Love. Her strong, deep voice caught the attention of Capitol Records, and she was signed to a solo recording contract in 1985.
Morgan's debut single, a cover of Prince's "Do Me Baby," shot to the top of the R&B charts and the album of the same name hit the top five. It showed Morgan to be an appealing, sultry singer and a developing songwriter. She followed "Do Me Baby" with another R&B hit, "Do You Still Love Me." For her 1987 sophomore disc Good Love, Morgan teamed with then-hot songwriter/producer Kashif (Tavares, Evelyn King) and climbed the R&B charts again with "Love Changes" -- to this day perhaps her most celebrated song -- as well as the top five "If You Can Do It I Can Do It Too."
Morgan continued to record on Capitol in the late 80s but never recovered the magic of her first two discs. After recording her 1992 disc Still In Love With You on Elektra, which barely cracked the R&B top 40, Morgan stopped recording. She spent the rest of the decade providing guest vocals for other artists ranging from James "JT" Taylor to Kim Waters to Jay Z and also worked the Gospel play circuit. A collection of her best 80s work, Do You Still Love Me? The Best of Meli'sa Morgan, was later released by Razor & Tie Records.
In 2005, over a decade after her last chart hit, Morgan signed with Orpheus Records and released a new disc, I Remember. It won for her the Female Vocalist of the Year in the SoulTracks Readers Choice Awards. Meli'sa Morgan continues to tour in multi-artist shows, particularly on the East Coast of the US. In 2013, Meli'sa teamed with saxman Najee on the hit song "In the Mood to Take It Slow."
By Chris Rizik