*There’s not many – if any – singers/recording artists that can say they recorded a cover of a Prince song and it soared much higher on the music charts than the man of purple took it. Yet, R&B/soul singer and recording artist, Meli’sa Morgan, can make such claims.
In 1986, Morgan, who was signed with Capitol Records at the time, recorded Prince’s “Do Me Baby” on her debut album for the storied record label. The song shot to No. 1 on the R&B charts and stayed there for four weeks.
Surprisingly, Morgan had some reservations about recording “Do Me Baby” which Prince had recorded just a few years earlier.
“Of course I did,” Morgan told EURweb’s Lee Bailey with a huge laugh. “I was not feeling the song, but my father convinced me to do it. He told me to go on in the studio and sing the hell out of it. His OK gave me the confidence and encouragement to know that I could do it, because I didn’t think that I had the kind of sexuality to pull off the song.”
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While Morgan did not say, she will probably sing the song on Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 at the 2nd Annual Kashif & Friends Black Music Month Celebration, which will be held at Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California. There are two shows (7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) each night. Morgan will be featured at each show.
“It’s going to be wonderful,” said Morgan, a native of Queens, New York. “Kashif and I have been friends for so long. Even before I did ‘Do Me Baby’ I was on the road touring with him. It was good to get a call from him saying that he was performing and touring again. I’m really glad to be a part of this, especially with the connection that he and I have with the song, ‘Love Changes.’ ”
“Love Changes,” which reached No. 2 on national R&B charts was released in 1987 and featured a duet between Morgan and Kashif. Other songs that Morgan recorded which have charted include, but not limited to, “Do You Still Love Me?”, “If You Can Do It: I Can Too!”, “Back Together Again” (with Freddie Jackson), “Fool’s Paradise,” “Here Comes the Night,” and more.
In the early 1980s, Morgan was the lead vocalist for a group called “Shades of Love,” which charted the hit single “Keep in Touch (Body to Body).” She also found success on the national charts with the song “Feelin’ Lucky Lately,” a tune she recorded with two other singers under the group name “High Fashion.”
Word of Morgan’s exceptional and powerhouse voice quickly spread through the music industry, which led to background work with such recording artists as Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Melba Moore, and others, including a talented producer, songwriter, singer, keyboardist by the name of Kashif.
“He’s responsible for me being on Whitney Houston’s first album, singing background on ‘Thinking About You,’ ” recalled Morgan. “I’ve learned so many things from Kashif by being on the road and in the studio with him. He has been both a friend and a mentor.”
Soon after touring with Kashif, Morgan signed a record deal with Capitol, which led to her release of “Do Me Baby.” And as they say, the rest is history.
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Since the successful recording of “Do Me Baby,” Morgan has always felt a special bond with the late, great Prince. While she and Prince never performed or recorded the song together, he greatly approved of her work on the song.
“He always said to me, ‘Thank you for a great song,’ ” Morgan recalled. “That was the biggest and best compliment from him to me because he wrote the song.”
While many news outlets around the world are reporting that Prince died of an accidental overdose of a powerful opioid, Morgan, who was deeply saddened, said she chooses to remember the mega-talented songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, performer, and producer in other ways.
“For Prince it was always about the songs, the music, the passion, and making people happy.” she said. “That’s what I’m going to remember about him. I am blessed that he let me record ‘Do Me Baby,’ which was one of the most successful records that I ever recorded. I love Prince.”
Morgan added, “I’m getting ready to do the Apollo Theater’s Walk of Fame induction of Prince,” said Morgan, who has signed with a new record company, has a new single (So Good), and is engaged to be married. “I’m going to sing ‘Do Me Baby’ at the induction. I’m glad that I have the song in my life, in my show, in my career, where I can continue to perform it for the people. The blessings continue.”
To purchase tickets for the 2nd Annual Kashif & Friends Black Music Month Celebration, log on to catalinajazzclub.com, or call 323.466.2210. To learn more about the life and career of Meli’sa Morgan, find her on Facebook: Meli’sa Morgan FAN PAGE1.