Jody Vanessa Watley, an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and performer, was born on January 30, 1959. Her music spans several genres, including pop, R&B, jazz, dance, and electronic soul. She was a member of the r&b/funk group Shalamar in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
This group had several hits, particularly in the UK. She was nominated for three Grammy Awards and won the Best New Artist Grammy Award (as a solo artist) in 1988. She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard in 2008 and prominently featured in Vogue Italia’s landmark black issue in the same year.
She was named the 21st-most successful dance musician of all time by Billboard in December 2016, and Watley was honored as a Crossover Music Icon Honoree for her ground-breaking contributions and influence during the 2017 Black Music Honors TV special.
Jody Watley was voted number 53 on Billboard’s list of the most outstanding female performers of all time in August 2018. Jody Watley was appointed the National Museum of African American Music’s first ambassador in March 2021.
At Jody Watley Day at the Georgia State Capitol in 2022, Jody Watley received an honorary doctorate in business from Joe Biden and the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Women’s Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Jody Watley Net Worth: How Much Money Does She Have?
Singer, songwriter, and record producer Jody Watley of the United States has a $6 million fortune. Jody Watley is widely regarded as a top 1980s iconoclast. Pop, R&B, Jazz, and Electronic Soul are just a few styles she explored in her music. Watley’s first job was on the TV dance show “Soul Train” when she was just 14 years old.
Then, from 1977 to 1984, she was a member of the groundbreaking R&B outfit Shalamar. Watley went solo after the band broke up, releasing her first album that same year (1987). The singles “Looking for a New Love,” “Don’t You Want Me,” and “Some Kind of Lover” all reached the top 10 in the United States, and the album quickly sold a million copies.
Later that year, Jody won the Grammy for Best New Artist thanks to this album. Her next album, “Larger Than Life,” went gold thanks to the success of singles like “Everything” and “Friends,” as well as the US #2 smash “Real Love.” “Affairs Of The Heart” and “Intimacy,” Jody Watley’s subsequent albums, solidified her reputation as one of the most exciting and skilled modern soul singers.
After the success of her fifth studio album, “Affection,” in 1995, she decided to start her own record label, Avitone Records. Since then, she has released four more albums: Flower (1998), The Saturday Night Experience (1999), Midnight Lounge (2001), and The Makeover (2006).
As a pioneer and innovator in dance, fashion, music, and film, she is still most revered for her contributions to these fields. Her duet with Eric B. & Rakim on “Friends” is often cited as the first instance of the standard Pop/R&B/Hip-Hop formula incorporating a rapper on a specialty verse/bridge.
How Did Jody Watley Start Her Career?
Watley was an original member of the R&B group Shalamar, which he joined after graduating from high school. Between the years 1977 and 1983, she was a member of the band. During her time with the band, they released multiple albums and scored numerous international and domestic hits.
However, she eventually left the band due to disagreements over Shalamar’s artistic direction and unpaid royalties from Solar Records. Watley left Shalamar and relocated to England, where she recorded “Different Style!” with Musical Youth, a British Jamaican roots reggae band.
Anne Dudley, Gary Langan, and J.J. Jeczalik are just a few of the other artists she collaborated with. She stayed for almost 2.5 years before returning to the States and signing with MCA Records. Her first solo studio album, “Jody Watley,” was released in the spring of 1987.
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Due mainly to the success of the album’s lead song, “Looking for a New Love,” the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Over four million copies of the album were sold worldwide, and it peaked at number ten on the U.S. “Billboard 200” chart.
Watley was honored as the year’s Best New Artist at the Grammys. In early 1989, Watley released her second studio album, “Larger Than Life.” Eleven of the album’s twelve tracks were written or co-written by her. The record did as well as its predecessors, going Gold.
Album highlights included the singles “Real Love,” “Looking for a New Love,” “Everything,” and “Precious Love.” At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, the “Real Love” music video was up for several awards.
Two Soul Train Awards, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Female Artist, and a Grammy for Best Selling R&B Album by a Female Artist were all up for grabs in 1990 thanks to her nominations.