Club Nouveau

Turning soul, funk and hip-hop sounds into a strutting, modern style of pop music in the 1980s, Club Nouveau were one of the early New Jack Swing acts and found major success with their debut album in 1986, Life, Love And Pain. Jay King originally made his name as the producer of Timex Social Club, a Bay Area R&B group who toured with Run DMC and New Edition, and scored the biggest-selling single of 1986 with post-disco track Rumors. Their success was remarkable at the time considering they were releasing their music independently through King's own label, and when they split he recruited singers Valerie Watson English, Samuelle Prater, Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy to form Club Nouveau. Their use of synths and drum machines brought something new to the unfashionable soul music of the time and singles Jealousy, Situation #9 and Why You Treat Me So Bad were all popular on the R&B scene. It was their cover of Bill Withers' Lean On Me that brought them international attention when it topped the US charts for two weeks and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B song in 1987. They couldn't repeat the success on albums Listen To The Message and Under A Nouveau Groove however, but they were later sampled by hip-hop act Luniz on their hit I Got Five On It and by Puff Daddy on Satisfy You.

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