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Phyllis Hyman

Devoted fans of the late singer Phyllis Hyman describe her as a songstress extraordinaire with a no-nonsense attitude, and a lavish, larger than life stage persona. Deep-voiced and statuesque, Phyllis sang with a life affirming energy and emotional intensity found in few other female vocalists. Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Philadelphia, her professional career began in New York city where, during an engagement, she was spotted by producer Norman Connors and contemporaries Jean Carne and Roberta Flack among others. Phyllis was immediately offered a guest appearance on Connors' “You Are My Starship” album, which included her rendition of “Betcha By Golly Wow.”

In 1977 Buddah Records released her self-titled debut LP which featured the hits Loving You/Losing You and I Don't Wanna Lose You. A year later Hyman was signed to Arista Records. Her premiere album for the label was “Somewhere In My Lifetime,” released on 1978. The title track (produced by then newcomer Barry Manilow, a longtime admirer of Hyman's) became Phyllis' first radio hit. A cover version of Exile's Kiss you All Over was remixed for club play as part of Arista's promotion, showcasing her versatility. The following year “You Know How To Love Me” hit the record stores, and the title track became one of Hyman's biggest dance anthems. She would include it in her repertoire until the time of her passing.

In 1981 Phyllis starred in the hit Broadway tribute to Duke Ellington, Sophisticated Ladies and continued in the role for two and a half years, garnering a Tony Award nomination and a Theatre World Award for Best newcomer. The original cast recording was released by RCA and still remains a top seller on CD. While performing in Ladies, Phyllis cut her next album, “Can't We Fall In Love Again” (1981) featuring the title track, a duet with Michael Henderson. Phyllis was at the peak of her career at this period, was widely recognized as a New York celebrity. She was everywhere.

“Goddess Of Love” (1983) featured a sensational cover shot of Hyman at her most seductive, draped in a silver bugle beaded gown (which, according to Phyllis, weighed thirty pounds!) and sporting chandelier-sized earrings, a Hyman trademark. The recording, although containing two strong tracks, was patchy at best and Phyllis, discontented with the material chosen for this project was blunt about her feelings toward the record label and its cavalier attitude towards her. "Firstly, I came to the label because of the takeover of Buddah.so I didn't have much choice in the matter," she recalled. "There were some nice records, but I'd say I was pretty much overlooked and ignored." Ironically, the title Goddess of Love stuck with Phyllis as a term of endearment from both critics and fans.

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HANKA G
voice / vocals
Hazel Mitchell-Bell
voice / vocals
Acacia Grace
voice / vocals
Mary Cross 2NspireU
voice / vocals
Maxi Wood
voice / vocals

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Goddess Of Love...

Philadelphia International Records
2013

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One On One

Philadelphia International Records
1998

buy

Forever With You

Philadelphia International Records
1998

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Remembered Featuring...

Philadelphia International Records
1998

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The Legacy Of

Philadelphia International Records
1996

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Videos

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