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Brenda Russell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 8 April 1949Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameBrenda Gordon

Mini Bio (1)

Brenda Russell was born on April 8, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Brenda Gordon. She was previously married to Brian Russell.

Spouse (1)

Brian Russell (1974 - 1978) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (10)

Singer/songwriter/keyboardist. Recorded with former husband Brian Russell (b. 1944) as Brian and Brenda. Together they hosted the Toronto based TV show, "Music Machine".
Several songs originally written and recorded by her have been made famous when covered by other artists, eg If Only For One Night (covered by Luther Vandross), Dinner With Gershwin (though written by Brenda it was originally recorded by Donna Summer in 1987 but Brenda did record her own version in 1990) and most notably Get Here (a worldwide smash for Oleta Adams in 1991). She has also written songs for Roberta Flack, Earth Wind and Fire, Michael McDonald and Stevie Wonder.
Has one daughter, Lindsay Russell.
She and Joe Esposito had a lone top 5 hit "Piano In The Dark" in 1988.
Was diagnosed with diabetes in 2004.
Daughter of singers Gus Gordon (a one-time member of The Ink Spots) and Nancy Cinnamon Sharpe (b. 1928).
Dedicated her 1981 album "Love Life" to the memory of John Lennon.
Became a grandmother on 26 January 2007, when daughter Lindsay gave birth to a son, Nehimiah.
Her 8th studio album "Between the Sun and the Moon" is released in the UK on Dome records. She is also co-writing (with Allee Willis and Stephen Bray) music and lyrics for the forthcoming musical adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple (due for Broadway opening in the spring of 2005). [May 2004]
As well as working on a new album for Dome Records, she is one of the composers on the forthcoming musical adaption of Alice Walker's The Color Purple (due for Broadway opening in the fall of 2004) [March 2004]

Personal Quotes (4)

You have an opportunity to really suss out a good song and a bad song over several years. I have this analogy, that a song is like a boyfriend; if it lasts 6 months, it could be okay.
As far as writing for other artists, very early on I learned a good lesson from Ms. Aretha Franklin. She asked me to write a song for her, and I excitedly wrote what I thought was a good 'Aretha Franklin' song; however when she received it she said 'I wanted a Brenda Russell song'. At that moment I learned that if a certain kind of artist wants a song from me, I should write the song as if I were going to record it myself; it takes on a more personal tone and that's what the artist is really looking for sometimes, something different than what's expected from them.
I never write songs that are without hope. People have to be inspired to another level. Like: My heart can't go on! I may feel like I'm going to die, but I wont because I know something good could be around the corner. I take responsibility on myself to inspire people and even make them cry. Yes, I'll make you cry but I wont leave you hopeless.
I'm a person that collects song titles. You know, if I hear a good title, like talking to a friend or whatever, I'll write it down. I keep a little song title book. I always think that in every title there's a song somewhere, and you've just got to thin it out. So when they sent me this music, I thought, 'Whoa, it's so haunting and beautiful, I love that.' And I was flipping through my title book and I just thought, 'Piano in the Dark, I wonder if that would go with that music I heard?' That's as easy as that happened. I had that title and I thought, 'Hmmm, maybe that'll work.'

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