Susannah Melvoin

Susannah Melvoin

 

Susannah Melvoin grew up in a Los Angeles based musical family, the daughter 

of legendary composer, keyboardist and long-time NARAS President Michael 

Melvoin. 

Singing from the age of 8 Susannah got her first taste of professional recordings 

as a jingle singer for television and radio. By her late teens she was working as a 

session singer in Los Angeles by night, for David Geffen and MCA Publishing by 

day. 

Some of her earliest sessions were alongside R&B star James Ingram, for the 

legendary Quincy Jones who subsequently employed her as a staff singer and as 

a member of his newly crated a-cappella group. 

By 1983 she had come to the attention of then up and coming musician Prince 

via long time friend Lisa Coleman, keyboard player in his backing band The 

Revolution. 

Blown away by Susannah’s impromptu version of Aretha’s ‘Until You Come Back 

To Me’ Prince became enamoured with her voice and asked her to sing on the 

debut album from Apollonia 6 before enlisting her as co-lead vocalist for a new 

group called The Family, who would score a US Top 10 R&B hit with ‘Screams Of 

Passion’. After the dissolution of The Family Susannah joined twin sister Wendy 

as a member of the newly expanded Prince & The Revolution and contributed to 

numerous successful albums including ‘Around The World In A Day’ (which also 

featured her late brother Jonathan), ‘Parade’, ‘Sign O The Times’, and ‘The Black 

Album’. ‘Sign O The Times’ quirky ‘Starfish & Coffee’ gave the public the first 

glimpse of Melvoin’s immense songwriting talents. 

After leaving the “Prince camp” publisher/producer Dick Rudolph (Minnie 

Ripperton, Teena Marie) signed Susannah to development deal but sadly a solo 

album was never released. 

She worked in the studio and on the road with with Wendy & Lisa on their debut 

album, co-writing the European hit single ‘Honeymoon Express’ as well as 

subsequent releases ‘Fruit At The Bottom’ and ‘Eroica’ before inking a publishing 

deal with Chrysalis Music. 

Some of the artists to have recorded Susannah’s material include Madonna (‘Ray 

Of Light’ album), Eric Clapton, B.B King, Arc Angels, Doyle Bramhall II and UK 

pop outfit All Saints who scored a massive hit with her song ‘Pure Shores’, one of 

the biggest selling singles of 2000. During this period the ever creative performer 

tried her hand at acting and appeared in several critically acclaimed independent 

films. 

Susannah’s resume also boasts projects, studio work and/or live performances 

with Seal, Billy Idol, Donna Summer, Trevor Horn, Questlove, Erykah Badu, 

Tchad Blake, Mitchell Froom, William Orbit, Neil Finn (of Crowded House fame), 

UK dance outfit The Grid, PInk Floyd’s Roger Waters and, most recently the 

forthcoming project for the legendary Chaka Khan.