La Velle

Lavelle McKinnie, a gospel and jazz singer from America, was born in Kankakee near Chicago to a musical family. Her father played the guitar in Nat King Cole’s band and her mother was a singer and dancer in the Cotton Club. Lavelle sang gospel in choirs from the age of three. She began studying piano when she was just five years old. At the age of 11 she was the youngest student to enter Chicago’s National Conservatory. She was a brilliant musician and won many awards. As a teenager, she sang Haendel’s Messiah. She continued her studies at New York’s Julliard School for Music. She began her career as a lyricist and then returned to gospel and jazz music. In Broadway’s musical Hello Dolly, she made her Broadway debut. After that, she toured the United States singing blues and ryhthm with some of the most prominent names in soul music, such as Ray Charles and Sammy Davis Jr. She moved to France in 1977 and released her first album, Winter’s Mind. In 1979, she released Playgirl, a disco single. She followed that with Brand New Start in 1979. In 1989, she did background vocals for Ray Charles

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