Five, highly respected and acclaimed, music industry leaders have joined the SingerUniverse Advisory Board. They will be actively involved in making SingerUniverse the best site possible. Here, in alphabetical order, is a brief bio of each Board member.
Walter Afanasieff has been one of the most successful and acclaimed record producers & songwriters for the past two decades. Winner of the Grammy Award for Producer Of The Year in 1999, Afanasieff has produced 13 number one hit singles, many of which he also co-wrote. He has worked with an array of superstar, chart-topping singers/artists, including Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Destiny’s Child, Ricky Martin, Michael Bolton and Christina Aguilera. In addition, Afanasieff is renowned for his work on major movie soundtracks, producing the theme song hits from Titanic, Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin, License To Kill, Hercules and Hunchback Of Notre Dame.
Afanasieff has had seven #1 hits via his collaboration with Mariah Carey, including producing & co-writing “Hero,” “One Sweet Day” (w/Boyz II Men) and “My All,” and producing “Dreamlover,” “I’ll Be There” and “Love Takes Time.” His other hits with Carey include “Butterfly,” “Can’t Let Go,” “Close My Eyes,” “Forever” and “Whenever You Call” (w/Brian McKnight). For Celine Dion, he produced the Oscar & Grammy-winning hit, “My Heart Will Go On.” Afanasieff has also produced the #1 hits “Beauty And The Beast” (Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson), “A Whole New World” (Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle) and “When A Man Loves A Woman” (Michael Bolton).
Other hits produced and/or co-written by Afanasieff include: “She Bangs” (Ricky Martin); “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely” (Christina Aguilera & Ricky Martin); “Love Is A Wonderful Thing” (Michael Bolton): “I Knew I Loved You” (Savage Garden); “Can’t Stop The Rain” (Peabo Bryson); “Go The Distance” (Michael Bolton); “Time, Love And Tenderness” (Michael Bolton); “Tell Him” (Celine Dion & Barbra Streisand); and “Endless Love” (Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey). In addition, Afanasieff is known for co-producing & co-writing several, platinum albums for Kenny G., and for his production & co-writing for Josh Groban on both of his best-selling albums, Josh Groban and Closer.
Afanasieff is currently working on many new, top recording projects, including a duet song between the Backstreet Boys & Boyz II Men called “Jealous,” and a new duet version of “A Whole New World” by Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey. He is also working on a Christmas album with Clay Aiken, and a new duets album with Kenny G. He is also composing music for Disney’s upcoming, animated film, Noah’s Ark.
With a legendary career now spanning three decades, Chaka Khan has been one of the most influential, acclaimed and best-selling artists of her time. As a solo artist, and with her band Rufus, she has won eight Grammy Awards and been nominated an astounding 18 times. Chaka has also had three platinum and six gold albums, seven gold singles, and 10 #1 R&B hits. She has created memorable music and set standards in almost every music genre, including pop, R&B, rock, disco, fusion, jazz, hip-hop and even classical. She is regarded by her music peers, and by her fans, as one of the most outstanding vocalists in the modern pop era.
Chaka first arrived on the music scene in 1973 as the lead singer for Rufus, one of the first, multi-racial bands of its time. Rufus artfully fused R&B, rock & funk for an innovative, new sound. The group (best known as Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan) broke through with their hit “Tell Me Something Good” (written for Rufus by Stevie Wonder). They followed with a string of hits: “You Got The Love” and “Sweet Thing” (both co-written by Chaka), Once You Get Started,” “Everlasting Love,” “Do You Love What You Feel” and “Ain’t Nobody.”
Chaka launched her solo career in the late ‘70s with the hit, “I’m Every Woman” (written for Chaka by Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson). She continued her hit success with such classics as “I Feel For You,” “What Cha Gonna Do For Me,” “Through The Fire,” “Clouds,” “Papillon (aka Hot Butterfly),” and “Got To Be There.” Other notable recordings include her brilliant interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie’s “And The Melody Still Lingers On (A Night In Tunisia),” her featured vocal performance on Steve Winwood’s smash “Higher Love,” her duet with Ray Charles on “I’ll Be Good To You,” and her duet with Bruce Hornsby on “Love Me Still.” Chaka also demonstrated her virtuosity as a premier jazz vocalist with her performances on the 1982 release, Echoes Of An Era. In addition, she has been involved with the recording of 15 movie soundtracks, contributing performances to Waiting To Exhale, Clockers, Set It Off, White Knights and Moscow On The Hudson, among others.
In 1999, The Chaka Khan Foundation was established to aid and assist women and children at risk by helping programs which assist: women and their children to transit poverty; rehabilitation from drug abuse; battered women; and artistic, cultural health and educational programs.
More information about Chaka Khan can be found at her website:
Jay Landers has been one of the most prominent, successful creative execs in the music business for the past 25 years. Currently Senior Vice President of A&R at Verve Music Group, he has served as Executive Producer or A&R exec for many prestigious, multi-platinum albums. Landers has worked closely with, and supervised the recording projects of such superstar artists as Barbra Streisand, Hilary Duff, Josh Groban, Frank Sinatra, Bette Midler, Neil Diamond, Julio Iglesias, and James Taylor. He has expertly worked in a wide range of musical genres (from rock & pop to Broadway & classical), and in many different media (recordings, movies, TV, concerts, musical theater). Also notably, Landers has produced or contributed to numerous soundtrack projects, including Finding Nemo, The Princess Diaries, Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin, the Lizzie McGuire TV series, and the Fame TV series.
Landers became an influential music publisher at a young age. He quickly became adept at discovering and picking “hit songs,” and developing talent. Landers was hired by industry icon Charles Koppelman to do A&R for The Entertainment Company. He selected songs and worked on hit albums by Streisand, Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson and Stephanie Mills. He also worked on the popular Fame TV series, which included hit soundtrack albums & singles, plus extensive, international concert touring. Landers subsequently managed and championed the band Cock Robin (featuring Peter Kingsbery), which sold four million units and enjoyed major success in Europe.
He then became an A&R exec at Columbia Records, where he became renowned for his A&R work with legendary pop artists like: Streisand, Diamond, Iglesias and Johnny Mathis. He has since been Executive Producer/A&R for every Streisand album, including Back To Broadway, Higher Ground, The Essential Barbra Streisand, Duets, and the recent The Movie Album. Landers also was Co-Executive Producer (w/ Disney’s Chris Montan) for “Beauty And The Beast” (Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson) and “A Whole New World” (Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle). Landers later joined EMI Records, working on the massively successful Duets albums by legend Frank Sinatra, and many other hit albums.
Landers joined Walt Disney Records in 2000, where he has enjoyed numerous successes. Most notably, he demonstrated his tremendous versatility, as Executive Producer (w/ manager Andre Recke) of Hilary Duff’s worldwide smash album, Metamorphosis. Landers has also been a music exec on many hit Disney movie soundtracks, plus Radio Disney CDs and Disney Channel soundtracks.
Lis Lewis is a popular voice teacher and performance coach in Los Angeles. She has combined her love for teaching and music for over 30 years, working with such high-profile artists as Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, Britney Spears, Jack Black, members of Linkin Park, the E Street Band, Journey, KISS and many others. She collaborates with managers, record labels, producers and songwriters to help optimize the performance skills of their artists. Notably, Lewis has just been named the vocal coach for the 2006 edition of the popular CBS-TV reality show, Rock Star.
In 1989, Lewis started The Singer’s Workshop in Los Angeles, aimed at supporting the unique gifts of singers. She has also taught at many colleges, music schools and conferences including the Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco, the National Academy of Songwriters in Los Angeles, UCLA Extension and Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts in Liverpool, England. She continues to offer voice classes and performance workshops, as well as workshops involving how to succeed in the music industry.
Lewis is the author of two books, The Singer’s First Aid Kit and The Pop Singer’s Warm-Up, both accompanied by CDs and published by Hal Leonard, with whom she is currently negotiating to write a third book. She has also written a prolific series of articles aimed at helping artists with subjects ranging from breathing techniques, voice control, charisma, style, creativity and vocal health, which have been published by independent A&R website, TAXI, among others, and can also be found on her website, The Singers Workshop, along with articles from others music industry professionals.
Lewis is also the publisher of The Angel City Voice, an online magazine devoted to offering news, humor, products and information for singers, which can be accessed through her website.
Lewis remains very busy, offering private lessons and workshops, as well as maintaining her website and online magazine. She also takes on special projects, assisting artists who are preparing to go on tour or record albums in the studio.
For the latest articles and information by Lis Lewis, and to sign up for The Angel City Voice, please visit her website: www.TheSingersWorkshop.com.
Billy Mann is one of the world’s leading songwriters and producers, penning lyrics and music for some of music’s great artists. Mann is now also a top music executive: he has been appointed President of Creative at BMG North America.
During the past few years, Billy has had 5 singles in the Top 10 on various charts and his talent as a multi-genre writer/producer is underscored by the diversity of the artists with whom he works: Pink, Sting, Jessica Simpson, Josh Groban, Anastacia, Celine Dion, Ricky Martin, Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, Martina McBride, Hall & Oates, Art Garfunkel, Michael Bolton, Carole King, Nick Lachey, Jessica Andrews, Fat Joe and many others. Matt Lauer of the Today show has described Billy as the producer/writer who helps artists find their voice.
Billy Mann co-wrote and produced seven songs on Pink’s new album I’m Not Dead, including the smash hit “Stupid Girls.” He also co-wrote and produced her hit “God Is A DJ” from her previous album Try This. In addition, Mann served as Executive Producer, producer and co-writer for teen artist Teddy Geiber’s debut hit album. Notably, he co-wrote and produced Jessica Simpson’s #1 single “With You” (as well as producing the entire repackage of Jessica Simpson’s double-platinum album, In This Skin, which includes the singles “Take My Breath Away” and “Angels”). Mann has also produced and collaborated with classic artists: writing the #1 (AC) title track for Hall & Oates’ latest album, Do It For Love; garnering critical acclaim for producing Everything Waits To Be Noticed, Art Garfunkel’s first solo effort in decades; and remixing the Sting/Mary J. Blige duet, “Whenever I Say Your Name.”
Billy Mann is soon to extend his musical expertise into the realm of TV as an Executive Producer of Sony Pictures/VH1’s The New Partridge Family. Upcoming songwriting/production projects and current releases include songs with Anastacia, Robi Draco Rosa, Delta Goodrem, Ricky Martin, Backstreet Boys, Ness, Kyprios, Tarkan, Shakaya, Candice and many others.
Mann is also a highly regarded solo artist, whose two critically acclaimed albums for A&M Records: Billy Mann (1995) and Earthbound (1998) yielded radio hits in the US and Europe. Earthbound was voted the #1 album of the year, in 1998, by NPR/PRI’s national radio show, The World Café. In addition to his writing and production work, Billy Mann’s company, Stealth Entertainment, represents several newly signed artists and songwriters.
For the latest information on Billy Mann, please visit his website: www.BillyMann.com.