ANN NESBY

BIOGRAPHY

A true artist is hard to recognize. No doubt nowadays true singers are frustrated by some of today’s offerings. But not Ann Nesby. Everything in God’s time. And Ann is very patient.
So far it’s unfolded like this…Born and raised in Joliet Illinois, Ann’s love for music was directly influenced by her parents. “Both of my parents started in Gospel music” states Ann. “My mom would teach me about performance, vocal inflections, and how to express what a song was about” she says. “She told me as a child that God was going to use me to bless people with my voice” And what a blessing she is.
In 1987, a trip to Minneapolis to visit her sister literally changed Ann’s life forever. Her sister Shirley Graham had been singing with the much acclaimed Sound of Blackness for several years when Shirley and ‘Sounds’ director Gary Hines, encouraged Ann to participate in the Sounds of Blackness celebration “Music For Martin”, a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. Her performance so impressed the director that he immediately invited her to join the group. Ann accepted and and soon after relocated to Minneapolis. Following her induction into the group super producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were producing an album for pop icon Janet Jackson and while taking a break from the studio in Minneapolis Janet witnessed Ann and the Sounds of Blackness performing their rendition of “A Night Before Christmas” – A Musical Fantasy. At Janet’s insistence Jam & Lewis signed the group as their first act on the newly formed label Perspective Records.
With Ann’s voice leading the way The Sounds of Blackness went on to become one of the most nationally recognized gospel choirs in the world, generating the Top 10 Gospel/R&B hits “Optimistic”, “Testify” and “The Pressure”, earning two Grammy awards. In 1996 again under the Perspective Records umbrella Ann released her highly anticipated debut solo LP entitled “I’m Here For You”. The record solidified Ann’s individual talent generating the hit singles “I’m Still Wearing Your Name” and the emotional single “I’ll Do Anything For You”.




Things then came to a halt, after there was a merger between Perspective /A&M and Interscope Records. It would be nearly four years before Ann would release another album. Ushering in the new millennium Ann found herself at the top of the Billboard Dance Charts with two dance smashes “Love is What We Need” and “Lovin’ Is Really My Game”. On her new label Interscope her sophomore set then titled “Love is What We Need” was initially slated for release in 2000. Yet, due to lack of creative direction and support from her label, Ann found herself without a deal despite her impressive showing on Billboard’s charts. Disappointed but not discouraged, Ann, with the help of her manager/husband Tim Lee, decided to launch their own Independent label, ‘It’s Time Child Records’ and released the LP with a new title, “Put It On Paper”. The title track and first single was an unforgettable duet with the legendary Al Green, and turned out to be a hit on urban radio, immediately catching the attention of Universal Records, who signed her Ann to another deal. The relationship with Universal was short lived but the record took on a life of it’s own and went on to earn Ann her first solo nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 2003 Grammys.
In August 2003 Ann released her third solo album; an inspirational gift entitled “Make Me Better” on her own label. “I entitled the album “Make Me Better” because I never run into anyone that wanted to be worse” states Ann. “Everyone always wants to be better…I am asking God to search my life and letting the world know that I realize that God is the one who can make me and everyone better”. On the title track, Ann bares her soul asking for divine help in improving herself and her reliance to the Most High. There is also a hint of Hip Hop on the remixed version at the end of the album from up and coming producer/rapper Seneca, a must hear. In the way of Hip Hop Nesby introduces rising inspirationally driven rap artists King Cyz on “Happy” and rap artist knowledge on the track “It Won’t Be Long”. Ann, with the help from the Basement Boys (Crystal Waters, Ultra Nate), successfully uplifts her dance fans with the high powered “Can’t Stop Praising His Name” and “Shelter”.
On the first single “With Open Arms” a beautiful, emotion filled ballad produced by Herb Middleton (Kelly Price, Will Smith), Ann’s vocals seamlessly transcend the heavens. The song features two legendary Grammy award winners, pianist George Duke and jazz saxophonist Tom Scott. (Ann features on Tom Scott’s new album “A New Found Freedom” on Higher Octave /Jazz Records).





With production credits by Herb Middleton, Chucky Thompson (Mary J Blige, Faith Evans) and the legendary House icons the Basement Boys “Make Me Better” is Ann’s inspirational testimony delivered to the world the way she loves to do it, through Gospel, R&B, Hip Hop and House music, proving once again that Ann Nesby is a messenger from God, delivering inspiration to all generations through song. “I’m a storyteller who is Christian…I tell my story from a Christian point of view through the forms of music that I love best. The musical genres may be different but the message never changes”.
A true Artist indeed, when Ann wasn’t making music in the studio or touring she was on stage. Ann began acting in 1996 when she was invited to join the cast of the musical “I Know I’ve Been Changed”. The play featured Ann’s hit song “I’m Still Wearing Your Name”. “I was originally supposed to do three days with the play in Atlanta…That led to a week and then two years”. In September 2003 Ann appeared in her first major motion picture “The Fighting Temptations” starring Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Junior and Beyonce Knowles on Paramount Pictures. “I play Cuba’s Aunt Sally in the film, a role that was originally supposed to be filled by Pattie Labelle, but her schedule did not allow it so God placed me in the role instead”.
With a new album and a major motion picture film on the horizon Ann is thankful . “I’m very excited about my life… This whole project is just music that I love. I’m in my first motion picture and I have the love of my family. I guess if I put it into words I could say I’ve planted the seeds and now I’m just beginning to reap the harvest. Everyday God just makes me better and better.



Videos


DISCOGRAPHY

TITLE LABEL YEAR
Ann Nesby - Can't Stop Prasin His Name Basement Boys Records \Play
Ann Nesby - Shelter Basement Boys Records \Play
Ann Nesby - Let Your Will Be Done (Steve Silk Hurley Remix) ? \Play
Ann Nesby - Can I Get A Witness (Mousse T Ultra Mix) ? \Play
Ann Nesby - Hold On (Mousse T Uplifting Mix) ? \Play
Ann Nesby - Love Is What We Need ? \Play