Tribute and Variety
Shows are super successful. The buyer gets more bang for the buck, spending the same amount on
4 to 6 names.
The audience gets to hear a variety of artists. Win Win!
in Detroit, Michigan on September 19, 1942, Freda grew up
listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, which inspired
her growing interest in music. While still in school, she began
her musical career by singing radio commercial jingles in her
hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Her polished voice caught the
attention of music executives and other artists. She was wooed
with offers of contracts from the likes of Berry Gordy and Duke
Ellington, but her mother wanted her to finish school
first. After she did, the legendary Pearl Bailey gave
Freda her first professional job and this paved the way for her
to share the stage with other legends such as Lionel Hampton,
Sammy Davis Jr., Billy Eckstine, Quincy ]ones, Bill Cosby and
Freda toured with Quincy ]ones during his big band era,
performing at the world famous Apollo in New York and the Regal
in Chicago, among others and soon after, recorded her
first album When The Lights Go Down for Impulse
Three years later, she released her second album of jazz, How Do You Say I Don't Love You
Anymore, for MGM. She also made occasional guest appearances on different television shows including
Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson. During this time, a busy Freda
also added theatrical credits to her resume. She understudied Leslie Uggams for the Broadway show
Hallelujah Baby in 1967 and appeared with the Equity Theatre in a production of
Lost in the Stars.
Then in 1969, some of her hometown friends, brothers Brian & Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier
persuaded Freda to sign with their newly formed label, Invictus.
These distinguished songwriters were responsible for putting Motown
music firmly on the map by writing and producing million sellers
for acts such as the Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas
and the Supremes - whose last lead singer is Freda's sister
Scherrie - also blessed with an incredible vocal talent.
Freda went on to score with 2 million selling singles - Bring The Boys
Home and Band
Of Gold. She also
recorded Deeper and Deeper,
Cherish (What's Dear To You) and You
Brought The Joy. with Invictus, releasing several albums,
including Contact and The Best of Freda Payne.
Then Freda moved to ABC and later
Capitol Records, releasing such albums as Payne & Pleasure,
Out Of Payne Comes Love and Supernatural
High and Red Hot. 1993 saw the release of her critically
acclaimed album An Evening With Freda Payne that perfectly
showcases her incredible talents and incomparable jazz styling.
In the 80s, Freda concentrated on acting and television, briefly
hosting her own talk show, but never entirely losing touch with her
music. She recorded a single in 1982 entitled "In Motion"
(Sutra), and a remake of "Band of Gold" with Belinda Carlisle in
In the 90s, Freda recorded several songs for Ian Levine's UK Motorcity
label, including "Memories and Souvenirs" and "Only Minutes
Away", and released several albums Dove Music, including
her first and only Christmas album, Christmas With Freda and Friends. She also continued her acting career.
The new millenium brought a new album of jazz, pop and R&B called
Come See About Me for the Volt label and rave reviews
met the show called "Love & Payne", which featured Freda and Darlene Love
at Feinstein's at the Regency in New York City and at the Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles,
while several compilations of her music were released.
Freda Payne’s prolific career will continue to flourish and
prosper for as long as her creative juices keep flowing. Her indelible mark on the music industry is far from over.