Frances Nero

Frances Nero

BandR&BJazz

Classic and cool vocals with the magic Motown polish of her early career, Frances enchants an audience with her mix of jazz, pop and soul.

Biography

Frances Nero ranks among the most beloved Motown divas. Like her counterparts, she is known for her polished presentation, dynamic onstage style and of course, a one in a million voice. Possessing the power of Gladys Knight and the enchanting clarity of Karen Carpenter, Frances one of a kind talent has taken her to the world’s best known music label as well as to the top of the United Kingdom’s pop charts.
This multitalented Asheville, North Carolina native has been wowing audiences since she was three years old! At ease with jazz, pop and soul, Frances’ eclectic performing style has garnered her fans far beyond the North Carolina mountains that she once called home.
Her professional recording career dates back to June 1965 she won first place in a talent contest in Detroit sponsored by WCHB. Berry Gordy was a judge and co-sponsored the contest. She sang her compelling rendition of the Shirelles’ “Everybody Loves A Lover,” and secured a contract with Motown’s Soul label, becoming the first female artist signed to that imprint. Almost immediately, Frances cut a two-sided single for the label, “Keep On Loving Me” and “Fight Fire With Fire.” The two songs have become classics on England’s Northern Soul scene and were recently featured on The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 3. After three years with Motown and little promotion, Frances put her career on hold for several years to care for her mother. Years later, tragedy would strike Frances once again in 1986, when her son was involved in a car accident that caused him severe brain damage.
Never one to let tragedy stand in the way of her goals, Frances continued forward, becoming a success in several business ventures outside of the music industry. However, in 1989, the limelight beckoned her once more when she was contacted by British producer Ian Levine to cut some tracks on his Motorcity label. She recorded “Footsteps Following Me,” which was known as the UK’s “Anthem of the 90s.” The song became a smash hit in the UK, reaching a peak chart position of #3. She appeared on such UK pop staples, including the beloved “Tops of the Pops.” She severed her ties from Levine shortly thereafter, but continued to write, create and record for her own label, Aja Records. She wrote and produced the beautiful soul ballad “Love Ride” and the classic stepper, “It Ain’t The Same Without You.”
In March, 2005, Frances was tapped to participate in the historic PBS concert special, “Motown Memories.” She shared the stage with other Motown greats like The Four Tops, The Contours, and Brenda Holloway.
Her most recent venture has been to produce an autobiographical documentary chronicling her life story and coproducing an independent comedy, “Reject Island,” with her friend, filmmaker Jeremiah Yisrael. She wrote and produced the soundtrack for “Reject Island.”
Never straying too far from music, Frances is currently in the studio working on her tribute to her first vocal inspiration, Dinah Washington. She will soon release this 11-track album of jazz standards. She already includes many standards in her live repertoire, including the classic torch song, “At Last.”
Her live show is energetic and lively and she captivates her audience. Her broad repertoire includes her own songs and compositions, Motown and soul classics and jazz standards.
Frances Nero has never been afraid to show off her talents in every arena. Her excellence in multiple genres – music, movies, theater, live performance – makes her Motown’s Dynamic Diva.

Discography

Keep On Loving Me/Fight Fire With Fire - Soul (Motown subsidiary)

1968 - Shrine Records (owned by Raynoma Gordy and Eddie Singleton)

"Lady In Waiting" (duet with Gino Parks)

1993 - Motorcity Records

"Footsteps Following Me" (UK Billboard Charts #3)

"Footsteps Following Me" - Album

"Out On The Floor" - Album

"The Best of Frances Nero" - Album

Video - "Footsteps Following Me" - UK Release

1996 - AJA Records

*"Love Ride"

*"It Ain't The Same Without You"

1997 - Compilation of Christmas Carols

"For My Very Special Fans"

2007 - Frances Nero Salutes Dinah Washington

*Written, arranged and produced by Frances