Evelyn Champagne King


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Evelyn Champagne King

Evelyn King was born on July 1, 1960, in New York, New York, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is one of eight children. King's childhood nickname was "Bubbles." Her uncle Avon Long had played the part of Sportin' Life in the first Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess and worked with Lena Horne at the Cotton Club. Her father sang back-up for groups at Harlem's Apollo Theater. Her mother managed a group called Quality Red.

King was discovered as a young woman while working with her mother at Philadelphia International Records as an office cleaner. Producer Theodore T. Life overheard her singing in a washroom and began coaching her. She was eventually signed to a production deal with Life's Galaxy Productions and a recording contract with RCA Records.

At the beginning of her career the name Evelyn King sounded "too grown-up" so the name "Champagne" was added.[9] King released her debut studio album, Smooth Talk, in 1977. It included the song "Shame", which is her only top-ten on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 9; the song also reached No. 7 Soul and No. 8 on the dance chart. The record was eventually certified gold. Another single from that album, "I Don't Know If It's Right", peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 7 Soul; it would become her second certified gold single. In 1981, the single "I'm in Love" was released from the same-titled album; it reached No. 1 on the R&B singles chart and dance chart in August of that year; it also peaked at No. 40 on the pop chart.

In 1982, King released the album, Get Loose. It yielded a top-twenty pop and #1 Soul hit with the single, "Love Come Down". The song also peaked at No. 1 on the dance chart and reached the UK Singles Chart top-ten, peaking at No. 7 for three weeks.[10] The follow-up, "Betcha She Don't Love You", peaked at No. 2 on the Soul chart and No. 49 on the pop chart. From the mid- to late-1980s, King would continue to chart on the Soul chart, placing eight singles in the Soul top-twenty, with three making it to the top-ten.

On September 20, 2004, King's "Shame" became one of the first records to be inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in New York's Spirit club.

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