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Carleen Anderson

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Carleen Anderson is an American soul singer who has had success in the United Kingdom. She is the daughter of the singer Vicki Anderson and step-daughter of Bobby Byrd, and cousin of Jhelisa and was most well know as the lead singer in the Young Disciples as well as for her own solo career.

Anderson was raised by her paternal grandparents in Houston, Texas during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Her mother was Vicki Anderson, a soul singer who was the featured singer with James Brown during the 1960s and 1970s, and Brown is Anderson’s godfather. Anderson briefly married in 1978 and had a son, but the marriage did not last and for most of the 1980s she was living as a single parent in California and attempting to launch her singing career. Her only major success was recording vocals for a song by her step-father Bobby Byrd in 1988, and so in June 1990, she decided to relocate with her son to England to try her luck at starting a career there.

Anderson quickly formed an Acid jazz band with Marc Nelson and Femi Williams called the Young Disciples. The group’s only album, Road to Freedom (Talkin’ Loud, 1991), was a great success and contained the break-out single Apparently Nothin’ (Talkin’ Loud, 1992). Anderson received a lot of attention as the lead singer (and keyboardist) of the group, and used her heightened profile to negotiate a new, solo recording contract with Virgin Records in 1992.

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