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Cynthia Johnson

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Steven Greenberg & Cynthia Johnson

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Biography

Cynthia Johnson is an African-American singer, songwriter, producer and actor best known to many as the lead singer for the late 70s and early 80s band Lipps, Inc. and their hits Funkytown, How Long, Designer Music and Rock It.

Prior to appearing under the name Lipps Inc. in 1979, Johnson had already become well-known locally for winning the 1976 Miss Black Minnesota, USA pageant, and for being the lead vocalist of the well-known Minneapolis band Flyte Tyme for seven years. Being also an accomplished saxophone player, Johnson utilized her saxophone talents in Flyte Tyme, and was also the songwriter of many of their songs. Johnson also co-wrote some songs with band members Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, today a multi-Grammy award winning songwriting and producing team.

As the lead singer of the popular Minneapolis-based band Lipps, Inc.,she hit #1 in 28 countries with the song Funkytown, which sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and earned a place in the “One-Hit Wonders” section of the Rock & Roll Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Other singles include “Designer Music” and “Rock It”, but the group never matched the success of “Funkytown”, which continues to influence popular culture from the movie screen (e.g. Shrek 2) to the Olympics (2010 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy). The group received several awards, among them three Billboard Music Awards and “Soul Record of the Year” by the AMOA association. Johnson discontinued to appear under the name Lipps, Inc. after the third album “Designer Music” to follow new steps in her musical career.

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