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Jermaine Stewart

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Jermaine Stewart (September 7, 1957 – March 17, 1997) was an American singer, best known for his androgynous image as well as his twin hits: “The Word Is Out”, from his 1984 debut album of the same name, and “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”, from 1986’s ‘Frantic Romantic’. Born in Columbus, Ohio to parents Ethel M. Stewart and Eugene Stewart, Jermaine always enjoyed dancing and, in school, he would often give dance lessons to other children for a $1 a lesson.

In 1972, the Stewart family (which consisted of his parents, Jermaine, his sisters Norma, Sondra, Leandra, and Leanna, and finally his brother Gene) moved to Chicago, Illinois. He took his first steps towards a career in entertainment there. Stints on both American Bandstand and later Soul Train as a dancer helped to fuel his ambition.

Soon, Jermaine became a backup singer and dancer for several artists such as The Chi-Lites, The Staple Singers and Shalamar while recording backup vocals for such artists as Culture Club. He was featured prominently on the group’s 1983 album Colour by Numbers and as a result the group used their influence to help him land a solo recording deal with Arista Records.

The 1986 Frantic Romantic album with the hit single “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” quickly went on to become a million seller, and a second single, “Jody” was released, the inspiration of the song being Jody Watley of Shalamar. A modest success, “Jody” reached both the U.K. and U.S. top 50.

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