Lillie Arlene Nicole Jade McCloud (born December 7, 1958 in Rochester, New York), commonly known by her former stage name Nicole McCloud, or Nicole J. McCloud is an American dance and R&B singer. She has recorded four studio albums, What About Me (1986), Jam Packed (1988) (aka Rock the House), Love Town (1998), and So What? (2002). Her single "Don't You Want My Love" became an international hit. Other US singles include "Runnin' Away" and "Search'n". In the late 1990s, she was also part of a house music project Voices of Freedom.
McCloud first appeared on the Billboard US R&B charts as "Nicole" in 1985 with "Always and Forever". Her single "Don't You Want My Love" in 1986 reached Top 10 in the US Dance charts, in addition to charting in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
Ten of McCloud's singles landed the US Billboard specialized R&B and dance charts. As of 2013, her biggest hit has been the 1994 single "Runnin’ Away", which peaked at No. 3 on US Dance charts. In 2002 as Nicole J. McCloud, McCloud returned to the Top 10 with "Search’n", peaking at No. 5 on the US Dance charts. That same year she received a nomination for the International Dance Music Awards, along Craig David and Shakira. She has recorded hits with Timmy Thomas, U.S.U.R.A. and The Source and has performed with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the group Kool & The Gang, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, and other artists.
In the late 1990s, McCloud joined the American house project Voices of Freedom. The trio also included Angel Williams and Simone Böhlhoff. The trio was featured in a number of recordings, notably in E-Smoove & Ni-Che 1999 single "Lift Your Hands Up" that featured the vocals of Voices of Freedom. The recording was made available through Finger Printz label. The trio was also featured in a 2002 recording by DJ Pope titled "America at War (Freedom)" on Yellorange label.
In the mid 2000s, McCloud moved to Košice, a city in Slovakia, to live together with her partner, the football trainer Günter Kronsteiner. Her first Slovakian performance took place at the prestigious Košice International Jazz Festival 2006, where she performed with jazz legend Peter Lipa. In 2010, McCloud provided the title song for Česko Slovensko má talent, the joint Czech/Slovak version of Got Talent series. It was broadcast on TV JOJ in Slovakia and on TV Prima in the Czech Republic.
In 2013, McCloud made a comeback taking part in season 3 of the American singing competition The X Factor identified as Lillie McCloud, her birth name. At the time of applying to The X Factor, she was 54 years old with three children (a son and two daughters) and seven grand children. Her audition was broadcast on September 12, 2013. She received a standing ovation and four "yes" votes from judges Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Paulina Rubio, and Kelly Rowland for her rendition of CeCe Winans' "Alabaster Box".
She was selected by the judges to progress to the Final 40 and subsequently competed successfully in the Four Chair Challenge, securing her position in the Final 16. As part of the Final Four "Over 25s", she was mentored by Kelly Rowland. She made it as far as the Top 8 but was eliminated on November 28, 2013.
In 2014, McCloud signed with the Spectra Music Group and released a single entitled "What About The Beautiful Children" and later "The Other Part of Me." She's currently recording an album which is expected for release in 2015 with a remake of her X Factor audition song, "Alabaster Box."
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