While other people sit at the door waiting for opportunity to knock, Pontiac, Michigan native Melanie Rutherford, unapologetically kicks the door down. Bold, brash and extremely talented, this twenty something singer/songwriter has been wowing music educators and industry professionals alike since the age of five. She began singing at the age of three. As a kindergarten student, Melanie Rutherford was selected to sing a solo behind the fifth grade choir at Bethune Elementary School. After hearing a seven year old Melanie sing at a talent competition, legendary gospel great, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark remarked that she had “an anointing on her voice.” Just last year, Universal Music/Motown recording artist KEM, named Melanie one of his musical inspirations, alongside Michael Jackson, Prince and Chaka Khan. (The Michigan Frontpage, Project Next Edition: 11-30-07)
As a student at Pontiac’s Central High school she continued to win numerous music accolades and scholarships including: securing a number two ranking in the Michigan Solo Ensemble Competition and scholarships from the James Tatum Foundation for the Arts and the Zeta Phi Beta sorority. Melanie was also awarded a full music scholarship to Dillard University in Louisiana. After her stint in college, Melanie returned to Detroit more determined than ever to pursue a music career. She continued singing and writing, perfecting her crafts.
Taking her destiny into her own hands, Melanie went to Florida in 2002 to attend the Impact Music Conference intent on making something happen. It was there that she met Def Jam recording artist, Redman and her professional singing and songwriting career was launched. Impressed by her vocal and songwriting prowess, Redman signed Melanie to his label, Gillahouse Records. Melanie’s affiliation with this bonafide East Coast rap legend provided her with an entree into the world of hip-hop and rap music. Melanie blew through the door and never looked back. Her voice is a well recognized contributor to the musical soundtrack of this generation, having written and sang hooks on records for some of the most influential rap and hip-hop artists of today including: Erik Sermon, Keith Murray, Slum Village, Redman, Pharoach Monch and Phat Kat among others. She has also written songs for R & B artists Faith Evans and Carl Thomas. In addition to feature performances and songwriting placements, Melanie has recorded two critically acclaimed R & B CDs.
Her 2004 debut CD “You’ve Got Mel” released on Flawless Records is a rare disc that has developed a cult following despite the fact that it is out of print. In 2007, “Relationships in My Own Words” was released by True Substance Records. Soul Brother Records the largest independent soul music record store in England featured Relationships in My Own Words as the CD of the month in November 2007. Attention generated from her latest CD has fueled the demand for countless live performances including a live performance with her band Phat Greasy on the Fox 2 Morning Show. Melanie has a great love for all types of music, and is known for the diversity of her singing and songwriting talents.
Vocally and musically, she is a compelling, vivid, and versatile artist who has blown music lovers away with her incredible vocal range and texture. Fans have compared her sound to Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan and Jill Scott. Melanie is not currently signed to a record or publishing deal. She is busy promoting “Relationships in My Own Words,” performing live and writing and recording her next CD. She continues to reside in Pontiac, Michigan where she manages her publishing company, Mellosmooth Publishing.
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