About the Artist
Regina Belle was born in Englewood, New Jersey. It was at Englewood's Mount Calvary Baptist Church, and then Paterson's Friendship Baptist Church (presided over by Belle's uncle, the Reverend Fred Belle), that Regina Belle began attracting attention with her vocal abilities. She sang her first solo in church at age 8; and by age 17, she was the church's star singer. Belle attended Dwight Morrow High School where she studied trombone, tuba and steel drums. After graduation, she studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music. At Rutgers University, she became the first female vocalist with the school's jazz ensemble. Belle's musical influences include Phyllis Hyman, Billie Holiday, Donny Hathaway, and Nancy Wilson. She was introduced to the Manhattans by New York radio DJ Vaughn Harper and began working as their opening act. She recorded the duet "Where Did We Go Wrong" with the group which helped to attract the attention of Columbia Records. They eventually signed her to a record deal In 1987, she released her debut album All By Myself. It includes her first hits "So Many Tears" and "Show Me the Way." Her follow-up album, Stay with Me, released in 1989. Belle recorded a duet in 1991 with Johnny Mathis, "Better Together" which appeared on his album Better Together: The Duet Album. Continuing her tradition of duets, Belle teamed up with Peabo Bryson for the songs "I Can't Imagine", "Without You" and "A Whole New World", which was the featured pop single from the soundtrack to the 1992 Disney movie Aladdin. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and won the Grammy Award in 1993 for "Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal as well as a "Best Song" Oscar in the same year Later in 1993, Belle released her Platinum selling third album, Passion. The album featured the Disney hit "A Whole New World", "Dream In Color" and "If I Could", which reached # 9 on the R&B charts. Belle released Reachin' Back in 1995 followed by Believe in Me in 1998.