Manchester’s career is remarkable not only for its longevity and accomplishments, but for its versatility.
Following her time as a Harlette, Manchester’s tremendously successful solo career brought her critical and commercial acclaim. The “Midnight Blue” singer received her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance in 1979 for the Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager-penned “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” winning the Grammy in that category four years later for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Manchester has also had her songs recorded by Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, Kenny Loggins and many others. Two songs she performed, “Through The Eyes Of Love” and “The Promise,” were nominated for Oscars in the same year. She has written tunes for several other films including The Great Mouse Detective, Lady and the Tramp II, Dirty Girl, and Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls.
She has appeared on both the large (For The Boys) and small (Blossom) screen, as well as the stage, and she co-created (with lyricist Sharon Vaughn and playwright Rupert Holmes) the musical theatre sensation Sweet Potato Queens, which premiered at TUTS in Houston in 2016.
She celebrated her forty-five-year career with the release of her 21st album in 2017, The Fellas, a tribute to the iconic male singers who set the platinum standard for the music of the great American songbook.
And she’s already thinking ahead to a possible second volume. “With all of these singers, for every song I chose, there were 20 more I could have chosen,” she says. “There’s so much music to mine. I’m happy to be my fans’ guide.”
Her upcoming album, RE:VIEW, due out in 2022, features previously unreleased songs as well as fresh takes on several of Melissa’s enduring classic hits.