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Amii Stewart Biography: Inside The Life Of The American Disco And Soul Singer

Amii Stewart

 

Amii Stewart was a well-known American disco and soul singer best remembered for her 1979 hit song “Knock on Wood,” a disco remix of Eddie Floyd’s 1966 R&B smash of the same name. She was born in Washington, D.C. on January 29, 1956, to Joseph Stewart II and Mary Stewart, and was named after her mother’s sister. She was “raised in a big, [strictly Catholic, but] fun loving, country style family,” she says.

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Stewart’s father enrolled her in singing and dancing lessons when she was four years old. Stewart modified the spelling of her first name since an Amy Stewart was already registered with the Actors Equity Association. She studied modern dance and ballet with the District of Columbia Repertory Dance Company after leaving Howard University. Stewart appeared in a number of musical performances, including the stage play Bubbling Brown Sugar (1975).

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Stewart met Barry Leng of Hansa Records in London’s West End, who became her record producer. In 1978, she made her first recording with Leng, “You Really Touched My Heart.” Stewart released “Knock on Wood” and “Light My Fire/137 Disco Heaven” in February 1979, both produced by Leng.

“Knock on Wood” peaked at number one on the Billboard charts on April 20, 1979, and was followed by “Light My Fire/137 Disco Heaven,” which peaked at number five on June 16, 1979. Stewart received a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Knock on Wood” at the 22nd Annual Grammy Awards in 1980. Stewart moved to Italy in 1985 and recorded “Together, Together,” a duet with Mike Francis, an Italian composer/musician. The song reached number one in Italy and number twelve in the United States.

Stewart returned to the stage in 2000, playing Mary Magdalene in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. In 2003, she starred in Lady Day, a musical written and produced by her that was based on the life of Billie Holiday, whom she represented. Stewart also served as a goodwill ambassador for the Italian UNICEF, recording the charity’s “Love Song” in 2006. Stewart worked on the recording with Ennio Morricone. The single’s proceeds were donated entirely to the “Check Out for Children” campaign.

Stewart is a single man who has been in Italy since 1985.

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Written by How Africa News

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