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Get To Know R&B and Pop Singer, Regina Belle

Regina Belle

 

Regina Elaine Belle, an R&B and Pop singer, was born on July 17, 1963, in Englewood, New Jersey, to Eugene Belle and Lois Belle. Bernard is her only sibling. She began performing at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Englewood at a young age. Belle won a school contest when she was 12 years old, singing “Don’t Ask My Neighbors” by The Emotions.

Belle graduated from Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood in 1981 and attended the Manhattan School of Music for Preparatory College in New York City on Saturdays. She then went on to study opera and jazz at Rutgers University, where she majored in Africana Studies and Music.

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She learned to play the trombone, tuba, and steel pans while there. Belle dropped out of Rutgers during her senior year in 1985 to pursue a professional music career. She married her former professor, flutist Horace Alexander Young, that same year. They divorced in 1990 after having one child.

Belle began releasing popular singles and albums in the 1980s and continued to do so for the next four decades. All by Myself, her debut album released in 1987, peaked at 14 and remained on the Billboard Hot 200 chart for 38 weeks. It also featured her first hits, “So Many Tears,” which peaked at number 11 and stayed there for 14 weeks, and “Show Me the Way,” which peaked at number 2 and stayed there for 17 weeks. Stay with Me, her follow-up album, debuted at number one in 1989 and remained on the charts for 55 weeks.

Belle married John Sidney Battle, III, a former NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, on June 25, 1991, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. The couple had four kids. Two years later, in 1993, Belle collaborated with Peabo Bryson on the songs “I Can’t Imagine,” “Without You,” and “A Whole New World,” which was featured on the soundtrack to the 1992 Disney film Aladdin.

The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and earned a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1993, as well as an Academy Award for Best Song of the Year. In addition, Belle released the album Passion in 1993, which sold 390,000 copies. It included the single “If I Could,” which peaked at number nine on the Billboard R&B chart. “Reachin’ Back” was released in 1995, followed by “Believe in Me” in 1998.

Belle released the album This is Regina! in 2001, which peaked at number 61 and charted for 7 weeks. In 2004, she released the jazz standard Lazy Afternoon, which peaked at number 58 and stayed on the charts for 8 weeks. She worked with saxophonist Paul Taylor in 2007, co-composing and singing on his album Ladies Choice.

Belle’s debut gospel album, Love Forever Shines, was released on Walker Davis Records in 2008 and peaked at number 15 for 30 weeks. Belle underwent an eight-hour surgery for a brain tumor the following year, 2009, which left her deaf in one ear. Despite this, she was able to release the album Higher, which peaked at number 44 and remained on the charts for two weeks.

Regina Elaine Belle, 51, graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2015. Her most recent album, The Day Life Began, was released in 2016 and peaked at number 11 on the pop chart for 5 weeks.

 

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Written by How Africa News

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