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Jermaine Stewart
Birth name William Jermaine Stewart
Born September 7, 1957(1957-09-07)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.[1]
Origin Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died March 17, 1997 (aged 39)
Homewood, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Pop, R&B, soul, funk, funk-rock, New Wave, dance
Occupations Singer-songwriter, dancer
Years active 1984–1997
Labels Arista Records, Reprise Records
Associated acts Shalamar, Culture Club

William Jermaine Stewart (September 7, 1957 – March 17, 1997) was an American pop singer, best known for his Billboard hits, "The Word Is Out" from his 1984 debut album of the same name, and "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" in 1986, from the album Frantic Romantic.


Early life and career

Born in Columbus, Ohio,[1] to parents Ethel M. and Eugene Stewart, in 1972, the Stewart family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he took his first steps toward a career in entertainment. This was followed by a stint on Soul Train as a dancer. He became a backing vocalist and dancer for Shalamar while recording backing vocals for Culture Club. He was featured on the group's 1983 album Colour by Numbers, and as a result the group helped him land a recording contract with Arista Records.

Stewart gained success with the song "The Word Is Out" from the album of the same name. The 1986 Frantic Romantic album, with the hit single "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off," went on to become a million seller, and a second single, "Jody", was released, the inspiration of the song being Jody Watley of Shalamar. A modest success, "Jody" reached both the United Kingdom and United States Top 40.

Stewart's third album was his most successful internationally. Titled Say It Again, the production was handled largely by Andre Cymone. Supported by international live dates with his band, The Party, the title track became Stewart's second U.S. Top 40 Billboard hit and also reached the U.S. R&B Top 10. In the UK Singles Chart it reached number 7, helping the album into the Top 40.

The next three singles all received remixs by Phil Harding. "Get Lucky" (UK #13), "Don't Talk Dirty to Me" (UK #61) and "Is It Really Love" found European success, particularly in Germany, where "Don't Talk Dirty to Me" was one of the biggest selling records of 1988, making the Top 5.

His fourth and final album under his contract with Arista Records was What Becomes a Legend Most. In 1989, Stewart sang "Hot and Cold", co-written by Andy Summers, which featured over the closing credits on the film Weekend at Bernie's. In 1992, Stewart teamed up with Chicago producer Jesse Saunders for his last recorded work, an album for Reprise Records, Set Me Free. The title track was released as a single in the U.S., but sold poorly. The album remains unreleased.


Stewart died of AIDS-related liver cancer on March 17, 1997 at age 39 in the Chicago suburb of Homewood, Illinois.[2]

In 2005, a compilation album was released by BGF Records, an Ohio record label run by Stewart's brother.





  • 1983: "The Word Is Out" (US Pop #41, US R&B #17)
  • 1985: "I Like It"
  • 1986: "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" (US Pop #5, US R&B #64, UK #2)
  • 1986: "Frantic Romantic"/"Versatile"
  • 1986: "Jody" (US Pop #42, UK #50)
  • 1987: "Don't Ever Leave Me" (UK #76)
  • 1987: "Say It Again" (US Pop #27, US R&B #15, UK #7)
  • 1988: "Get Lucky" (US R&B #69, UK #13)
  • 1988: "Don't Talk Dirty to Me" (UK #61)
  • 1989: "Is It Really Love"
  • 1989: "Tren De Amor" (UK #97)
  • 1990: "Every Woman Wants To" (UK #95)
  • 1992: "Set Me Free"


  1. ^ a b Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press. pp. 370. ISBN 1-556-52754-3.  
  2. ^ Easley, Terri. Seasons of Destiny. Xulon Press. p. 123. ISBN 1-606-47152-X.  

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