Lee Aaron performing in Toronto, 1987
|Birth name||Karen Lynn Greening|
|Born||July 21, 1962 Belleville, Ontario, Canadain|
|Genres||Glam metal, hard rock, jazz|
|Occupations||Vocalist, songwriter, musician|
Lee Aaron Project
Lee Aaron (born Karen Lynn Greening on July 21, 1962, in Belleville, Ontario) is a Canadian rock and jazz singer. She had several hits with titles such as "Metal Queen", "Whatcha Do to My Body", and "Sex with Love".
Lee Aaron began singing in school musicals at the age of five. She was discovered singing in a music production when she was fifteen years old, and was asked to join a local rock group called "Lee Aaron" while still in high school in Brampton Ontario. Aaron sang, played alto saxophone and keyboards in this first incarnation of the band.
At age seventeen, Aaron's face was badly bruised and her nose broken when she was in a car accident. No surgery was required, but years later, in a profile on Aaron, Canadian Musician Magazine mistakenly embellished the incident into Aaron requiring complete facial reconstruction. The magazine printed a retraction in the following month's issue.
That same year, she signed with her first manager, Bob Connolly. Aaron was removed from playing any instruments and pulled centrestage to front the band.
Aaron's debut 1982 album The Lee Aaron Project on Freedom Records (later reissued on Attic) featured a who's who of the Toronto music scene, with members of Moxy, Santers and Triumph's Rik Emmett. The album, available in England only as an import, created a groundswell of interest that resulted in Aaron's appearance that year at the prestigious Reading Festival.
In late 1982, Aaron flew to New York and posed semi-nude for the men's magazine OUI. The magazine's March 1983 issue featured Aaron on the cover and in an interview. Aaron later concluded that posing for the magazine damaged her musical credibility; she regretted the decision and assigned blame for it to pressure from her manager.
1984's recording of the album Metal Queen resulted in a multi-album deal with Attic Records. During the recording of Metal Queen, guitarist John Albani joined the band and he and Aaron formed a solid songwriting partnership that would last eleven years. Aaron walked out on her management deal with Connolly the following year.
Between 1984 and 1992, Aaron toured almost non-stop, including over twenty European tours and appearances in Japan and the US. She released six albums on Attic Records in Canada, as well as international releases in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia and Japan. She has won three Toronto Music Awards for Best Female Vocalist, eight Juno nominations, and topped dozens of European music polls.
In 1992, Aaron left Attic Records to start her own label, Hip Chic Music, and released two more albums. On 1994's Emotional Rain (distributed by A & M Canada) Aaron worked with Don Short and Don Binns (Sons of Freedom), Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie's Tin Machine), and Knox Chandler (The Psychedelic Furs).
1995's 2preciious was a project record written with members of Sons of Freedom. It was critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful, as she tried to drop the name "Lee Aaron" entirely and use her real name, Karen.
In 1997, she began exploring jazz and blues, her first love. In 2000 she released Slick Chick, again on her own imprint, Barking Dog Music (with distribution by Fusion 3). Aaron played extensively for this release, showcasing at The Top of the Senator in Toronto and numerous jazz festivals across Canada and Europe.
In 2002, Aaron was approached to audition with the Modern Baroque Opera Company. She was cast and appeared that year in an ALCAN Performing Arts Award-winning production called 101 Songs for the Marquis De Sade.
Lee Aaron continues to play both rock and selected jazz shows.
Albums from 1984 through 1992 have been re-issued on CD by Unidisc Music Inc.
Emotional Rain is available through Solid Gold Records.
Slick Chick and Beautiful Things can be obtained through many online websites, most notably her own, LeeAaron.com
There have been several incarnations of the Lee Aaron Band. Many of her musicians played in the touring band, but not on her albums, and vice versa. The following is a partial list of some of the musicians who have appeared on Lee Aaron's albums.