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Lisa Fischer

Lisa Fischer, 2008 Courtesy Hans Eder
Background information
Birth name Lisa Melonie Fischer
Also known as Xēna
Born December 1, 1958 (1958-12-01) (age 51)
Origin New York City, New York United States
Genres R&B, Rock, Pop, Electronic dance music, Soul, freestyle
Occupations Singer-songwriter, guitarist, Composer
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1983 - Current
Labels Elektra
Associated acts Luther Vandross
Rolling Stones
Bernard Fowler
Tina Turner

Lisa Fischer is an American Grammy Award-winning R&B vocalist, known for her impressive vocal range that reaches to the whistle register, and her 1991 smash hit single "How Can I Ease the Pain". Fischer has been recognized as one of the most successful session vocalists of the era.[1] She is considered one of the most powerful melodic voices in the music world.[2]


Early life

Fischer was born in the Fort Greene neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City, New York. Before pursuing a solo career, she accompanied R&B singer Luther Vandross as a backup singer on his tours & albums until his death, in addition to providing backing vocals for artists including Melba Moore and Billy Ocean. She has worked with many other famous singers, both as a session vocalist and a backup singer. Musicians she has supported include Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, Teddy Pendergrass and Roberta Flack.

Musical career

1983-1990: Singing Backup

In 1983, under the stage name Xēna, Fischer released a freestyle single, the electro classic "On the Upside,". In 1984, a club track she recorded entitled "Only Love (Shadows)" was briefly featured in the motion picture Beat Street and was later released in 1995 as part of the Hot Productions The Best of Criminal Records compilation.

1990-1993: So Intense

Her career peaked with the 1991 release of "How Can I Ease the Pain" from her album So Intense, which went number one on the R&B charts and won her a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1992. The album spawned three Top 20 R&B hits and peaked at #5 on The Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Also it peaked at #100 on the Billboard 200 chart. Fischer also provided stirring vocals on the power ballad "Colors of Love" which was featured on the soundtrack album for the film Made in America. Fischer stated the reason for her not releasing more albums, was because she enjoyed being a backup singer much more than a solo singer.

1995-2007: Rolling Stones

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Fischer is currently a singer and songwriter and has been touring as a backup vocalist with the Rolling Stones since 1987. She worked as a backup vocalist during the same period of time for Luther Vandross for the 22 years prior to his death, having to juggle her time between his concert tours and those of the Rolling Stones, with whom she has a growing audience as she plays the foil to Mick Jagger onstage more and more frequently. There are songs that have become staples during tours with the Rolling Stones. One song, "Gimme Shelter" showcases her vocal talents and is frequently on the set lists during their live concerts.

2007-present: Return to the music industry

Fischer has also toured with Tina Turner for her Twenty Four Seven Tour. The tour was the top grossing of 2000 worldwide. She continued to sing backup for Tina Turner and The Rolling Stones as well as compose songs for herself and up-and-coming artists. Lisa was recently featured in an April issue of Jet Magazine' "Where Are They Now?" column. She hopes to record a new album soon. Fischer just finished touring with Tina Turner on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour. She is featured on Turner's new live DVD/CD, entitled Tina Live. She and Turner sing It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It) together and after Turner leaves the stage, Fischer completes the song solo.

Ms Fischer sang on Sting's album "If On A Winter's Night" as a backing vocalist. In September 2009, Sting and his band of musicians, including Fischer, performed the songs live in Durham Cathedral. The rehearsals as well as the concert were filmed and have been released as a DVD. The behind the scenes documentary surrounding the event was produced jointly by the BBC and was screened on 29 December.



  • 1991: So Intense
  • 2010: Return of Xena


Year Title U.S. U.S. R&B U.S. Dance Album
1990 "Glad To Be Alive" - 31 - The Adventures of Ford Fairlane soundtrack
1991 "How Can I Ease the Pain" 11 1 - So Intense
"Save Me" 74 7 2
1992 "So Intense" - 15 -
1993 "Colors of Love" - 18 - Made in America OST
2009 "Human Beings" - - - Return of Xena

Soundtrack appearances

  • 1990: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
  • 1992: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  • 1993: Made in America

Album appearances


Awards and nominations

Year Award
1991 Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Single - Female for "How Can I Ease the Pain" (win)
1992 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "How Can I Ease the Pain" (win)
1991 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for "How Can I Ease the Pain" (nomination)


External links

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