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Martha Wash

Martha Wash in Sommarkrysset, Gröna Lund.
Background information
Born December 28, 1953 (1953-12-28) (age 56)
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Genres R&B, soul, house, dance
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Years active 1974 - present
Labels RCA Records (1993 - present)
Associated acts The Weather Girls, C+C Music Factory, Black Box, Sylvester, Luther Vandross, Tony Moran, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder
Website Official website

Martha Wash (born December 28, 1953) is an American R&B, soul, house, and club/dance singer/songwriter known for her distinctive and powerful voice.


Early career

Wash began her music career as a backing singer for Sylvester. With fellow backing singer Izora Rhodes, she was half of "Two Tons O' Fun", who would later be renamed The Weather Girls. As such, they were responsible for providing much of the fire-power behind several of the late singer's earliest releases — often their voices were mixed so that Sylvester was actually the background singer and Wash and Rhodes voices were upfront. When the singers left to pursue a career on their own, they achieved success with a handful of successful disco-oriented tracks, culminating with the 1982 release of "It's Raining Men", a worldwide hit that peaked at #2 on the UK singles chart, #1 in Australia, #1 on the Euro Hot 100, #46 on the Billboard Hot 100, #34 on the U.S. R&B chart, and #1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. It also reached the top ten in numerous other countries. "It's Raining Men" still receives regular play in dance clubs and R&B radio to this day. It stands as one of the classic songs of the late-disco and Hi-NRG era. The Weather Girls scored a few moderate, lesser-known hits with "Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man for Christmas)" and "No One Can Love You More Than Me" in 1985.

Solo career

Later, when the Weather Girls disbanded, Wash continued to lend her vocals to various dance and house music tracks. Several of them became massive pop, R&B and dance hits. She sang lead vocals on all three of Black Box's U.S. top-forty hits, including the top-ten smashes "Everybody Everybody" and "Strike It Up", as well as "I Don't Know Anybody Else" (which charted at #23 in the U.S.). All three of these hit singles continue to receive regular club-play and mainstream radio airplay to this day. In addition, Wash sang lead vocals on the lesser-known Black Box tracks, "Fantasy" (#5, UK), "Open Your Eyes", and "Hold On". All six of these songs appear on the Black Box album Dreamland. Also, she performed the lead vocals on Seduction's "You're My One and Only (True Love)", and The C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)", which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.

With the Milli Vanilli scandal still fresh in the minds of the music industry, Wash, also perturbed by the fact that her image had been labeled "unmarketable" because of her size, successfully sued to receive proper credit and royalties as the vocalist on all of these songs. Wash's courtroom efforts spurred legislation making vocal credits mandatory on CD's and music videos. It also awarded her a recording contract with RCA Records, which led to her debut, self-titled solo album in 1993. The album scored three top ten club/dance hits including "Carry On", "Give It to You", and "Runaround." The first two hit number one.

In 1994, Wash covered Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff" for the soundtrack of the film "Disney's D2: The Mighty Ducks 2." Two years later, she recorded a cover version of Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" for the soundtrack of the film The First Wives Club

Recent work

Wash, a notable star within the gay community, continues to record new music into the 21st century such as her first new single in more than 5 years, "You Lift Me Up" - a fusion of gospel and house, which is the first song produced on her own label, Purple Rose Records - 2005. Wash performed in the opening ceremony of the World's first OutGames in Montreal in July 2006. She has also performed at numerous Human Rights Campaign events in the U.S. The gay-themed podcast Gay Pimpin' with Jonny McGovern dedicated an episode to Wash and she obliged them with an extended telephone interview.

In 2006 Wash appeared as a guest on GSN's I've Got a Secret, and performed "It's Raining Men" for the all-gay panel.

DJ Tony Moran's compilation CD The Event featured a single featuring Martha entitled "Keep Your Body Working". It reached #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart for the week ending December 22, 2007.

She was a performer at the annual Big Gay Day in Brisbane, Australia on March 9, 2008. She also performed at the Chicago Gay Pride Street Fest on June 28, 2008, at the Nightingale as part of the Birmingham, England, bank holiday festival on August 23, 2008, at Washington, DC Capital Pride on June 14, 2009, and at the Opening Ceremony of the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series in Milwaukee, WI on August 31, 2009.




Here is a list of the artist's Number One singles (group, solo, credited and uncredited) as determined by Billboard magazine as well as significant entries. Peak chart position for non-number ones shown in (parentheses). Billboard Hot 100 Positions and Australian ARIA Chart positions are depicted in designated parenthesis as well.

  • 1978 "Dance (Disco Heat)"
  • 1980 "Just Us" (#2)
  • 1980 "I Got the Feeling" (#2)
  • 1980 "Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven" (#2)
  • 1982 "It's Raining Men" (#46, Billboard Hot 100; #1, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play) (with The Weather Girls)
  • 1983 "No One Can Love You More than Me" (#26, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play) (with The Weather Girls)
  • 1985 "Well-a-Wiggy" (#76, Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks) (with The Weather Girls)
  • 1989 "You're My One and Only (True Love)(#3) (#23, Billboard Hot 100)(with Seduction)[1]"
  • 1990 "I Don't Know Anybody Else" (#23, Billboard Hot 100; #3 AUS, #4, UK) (with Black Box)
  • 1990 "Everybody Everybody" (#8, Billboard Hot 100; #35 AUS) (with Black Box)
  • 1990 "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" (#1, Billboard Hot 100; #3 AUS) (with C+C Music Factory)
  • 1991 "I (Who Have Nothing)" duet with Luther Vandross #1 R & B Charts
  • 1991 "Fantasy" (#3 AUS, #5, UK) (with Black Box)
  • 1991 "Strike It Up" (#8, Billboard Hot 100; #20 AUS) (with Black Box)
  • 1992 "Carry On" (#1, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play)
  • 1993 "Give It to You" (#90, Billboard Hot 100; #1, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play)
  • 1993 "Runaround" (#10, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play)
  • 1994 "Do You Wanna Get Funky?" (#40, Billboard Hot 100; #11 AUS) (with C+C Music Factory)
  • 1994 "Leave a Light On"
  • 1995 "It's Raining Men...the Sequel (#22)
  • 1996 "Keep on Jumpin'" (duet with Jocelyn Brown) (#1, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play)
  • 1997 "Somethin' Goin' On" (duet with Jocelyn Brown)
  • 1998 "Catch the Light" (#1, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play)
  • 1998 "Come" (#4, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play)
  • 1998 "It's Raining Men...the Sequel" (#54 AUS) (duet with RuPaul)
  • 2000 "Listen to the People" (#14)
  • 2004 "You Lift Me Up" (#4)
  • 2007 "Keep Your Body Working" (with Tony Moran) (#1, Billboard Hot Dance Club Play)

See also

External links


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