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Sharon Redd
Born October 19, 1945(1945-10-19)
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Origin New York City, United States
Died May 1, 1992 (aged 46)
Genres Urban Contemporary, House, Post-disco[1]
Occupations singer, actress
Years active 1980-1992
Labels United Artists, Prelude
Associated acts Bette Midler and the Harlettes

Sharon Redd (October 19, 1945 - May 1, 1992[2 ]) was an American singer from New York. She was the half sister of R&B singer Pennye Ford


Biography and career

Sharon Redd was born in Norfolk, Virginia to Gene Redd and Carolyn Ford. Gene Redd, was a producer and musical director at King Records and her stepfather performed with the Benny Goodman band. Her brother was a writer and producer for Kool & the Gang and BMP. Her sister Pennye Ford is also a singer with two albums to her credit.[3][3]

Sharon Redd began her recording career with four singles in 1968 for United Artists, three written and all four produced by songwriter and record producer, Bobby Susser. Susser chose the Hank Williams song, "Half As Much" for Redd's first single. Redd's vocals against Susser's bass pounding musical track, made Sharon's presence very quickly known in the music industry, though the productions were not big hits.[4]

Redd, a budding actress, got a major break starring in an Australian production of rock musical Hair. Redd was among a troupe of young African-American imports to the Sydney production, a group which notably included Marcia Hines. Redd appeared in the production from its June 6, 1969 premiere through 1971.

As Redd was becoming famous in the Australia, she was interviewed by Barry Sloane on a 1971 episode of "GTK". [5] Her popular adverts for Amoco led to her own television special. Aside from Hair, Redd also acted in Ti-Jean and His Brothers and, in 1974, traveled to London to star in an American production of The Wedding Of Iphigenia. In 1977 Redd played the role of Sherrye in "Rhoda". [6] [7] 1978 saw Redd feature as a guest in the musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. [8]

Around this time, Bette Midler was looking to replace Merle Miller and Gail Kantor, who had left after Midler's 1973 tour, to pursue their own interests. Midler auditioned over 70 performers, but Redd landed the job becoming one of Bette's Harlettes. [9] Aside from performing as a Harlette, Redd also provided backing vocals for Carol Douglas ("Burnin'" and "Night Fever"), and Norman Connors ("You Are My Starship"). Having ended their association with Midler, Redd, Charlotte Crossley, & Ula Hedwig released an LP, Formerly Of The Harlettes, in late 1977.

In 1979, Redd recorded the disco hit "Love Insurance", released by Panorama Records under the name Front Page, her own vocals uncredited. Soon she had a recording contract with Prelude Records, and Redd became the label's most successful artist. Her first album, 1980's self-titled Sharon Redd, was closely followed by two more; Redd Hott (1982) and Love How You Feel (1983). Redd placed several songs on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, including "Beat the Street", "In The Name of Love", and "Love How You Feel".

After these releases, Sharon Redd returned to her successful career as a background vocalist most notably with the group Soirée along with Luther Vandross and Jocelyn Brown. Then, in 1991 she released a single entitled "All The Way To Love", but this was to be her last solo recording.

In the midst of mounting a comeback in the early 1990s, Redd died of pneumonia on May 1 1992. Dance Music Report magazine reported her death was due to AIDS.[10]

In 1993, Pennye Ford dropped the 'e' from her name and released the album Penny Ford, which featured a duet with her sister entitled "Under Pressure".




  • 1980: Sharon Redd - Prelude
  • 1982: Redd Hot - (#1 - Hot Dance Club Play - LP All Cuts, UK #59)
  • 1983: Love How You Feel - Prelude
  • 1989: Beat the Street: The Best of Sharon Redd - Unidisc
  • 1994: Deep Beats: Essential Dancefloor Artists Vol. 3: Sharon Redd - 1994 - Deep Beats[2 ]


  • 1968: "Half As Much" (United Artists, 1968)
  • 1968: "Do You Want Me?" (United Artists, 1968)
  • 1968: "I've Got A Feeling" (United Artists, 1968)
  • 1968: "Since I Lost You" (United Artists, 1968)
  • 1969: "Easy To Be Hard" (1969, AU #32)
  • 1971: "Where The Mind Can Breathe" with Groove Myers (Amoco)
  • 1979: "Love Insurance"
  • 1980: "Can You Handle It" (1982) - (UK #31, US R&B #57)
  • 1980: "You Got My Love"
  • 1982: "Beat The Street" (US Dance #1, US R&B #41) ‡
  • 1982: "Never Give You Up" (US Dance #1, UK #20) ‡
  • 1982: "In The Name Of Love" (US Dance #1, UK #31, NL #11) ‡
  • 1983: "You're a Winner"
  • 1983: "Love How You Feel" (UK #39)
  • 1984: "Undercover Girl"
  • 1984: "Liar On The Wire" (US Dance #33)
  • 1984: "Undercover Girl" (Prelude)
  • 1988: "Second to None" (Payne Records)
  • 1992: "Can You Handle It" with DNA (re-recording, 1992) (UK #17, NL #62, NZ #41) †

DNA featuring Sharon Redd

‡ Denotes tracks from US Dance-charting LP Redd Hot which included all cuts.

[2 ]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 454. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Billboard magazine, October, 1969.
  5. ^ GTK (Ep 290, Broadcast April 13, 1971)
  6. ^ "Rhoda" To Vegas with Love 13 March 1977 (Season 3, Episode 24)
  7. ^ "Rhoda" Johnny's Solo Flight 11 December 1977 (Season 4, Episode 9)
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Andyboy (1992-05-22). "The First Cut". DMR 15 (9): 3. "The impact of AIDS on the dance music industry has been felt by many on an excruciatingly personal level. News this week of Prelude artist Sharon Redd's recent death due to AIDS once again brought reality into chillingly clear focus.".  

External links


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