Thursday, March 3, 2011

Women's History Month: Martha Wash, Queen of Clubland

By J9 of J9's MusicLife

To celebrate Women's History month, throughout March check out a series of features on women who have impacted history as it relates to music.

Martha Wash is an American,  R&B, soul, house, and club singer/songwriter.  She's known for her powerful voice.  Wash started out as a backup singer for disco, soul, gay drag performer Sylvester in the 70s.  She then formed a group with fellow backup singer Izora Rhodes called The Weather Girls.  They are behind the highly successful, Grammy nominated 1982 disco song It's Raining Men.  

In the late 80s, Wash decided to go solo singing on various dance and house music tracks.  You may have heard sing on the popular 90s songs Everybody Everybody and Strike it Up by the group Black Box or Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by the group C+C Music Factory.

Controversy erupted when Wash was labeled "unmarketable" because of her size and replaced by skinner women in music videos and marketing materials for these songs.  Look at the video for Gonna Make You Sweat below.  One would automatically assume the woman, Zelma Davis, in the video is singing but in fact she is lip syncing to Wash's vocals.

To read more click here.

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