Wendy Melvoin is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, who is well-known for her work with Prince Rogers Nelson, an American singer and songwriter, in his band The Revolution, and also for her musical collaboration with Lisa Coleman, with whom she formed the famous duo ‘Wendy & Lisa’, also known as Girl Bros. The Emmy Award-winning duo ‘Wendy & Lisa’ released their debut album in 1987. They proceeded to release five other albums, including ‘White Flags of Winter Chimneys.’ Most of their albums have been quite successful. In the recent years, they have been focusing on writing music for films and television series. Coming to her personal life, Wendy hails from a musical family; her father was the famous jazz pianist (and former NARAS president) Mike Melvoin. Her sister is a singer and her late brother was also a musician.
In 1980, Lisa Coleman joined Prince's rock band The Revolution on keyboards and piano. In 1983, when guitarist Dez Dickerson left the band, Coleman recommended Wendy, who was selected. The band started recording for the film ‘Purple Rain’. They also released an album with the same name, which brought good reputation for the band. Despite being associated with rock music, the band incorporated rhythm and blues, pop, funk, and psychedelia elements, which made the album unique. The album sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and the song ‘Purple Rain’ won two Grammy Awards.
Next, the band released the album ‘Parade’ in March 1986, which was acclaimed by music critics, and was named one of the best albums of 1986. Shortly after the release of the album, Wendy and Lisa left the band as they felt that they were not getting the recognition they deserved, and were not given proper credits for their contributions.
In 1987, Wendy and Lisa released an album ‘Wendy and Lisa’, and followed it up with ‘Fruit at the Bottom’ in 1989, which entered the Top 30 single list in the UK. In 1990, they signed a contract with Virgin Records in the US and Europe, and released the album ‘Eroica’. In the 1990s, the duo worked on several film projects with record producer Trevor Horn, and wrote several songs with Seal, Joni Mitchell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Pearl Jam, and many others.
Wendy and Lisa also contributed vocals to the soundtrack of the comedy film ‘Toys’, and scored for the film ‘Dangerous Minds’. Eventually they acquired expertise in scoring and also contributed to TV shows like ‘Crossing Jordan’, ‘Heroes’ and ‘Touch’.
They released their independent album ‘Girl Bros’ in 1998. In 2004, they contributed to some of the tracks on Prince’s album ‘Planet Earth’. In 2008, their album ‘White Flags of Winter Chimneys’ was released, and in 2011, they released the album ‘Snapshots’.
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Wendy Melvoin was born on January 26, 1964, in Los Angeles, California, to jazz pianist Mike Melvoin and Sandra Melvoin. Mike, who passed away in 2012, was the member of the Los Angeles session musician collective ‘The Wrecking Crew’, and served as chairman and president of The Recording Academy. Wendy’s brother, the late Jonathan Melvoin, was the keyboardist of ‘Smashing Pumpkins’, and her twin sister Susannah Melvoin is a singer and composer.
In April 2009, Wendy talked about her sexual orientation in an interview with ‘Out’ magazine, and publicly revealed that she was a lesbian, and was, in the past, romantically involved with Lisa Coleman, who is still her musical partner.
In 2007, Wendy and Lisa received the Top Television Series Award from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Film and Television Music Awards for their work on ‘Heroes.’ They also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title in 2010 for ‘Nurse Jackie’. In 2014, they received the Shirley Walker Award from ASCAP, for their contributions to the diversity of film and television music.