||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2012)|
|Birth name||Jacqueline Graham|
15 September 1956 |
|Genres||Dance, soul, R&B|
|Associated acts||David Grant|
Jaki Graham (born 15 September 1956) is an English singer. Following her hit version of "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" with David Grant in 1985, Graham scored a further five UK Top 20 hits over a two-year period. In 1994, her cover version of Chaka Khan's hit "Ain't Nobody" reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Dance Chart.
Graham was born in Birmingham. She originally sang in a band called Ferrari, and then went on to the band Medium Wave, before becoming a backing vocalist for UB40. She appeared on their version of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross" as well as UB40's own "Sing Our Own Song" (1986). She was also in a band called White Lines with former Bakerloo and Little Acre sax player George Northall in 1977.
She went on to achieve notable solo chart success in 1985, including two singles in which she duetted with the former Linx vocalist David Grant. The first, a cover of "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" reached #5, and the duo had a second hit the same year with the song "Mated" which reached #20.
Graham also had several hits by herself, including "Round and Around" (#9), "Set Me Free" (#7), "Step Right Up" (#15) and "Breaking Away" (#16).
Graham also continued to work as a backing vocalist, and in 1990 she provided backing vocals on Kim Wilde's, "I Can't Say Goodbye". In 1993 she also provided vocals for "Dreams" and "Jack & Jill", two singles released by the dance music outfit, 'Essence'.
Despite her star status in the UK, Graham's success in the United States failed to cross over from the dance/club audiences, though she scored a number one hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1994, with her cover version of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody".
Since the 1990s, many of her albums were released only in Japan, where she remains popular.
In 2005, Graham performed on the ITV singing contest, Hit Me Baby One More Time singing her "Set Me Free" and a version of Will Young's "Your Game". Graham's most recent single, a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition", was released exclusively to HMV stores on 21 November 2005.
In 2008, EMI announced the digital download release of expanded versions of Graham's Heaven Knows and Breaking Away albums. These versions included many 12" mixes of her singles, which until now have only been available on vinyl. On 27 April 2009, her third album, 1989's From Now On, was re-released as an expanded download, again featuring additional bonus tracks.
On 23 October 2009, Graham performed at the Birmingham Town Hall with the BBC's Big Band, to perform special arrangements of Gershwin songs, in a show entitled Gershwin and Soul. Due to the success of this show (which was transmitted on BBC Radio 2 in November 2009), Graham went on to perform Duke Ellington's songs on 12 March 2010. Songs from both shows will feature on her new live album, due for release in early 2011.
Cherry Pop Records re-released Graham's 1986 album Breaking Away on CD in August 2010. The album contained three additional bonus tracks that were not featured on the 2008 digital release by EMI. In October 2010, a new compilation album, Absolute Essential - The Very Best of Jaki Graham, was released by Demon Music in the UK.
In 2011, Graham performed with Cliff Richard on his Soulicious UK Arena tour. In addition to singing a duet with him, Graham also performed one of her own songs. She performed 'This Time With You' as the duet and 'Could It Be I'm Falling in Love' as her solo - night after night, Jaki received thunderous applause. Jaki joked with Cliff and his fans saying that 'He's my baby - ladies eat your heart's out!' and the audiences loved it! Cliff has spoken warmly about Jaki on radio and TV appearances and on his Vintage TV interview with Mike Read in October 2011, he sang a few lines of 'Could It Be I'm Falling in Love'.
In January 2012, Graham had been in the studio with Manchester DJ and record producer 'Nine Lives' featuring on a new dance version of "Round and Around". She also collaborated as a featured vocalist with Nine Lives on a new track entitled "1985", which is to be released by Vendition Records in 2012.
In March 2012, it was reported on Graham's official website that she was going into the recording studio with DJ Paul Rudd, to re-record a new song entitled "Set Me Free", influenced by her 1986 single. A UK release date for the single is 14 May 2012, with an international release date to follow. In the same month her official website also confirmed that she would be recording a new studio album, due for release in late 2012 or early 2013.
Jaki performed a live set for Dune FM on 18 May 2012 at Southport's Pontin's resort and it was attended by some fans who had travelled from Middlesbrough especially to see Jaki perform - following her appearance on the Soulicious Tour.
June 2012 saw Jaki's official website confirm that the title of her new album would be "For Sentimental Reasons" and the artwork for the album was released via her website and Facebook page.
On 1 September a new look official website was launched and 3 days later it was confirmed that "For Sentimental Reasons" would be released by Cherry Red Records on 15 October in the UK & Europe. On the same day, pre-ordering was made available direct through the Cherry Red website for the CD version of the album.
3 October 2012 saw Jaki receive an honour from Birmingham City Council - she was presented her own star on Broad Street's 'Walk of Stars' - featuring lots of other famous Midland talents. The invite only event took place at the classy Nuvo Bar and Club at Brindley Place. The evening started with the Birmingham Lord mayor making a speech about Jaki, followed by him presenting her with her star. This was followed by a question and answer session where Jaki talked about lots of things in her life and excitingly about her new CD 'For Sentimental Reasons' and her upcoming autobiography (due Spring 2013) 'Heaven Knows'. Jaki's son, Ryan performed a live set with his guitar. Then Jaki took to the stage to perform a selection of her biggest hits and 4 new tracks from the new CD. The new tracks were greatly received. Jaki happily posed for photos and chatted with all of the guests throughout the evening. School friends, family, fans old and new and competition winners - as well as the media and members of the council - were all in attendance. A significant moment in Jaki's career.
Jaki gained a large following of new fans as a result of the 2011 Cliff Richard Soulicious Tour. Many of these fans now follow her Facebook and Twitter pages. Some of the Cliff fans have attended Jaki's shows following the 2011 tour. Jaki even made a live appearance at the Cliff Richard Birmingham Fan Club annual party in October 2012 performing a few of her hits and tracks from For Sentimental Reasons.
Jaki has recently been promoting 'For Sentimental Reasons' on both radio and TV. Tracks are often featured on BBC Radio 2 - Paul O Grady and Barbara Windsor praised the CD. Michael Poulter, DJ for BBC Radio Newcastle has featured a track most Sunday evenings on his show since the album release.
Jaki's management company have hinted at a possible 2013 UK Tour and a launch of official merchandise in the near future, as well as a range of sex toys.
- Heaven Knows (1985) (#48 UK)
- Breaking Away (1986) (#25 UK)
- From Now On (1989)
- Real Life (1994)
- Best Shots (1995) (compilation)
- Hold On (1995)
- Rhythm of life (1996)
- Don't Keep Me Waiting (1997)
- My Life (1998)
- Heaven Knows (expanded edition) (2008)
- Breaking Away (expanded edition) (2008)
- From Now On (expanded download edition) (2009)
- Greatest Hits Live! (Download & CD; 2009)
- Real Life (download edition) (March 2010)
- Rhythm Of Life (download edition) (March 2010)
- My Life (download edition) (March 2010)
- Breaking Away (Special Edition CD) (August 2010)
- Absolute Essential - The Very Best of Jaki Graham (October 2010)
- For Sentimental Reasons (October 2012)
- "What's the Name of Your Game" (1984)
- "Once More with The Feeling" (1984)
- "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" (duet with David Grant) (1985) (#5 UK)
- "Round and Around" (1985) (#9 UK)
- "Heaven Knows" (1985) (#59 UK)
- "Mated" (duet with David Grant) (1985) (#20 UK)
- "Set Me Free" (1986) (#7 UK, #15 US Dance)
- "Breaking Away" (1986) (#16 UK)
- "Step Right Up" (1986) (#15 UK)
- "Still in Love" (1987) (#83 UK)
- "No More Tears" (1988) (#60 UK)
- "From Now On" (1989) (#73 UK)
- "The Better Part of Me" (1989) (#79 UK)
- "Touch Me (When We're Dancing)" (1991)
- "Band of Gold" (1992)
- "Ain't Nobody" (1994) (#44 UK, #1 US Dance)
- "Breaking Away (1994)" (1994)
- "You can Count on Me" (1995) (#62 UK)
- "Absolute E-Sensual" (1995) (#69 UK, #3 US Dance)
- "Style" (1995)
- "Christmas Song" (1995)
- "Seek & You Will Find" (1996)
- "The Only Love" (1996)
- "You and I" (1997)
- "Don't Keep Me Waiting" (1997)
- "Walking on Water" (1997)
- "My Life" (1998)
- "The Look of Love" (1998)
- "Superstition" (2005)
- "1985" (with Nine Lives) (2012)
- "Set Me Free 2012" (with DJ Paul Rudd) (release 14 May 2012)
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- Number-one dance hits of 1994 (US)
- List of black Britons
- "Vendition Records". Vendition Records. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- "Jaki Graham". Jaki-graham.com. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- "TCM Music Group - CD release information for "Greatest Hits Live!"". Retrieved 7 June 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 233. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- The Official Site
- Jaki Graham Facebook
- Jaki Graham at Vh1.com
- Jaki Graham on MySpace.com
- Jaki Graham 2012 Audio Interview at Soulinterviews.com