|Birth name||Jeffrey Daniels|
|Born||August 24, 1957|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, dancer, choreographer|
|Associated acts||Shalamar, Jody Watley|
Jeffrey Daniel (born Jeffrey Daniels; August 24, 1957, Los Angeles, California) is an American dancer, singer-songwriter and choreographer, most notable for being a member of the R&B vocal group Shalamar. In Nigeria he is best known as an Idol series judge.
Daniel first performed "the backslide", a physically complicated dance technique (originally performed by the dance group "The Lockers"), now known as the "moonwalk" on British television, during a performance of Shalamar's "A Night to Remember" on Top of the Pops. The song was a hit in 1982, almost a year before Michael Jackson moonwalked on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television broadcast; he was a big fan of Soul Train - on which Jeffrey Daniel had been a back-up dancer. According to Jackson's sister La Toya, Jackson was a fan of Daniel's dancing and sought him out. He soon met, hired and learned from Daniel.
Daniel became a renowned and respected pioneer of the West coast Street dance movement. He and his peers took a style of dance from the streets and clubs to the mainstream music and media world. The world saw a fusion of Jazz, Popping, Locking, Robotics, Waacking, House and Hip hop merged into effortless sequences of remarkable physical complexity.
During his career he has taught, worked and ranked alongside other friends and dance pioneers such as Shabba Doo, Geron Casper Candidate, Derek Cooley Jackson/Jaxson, Popin' Pete and The Electric Boogaloos.
Daniel gives great credit to a man that inspired him, the original dance 'Locker' Don Campbell, one of the earliest Soul Train dancers. He also gives thanks to Cleveland Moses Jr. his partner on Soul Train and to Tyrone Proctor who was the premier 'Waack' dancer who taught Jeffrey the style of dance known as 'Waacking'. It was on Soul Train whilst doing a routine dressed in black that Daniel and Geron 'Caszper' Candidate and Derek 'Cooley' Jackson/Jaxson first performed the moonwalk on U.S. television.
Daniel and his Soul Train dance partner Jody Watley, (whom he had known since she was twelve years old from church) along with Howard Hewett, became the world famous soul funk group - Shalamar. They had a string of hits such as "A Night to Remember", "I Can Make You Feel Good", "There It Is", "Friends", and others. Daniel had become something of a style icon with his ever-changing hair styles and unique dress sense. He was often seen on the London club scene with the likes of Bananarama, Wham and Culture Club. On June 13, 1980, Daniel married R&B singer Stephanie Mills, but they divorced shortly after.
After seven years, millions of albums sales, and tours around the world, Shalamar performed at London's Wembley Arena and went their separate ways in 1984. Soon after, Daniel took on the role of 'Electra' in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new West End musical Starlight Express which involved wild costumes with complex choreography on roller skates.
Also in 1984 Daniel appeared in the Paul McCartney movie Give My Regards to Broad Street displaying his signature robotic or marionette-like dancing style (with McCartney, his wife Linda McCartney and members of the band Toto made up as marionettes) to the Wings hit, "Silly Love Songs".
By 1987, Daniel was working with Michael Jackson who had always been a fan of Daniel's dance style since watching him on Soul Train in the 1970s. He was hired as co-choreographer on the "Bad" and "Smooth Criminal" videos with primary choreographer Travis Payne in which he also starred with his "dance brothers" Geron "Caszper" Candidate and Derek "Cooley" Jackson/Jaxson.
He was later employed as a creative and choreography consultant on his world tours and the video Ghosts. Daniel's music and dance expertise was then employed when he became a consultant at the MJJ Productions record label to whom Brownstone, 3T and Men of Vizion were signed. Michael Jackson flew Daniel back to live in the United States from Japan where Daniel had taken up residence since leaving the United Kingdom.
Today, Daniel works and lives between London and Osaka, Japan. He is a fluent speaker and writer of the Japanese language with a fair grasp of Cantonese. He continues to perform, choreograph, produce, and compose with some of the biggest names in showbusiness. He has worked with, amongst others, Babyface, LL Cool J, Paul McCartney, Sheena Easton and Vanessa Williams.
He joined Nigerian Idol as a judge in 2010.
- Nigerian Idol
- Kot, Greg; Metz, Nina (2012), Arts & Entertainment - Music, "'Soul Train' creator Don Cornelius found dead", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 2014-02-17, "One of the show’s most avid viewers, the young Michael Jackson, was clearly paying attention when one of the show’s dancers debuted the "moonwalk" in the '70s."
- Remembering Michael, Jeffrey Daniel, "Time Specials", Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009. TIME looks back on the King of Pop's life and Career (Time (magazine)): 13, retrieved 2014-02-17, "We first worked with him in 1980, but he did not do the moonwalk publicly until 1983 [on Motown's 25th-anniversary TV special]."
- Mills and Daniel
According to the TV series UnSung, Jody and Jeffrey state they met on Soul Train and began dating while dancing together.. Jeffrey was a Los Angeles native, while Jody was from the midwest and moved to Los Angeles as a young teen.
- Official Website
- Jeffrey Daniel at the Internet Movie Database
- Archive of Jeffrey Daniel and Shalamar Videos
- YouTube video of Jeffrey Daniel moonwalking on Top of the Pops to Shalamar's "A Night to Remember"