||This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2008)|
|Birth name||William Jermaine Stewart|
September 7, 1957|
Columbus, Ohio, United States
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Died||March 17, 1997
Homewood, Illinois, United States
|Genres||R&B, soul, funk, dance|
|Labels||Arista Records, Reprise Records|
|Associated acts||Shalamar, Culture Club|
William Jermaine Stewart (September 7, 1957 – March 17, 1997) was an American R&B singer best known for his Billboard hit "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" (in 1986, from the album Frantic Romantic).
Born in Columbus, Ohio, to parents Ethel M. and Eugene Stewart, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1972, where Stewart took his first steps toward a career in entertainment. Eventually he gained recognition as a dancer on the syndicated TV show Soul Train which was filmed in Chicago. There he met other Soul Train dancers, fellow Chicagoan Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel, when they moved to Los Angeles. The trio became friends and they all auditioned to become members of the group Shalamar, which was put together by Soul Train creator Don Cornelius and booking agent Dick Griffey. Watley and Daniels were selected for the group as backup/semi-lead vocalist, and Stewart audition for the lead vocalist role, which he lost to Howard Hewett. Stewart toured with the new group as a dancer for several years, however, and while in London for a show, he met Mikey Craig of Culture Club. Realizing Stewart was a singer, Craig assisted him in putting together a demo tape, and Stewart got to sing background with Culture Club when they recorded the song "Miss Me Blind". As a result of all this, the group helped him land a recording contract with Arista Records.
Stewart saw some success with the single "The Word Is Out" from the album of the same name. The album included co-writing by Craig and peaked at #90 on the US Billboard Top 200 Album Chart, and #30 on the US R&B Album Chart. Stewart's next album was 1986's Frantic Romantic, which included the US top ten hit single "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off". The song also hit the top ten in the UK, Canada, and Ireland. Second single, "Jody", was released, the inspiration being his friend Jody Watley, and reached the US R&B top twenty. Frantic Romantic would be Stewart's most successful selling album, peaking at #34 in the US.
Stewart's third album was entitled Say It Again, with production handled largely by André Cymone. Supported by international live dates with his band The Party, the title track "Say It Again" became Stewart's second U.S. Top 40 Billboard hit, and also reached the U.S. R&B Top 10. In the UK Singles Chart it reached number 7, helping the album achieve Top 40 status.
The next three singles all received remixes by Phil Harding. "Get Lucky" (UK #13), "Don't Talk Dirty to Me" (UK #61), and "Is It Really Love?" found European success, particularly in Germany, where "Don't Talk Dirty to Me" was one of the biggest selling records of 1988, making the Top 5.
His fourth and final album under his contract with Arista Records was What Becomes a Legend Most. The album failed to make any impact in America whilst the lead single "Tren de Amor" just reached the top 100 in the UK. "Tren de Amor" was featured on the soundtrack to Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr's hit comedy movie "She Devil". In 1989, Stewart sang "Hot and Cold," co-written by Andy Summers, which was featured over the opening credits of the film Weekend at Bernie's.
In 1991, Stewart teamed up with Chicago producer Jesse Saunders for his last recorded work, an album for Reprise Records, Set Me Free. The title track "Set Me Free" was released as a single in the U.S., but sold poorly. The album remains unreleased.
Shortly before his death, Stewart returned to the studio to record a new album titled 'Believe In Me'. Although the album was not completed, the finished tracks were released on the 2005 compilation Attention: A Tribute to Jermaine Stewart, which was released under BFG Records, owned by Stewart's brother.
On October 18, 2010, Cherry Red Records re-issued his album Frantic Romantic on CD for the first time since 1986. It includes bonus tracks, most notable of which are the 12" mixes of "Jody" and "Dance Floor", making their CD debut.
In 2011, the song "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" was used in a Cadbury advertisement in the UK called 'The Charity Shop'. This exposed the song to a new generation who downloaded the track, and returned it to the UK Singles Chart peaking at No. 29.
- 1984: The Word Is Out (US Pop #90, US R&B #30)
- 1986: Frantic Romantic (US Pop #34, US R&B #31, UK #49)
- 1987: Say It Again (US Pop #98, US R&B #45, UK #32)
- 1989: What Becomes a Legend Most
- 1992: Set Me Free (unreleased)
- 1999: Attention: A Tribute to Jermaine Stewart
- 2005: Greatest Hits
- 1983: "The Word Is Out" (US Pop #41, US R&B #17)
- 1985: "I Like It"
- 1985: "Get Over It"
- 1986: "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" (US Pop #5, US R&B #64, UK #2)
- 1986: "Frantic Romantic"/"Versatile"
- 1986: "Jody" (US Pop #42, UK #50)
- 1987: "Don't Ever Leave Me" (UK #76)
- 1987: "Say It Again" (US Pop #27, US R&B #15, UK #7)
- 1988: "Get Lucky" (US R&B #69, UK #13)
- 1988: "Don't Talk Dirty to Me" (UK #61)
- 1989: "Is It Really Love?"
- 1989: "Hot And Cold"
- 1989: "Tren de Amor" (UK #97)
- 1990: "Every Woman Wants To" (UK #95)
- 1992: "Set Me Free"
- Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches. Chicago Review Press. p. 370. ISBN 1-55652-754-3.
- "Jermaine Stewart - Say It Again at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
- "ChartArchive - Jermaine Stewart - Say It Again". Chartstats.com. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
- "Cadbury advert The Charity Shop". YouTube. 6 May 2011.
- "The Official Charts Company - We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off by Jermaine Stewart Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013.
- Easley, Terri. Seasons of Destiny. Xulon Press. p. 123. ISBN 1-60647-152-X.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 531. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Jermaine Stewart at the Internet Movie Database
- Jermaine Stewart discography at Discogs
- Jermaine Stewart at Allmusic
- Jermaine Stewart at Find a Grave