Lisa Fischer

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Lisa Fischer
Lisa Fischer with mic.jpg
Lisa Fischer, 2008
Background information
Birth name Lisa Melonie Fischer
Also known as Xēna
Born (1958-12-01) December 1, 1958 (age 55)
New York City, New York
United States
Genres R&B, rock, pop, electronic, soul, freestyle
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1983–present
Labels Elektra
Associated acts Luther Vandross, The Rolling Stones, Bernard Fowler, Tina Turner, Chris Botti, Nine Inch Nails

Lisa Fischer (born December 1, 1958) is an American R&B vocalist and songwriter. She rose to fame in 1991 with her debut album So Intense, which produced the Grammy Award–winning hit single "How Can I Ease the Pain". Known for her wide, high-reaching vocal range, Fischer has been recognized as one of the most successful session vocalists of the era.[1] She has been back-up singer for a number of famous artists, including Luther Vandross and Tina Turner, and has toured with The Rolling Stones since 1989, where her popularity with the fans has brought her to routinely duet with Mick Jagger on several songs when performing onstage.

Early career[edit]

Fischer was born in the Fort Greene neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. In 1983, under the stage name Xēna, Fischer released a Latin freestyle single, the electro classic "On the Upside". In 1984, a club track she recorded titled "Only Love (Shadows)" was briefly featured in the motion picture Beat Street and was later released in 1995 as part of the Hot Productions' The Best of Criminal Records compilation. However, Fischer initially began her music career supporting other artists providing backing vocals for artists including Melba Moore and Billy Ocean. She worked with many other famous singers, both as a session vocalist and sideman. She accompanied R&B singer Luther Vandross as a backup singer on his tours and albums until his death, in addition to other famous musicians, including Chaka Khan, Teddy Pendergrass, and Roberta Flack.

Solo success[edit]

Fischer's solo career peaked with the 1991 release of "How Can I Ease the Pain" from her album So Intense, which reached number one on the R&B charts and won her a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1992.[2] The album spawned three Top 20 R&B hits and peaked at #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #100 on the Billboard 200 chart. Fischer also provided stirring vocals on the power ballad "Colors of Love" which was featured on the soundtrack album for the film Made in America. Fischer stated that the reason she discontinued her career as a solo artist afterward was because she enjoyed being a backing singer much more than a solo artist.[3]

1995–present: Rolling Stones[edit]

Lisa Fischer performing "Gimme Shelter" with The Rolling Stones.

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Fischer maintained her career as a session singer and still continues to accompany The Rolling Stones on every one of their tours since 1989. She worked as a backup vocalist during the same period of time for Luther Vandross for the 22 years prior to his death, having to juggle her time between his concert tours and those of The Rolling Stones, with whom she has a growing audience as she plays the foil to Mick Jagger onstage more and more frequently. There are songs that have become staples during tours with the Rolling Stones where she shares lead vocals, including "Monkey Man, and "Gimme Shelter", which showcases her vocal talents and is frequently on the set lists during their live concerts.


Fischer singing with Jagger and The Rolling Stones during their Fifty and Counting Tour, in Boston, Mass., June 12, 2013

Fischer also toured with Tina Turner on her Twenty Four Seven Tour. It was the worldwide top-grossing tour of 2000. She continued to sing backup for Tina Turner and The Rolling Stones as well as compose songs for herself and up-and-coming artists. Lisa was featured in an April 14, 2008 issue of Jet Magazine' Where Are They Now? column.[4] She hopes to record a new album soon.[citation needed] Fischer finished touring with Tina Turner on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour and is featured on Turner's new live DVD-CD titled Tina Live. She and Turner sing "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" together and after Turner leaves the stage, Fischer completes the song solo.

Fischer sang on Sting's album If On a Winter's Night... as a backing vocalist. In September 2009, Sting and his band, in addition to Fischer, performed the songs live in Durham Cathedral. The rehearsals as well as the concert were filmed and were released as a DVD. The behind the scenes documentary surrounding the event was produced jointly by the BBC and was screened on December 29 that year.

Fischer appeared at the 2010 CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, where she was featured with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti. She continued to tour with Botti through 2010, including appearing nightly as guest vocalist during the trumpeter's annual holiday engagement at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. She remained a guest artist with Botti's band in 2011 and continues to appear at their 2012 concerts.

Fischer appears in the Oscar-winning documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom (2013), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on June 21, 2013.

In 2013, Fischer joined the rock band Nine Inch Nails as a backing vocalist for their Tension 2013 tour.[5]

Fischer is currently not married and has no children.


Solo albums[edit]


Year Title U.S. U.S. R&B U.S. Dance Album
1990 "Glad to Be Alive" - 31 - The Adventures of Ford Fairlane soundtrack
1991 "How Can I Ease the Pain" 11 1 - So Intense
"Save Me" 74 7 2
1992 "So Intense" - 15 -
1993 "Colors of Love" - 18 - Made in America OST
2000 "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" (with Norman Connors) - - - Eternity
2004 "(Why Should I) Think About the Rain" (with Dutch/The Scumfrog) - - - -
2008 "Into My Life (You Brought the Sunshine)" (with Elements of Life and Cindy Mizelle) - - - -
2009 "Human Beings" - - - -
2010 "Love Will Know" (with Elements of Life) - - - -

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Album appearances[edit]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award
1992 Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist (Nominated)
1992 Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single - Female

for "How Can I Ease the Pain" (Won)

1992 Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album - Female for

"So Intense" (Nominated)

1992 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "How Can I Ease the Pain" (Won)
1992 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for "How Can I Ease the Pain" (Nominated)


Year Film Role
2013 20 Feet from Stardom Herself


  1. ^
  2. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 494. CN 5585. 
  3. ^ Fischer, Lisa. "Bio". 
  4. ^ Where Is...Lisa Fischer;col1 14 April 2008 JET Magazine
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Various – A Love Affair: The Music Of Ivan Lins". Discogs. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]