Ruby Turner singing at Guilfest 2012
|Birth name||Ruby Turner|
22 June 1958 |
Montego Bay, Jamaica
|Genres||R&B, pop, soul|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, actress|
|Associated acts||Alexis Korner, Culture Club, Bryan Ferry, UB40, Steve Winwood, Jools Holland, Mick Jagger, Lulu, Yazz, Maxi Priest, Boz Burrell, Bobby Tench, Jonathan Butler, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Jimmy Ruffin, Stan Webb, Steel Pulse, Zoot Money|
Ruby Turner (born 22 June 1958) is a Jamaican R&B and soul singer, songwriter and actress. Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she moved at the age of nine with her family to Handsworth, Birmingham, England. She is best known for her albums and single releases on both sides of the Atlantic, and has sung backing vocals for others such as Bryan Ferry, UB40, Steel Pulse, Steve Winwood, Jools Holland and Mick Jagger, as well as writing songs that have been covered by many artists including Lulu, Yazz and Maxi Priest. She achieved the rare feat, for a British singer, of reaching no. 1 on the US R&B chart, with "It's Gonna Be Alright" in February 1990.
Between 1986 and 1995, eight of her singles appeared in the UK Singles Chart with "I'd Rather Go Blind" being the most successful reaching no. 24 in 1987. Turner performed at the Birmingham Heart Beat 86 concert, which featured George Harrison; and also sang on BBC Television's Jools Holland's Hootenanny, from 2007 to 2014 inclusive. She has also appeared as an actress on stage, film and television.
In the early 1980s Turner worked with Alexis Korner. In 1983, she recorded with UB40. She achieved a solo recording contract with Jive Records after singing backing vocals on Culture Club's From Luxury to Heartache.
Her first album Women Hold Up Half The Sky, was released in 1986 to critical acclaim. and produced hit singles such as a cover version of the Staple Singers song,"If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)", a duet with Jonathan Butler, and the Etta James standard "I'd Rather Go Blind".
In March 1987, Turner sang on the Ferry Aid single, "Let It Be". Around this time she also released the album, The Motown Songbook, on which she performed with Motown others including The Four Tops, The Temptations and Jimmy Ruffin. Turner appeared on Corey Hart's album, Young Man Running (1988), on the duet "Spot You in a Coalmine".
Turner achieved a no. 1 R&B chart success in the US in February 1990 with "It's Gonna Be Alright", becoming one of the few British artists to top that chart. Four other US R&B chart entries followed in 1990 and 1991, including "Paradise" from the movie Dancin' thru the Dark.
In 1998 she recorded the album, Call Me By My Name, with British rhythm and blues luminaries Boz Burrell, Zoot Money, Bobby Tench and Stan Webb. On New Year's Eve 1999, she sang the National Anthem for Queen Elizabeth II, Prime minister Tony Blair and other dignitaries, at the opening of the Millennium Dome in London.
In 2007, Turner presented a documentary Shout Sister Shout about Sister Rosetta Tharpe for BBC Radio 2. She sang on Seasick Steve's album, I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left (2008). In September 2009, Turner released her first gospel music album, I'm Travelling On.
Her rendition of "Jesus on the Mainline" appears on a compilation CD that accompanied the book British Black Gospel by Steve Alexander Smith.
On 4 June 2012, Turner was one of the performers at the Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in London, when she joined Jools Holland on stage. In the same year, Turner, along with Ralph Allwood and Manvinder Rattan was a judge on the BBC Two series, The Choir: Sing While You Work.
As an actress, she has appeared in productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Carmen Jones, Fame, as well as One Love at the London's Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. Turner also had a small part in the 2003 film Love Actually.
In 2006, Turner made an appearance in Little Britain Abroad. She played the Sheriff Judy. On 12 October 2007, she appeared as a guest star (as herself) in the BBC One soap opera, Doctors. The episode title was entitled "Raising The Roof".
Her most recent theatre appearance, was a successful run in the London West End production of the musical Simply Heavenly, which was nominated for 'Outstanding Musical' at the 2005 Laurence Olivier Awards. In 2009, Turner appeared in the BBC drama, Hotel Babylon.
|Year||Title||UK Albums Chart||US Billboard 200|
|1986||Women Hold Up Half the Sky||no. 47||-|
|1986||Live at Glastonbury||-||-|
|1988||The Motown Songbook||no. 22||-|
|1989||Paradise||no. 74||no. 194|
|1991||The Other Side||-||-|
|1992||The Best of Ruby Turner (compilation)||-||-|
|1993||With Love (compilation)||-||-|
|1995||The Best of Ruby Turner (compilation)||-||-|
|1998||Call Me By My Name||-||-|
|2001||Live in Bristol||-||-|
|2007||Live at Ronnie Scott's (double live album)||-||-|
|2008||The Informer (Jools Holland)||-||-|
|2009||I'm Travelling On||-||-|
|2014||All That I Am||-||-|
|Year||Title||UK Singles Chart||New Zealand Singles Chart||US Billboard R&B||Label|
|1986||"If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)"
(Ruby Turner featuring Jonathan Butler)
|no. 30||no. 3||no. 58||Jive|
|1986||"I'm in Love"||no. 61||no. 9||-||Jive|
|1986||"Bye Baby"||no. 52||no. 10||-||Jive|
|1987||"I'd Rather Go Blind"||no. 24||no. 10||-||Jive|
|1987||"I'm in Love" (re-issue)||no. 57||-||-||Jive|
|1988||"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"||-||no. 8||-||Jive|
|1989||"What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted" (feat. Jimmy Ruffin||-||no. 41||-||Jive|
|1989||"It's Gonna Be Alright"||no. 57||no. 39||no. 1||Jive|
(featuring Ecstasy of Whodini)
|-||no. 36||no. 22||Jive|
|1990||"It's a Crying Shame"||-||-||no. 29||Jive|
|1991||"The Other Side"||-||-||no. 34||Jive|
|1994||"Stay with Me Baby"||no. 39||-||-||M&G|
|1994||"Living For The City"||-||no. 28||-||M&G|
(Hunter featuring Ruby Turner)
- R&B number-one hits of 1990 (USA)
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- Bruce Eder. "Ruby Turner | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- "Ruby Turner Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1958-06-22. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 569. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "BFI | Film & TV Database | HEART BEAT 86 (1986)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- "Ruby Turner biography". Rubyturner.com. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 454.
- "Ruby Turner | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- Ruby Turner interview by Pete Lewis, Blues & Soul, April 2008
- Richie Unterberger (2002-01-08). "Jools Holland's Big Band Rhythm & Blues - Jools Holland | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- "British Black Gospel: The Foundations of This Vibrant UK Sound: Amazon.co.uk: Noel Robinson, Steve Alexander Smith: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- Butcher, David (September 2012). "The Choir: Sing While You Work: Series 1 Episode 5". Radio Times (Immediate Media Company). Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Ruby Turner : Biography". Rubyturner.com. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2014-08-22.
- Joe Waistell (25 December 2006). "Little Britain: Little Britain Abroad (1) Episode Summary on". Tv.com. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- "Ruby Turner, Film and TV credits". IMDb.com. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
- Steffen Hung. "Ruby Turner - Bye Baby". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- Ruby Turner's official website
- Ruby Turner interview by Pete Lewis, Blues & Soul, July 2009
- Ruby Turner at the Internet Movie Database
- Ruby Turner at Allmusic
- An interview with Ruby Turner at Soul Express in December 2014