- This article is about the solo artist 'Yazz'. For the synthpop duo known as 'Yaz' in the US, see Yazoo (band). For other uses of the word 'Yaz', see Yaz.
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|Birth name||Yasmin M. Evans|
19 May 1960 |
Shepherd's Bush, London, England
|Genres||Dance, funk, Christian|
|Labels||Big Life, Polydor, eastwest, Elevation|
Yazz (born Yasmin Evans, 19 May 1960) is a British pop singer, who remains best known for her successful 1988 dance track, "The Only Way Is Up". Some of her records were credited to Yazz & The Plastic Population. Her father is Jamaican, her mother English.
Yazz was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, and attended Holland Park School, where she excelled at sports, including the 400 metres. She was also a member of the England under-19 volleyball team. After a spell as a catwalk model, she scored a number of club hits after recording with the group Biz in 1983. Her first commercial success came in early 1988, when she supplied the vocals on Coldcut's "Doctorin' the House". She soon launched a solo career on Big Life records, a label set up by her future husband Jazz Summers, releasing her debut single "The Only Way Is Up" in the summer of 1988. It went on to spend five weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart, eventually becoming the second biggest selling UK single of the year. Suddenly one of Britain's biggest pop acts, her follow-up was another big hit ("Stand Up for Your Love Rights", UK number 2), whilst her debut album Wanted went Top Ten.
She continued to have hits into 1989 (and had her last Top Ten hit with the number 9 hit "Fine Time") but has since recorded only sporadically, releasing one single during 1990 and another in 1992. Her last Top 20 single was 1990's "Treat Me Good", which made number 20 in the UK. She returned to the charts in 1993, performing with Aswad on the Top 40 hit "How Long". She continued to release singles throughout the 1990s, including a cover version of The Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye". In 1997 she recorded the album Natural Life, which was only released in some parts of Europe and Asia.
It was during this period that she began to reevaluate her career choices and during an interview admitted that she not only wanted to give up her secular lifestyle which included her failed marriage to Summers (whose union resulted in a daughter, Rio, born 1990), but also her dependency on drinking. After she had researched various religions, a friend who once worked with her as a hairstylist suggested to her that she try visiting her church. Soon after that, she decided to turn her life over to Christ.
Her 2008 album Running Back to You, distributed in the UK by ICC Records, charted her spiritual journey and her new-found Christian faith. Yazz is now based in Spain, and is an active member of the Calahonda Baptist Church. Yazz returns to Britain occasionally to promote this album, performing songs from it live interspersed with several anecdotes pertaining to her faith.
In August 2009, she performed with a full band on stage for the first time in several years at a church in Southampton. In October 2010, Yazz performed again with a full band at Cathedral House in Huddersfield, home of the Huddersfield Christian Fellowship.
|1989||The Wanted Remixes||53||-|
|1994||One on One||-||-|
|1997||The Natural Life||-||-|
|2001||At Her Very Best and All the Greatest Hits||166||-|
|2008||Running Back to You||-||-|
|2011||This Is Love||-||-|
|1988||"Doctorin' the House" (with Coldcut)||6||45||11||33||-||3||20||-||-||16|
|"The Only Way Is Up" (as Yazz & The Plastic Population)||1||2||3||1||96||2||1||1||4||1|
|"Stand Up for Your Love Rights"||2||22||10||8||-||5||6||12||19||1|
|"Where Has All the Love Gone"||16||83||40||-||-||-||86||-||-||30|
|1990||"Yazz' Megamix" (France only)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|"Treat Me Good"||20||100||55||-||-||7||48||-||-||-|
|1992||"One True Woman"||60||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1993||"How Long" (with Aswad)||31||-||52||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|"Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime"||56||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1996||"Good Thing Going"||53||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1997||"Never Can Say Goodbye"||61||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
- Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916–2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 613. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Life and Music of 80s Pop sensation: Yazz from YouTube
- "YAZZ AT 50: THE ONLY WAY IS UPLIFTING GOD" Sunday Express (23 May 2010). Retrieved 9 October 2011.
- "ARIA albums charts". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts (3rd ed.). London: Music Sales Limited. p. 1213. ISBN 1-84449-058-0.
- "Chart Log UK". Dipl.-Bibl.(FH) Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "ARIA singles charts - Yazz". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- "ARIA singles charts - Coldcut". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- "Charts.org.nz – "Doctorin' the House"". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- "Charts.org.nz – Yazz". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance Disco 1974-2003. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 285. ISBN 0-89820-156-X.
- IRMA. "The Irish Charts". Retrieved 2014-01-17. Note: User must define search parameters, i.e. "Yazz" and "Coldcut" when searching by Artist.
- Smash Hits magazine.
- Betts, Graham: Collins' Complete UK Hit Singles: 1952 - 2004. London: HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN 0-00-717931-6
- Yazz is referred to on "The Venture Bros. Season two" Commentary by Jackson Public and Doc Hammer
- Interview with Premier.tv (see link below)
- Yazz information and details of the 2008 album 'Running back to you' at Yazzmusic.co.uk
- Interview with Yazz at Premier.tv
- Running Back to You album review