CeCe Rogers in Manchester, United Kingdom
|Birth name||Kenneth Jesse Rogers III|
|Origin||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
He was given the nickname CeCe by James Brown, who watched him performing at 11 years of age, imitating Chubby Checker. He is considered one of the most popular male vocalists in house music. In 1987, CeCe recorded the track "Someday" in collaboration with Marshall Jefferson, to this day, the song is seen as an anthem in the genre of house music, having been rated number 3 in MixMag's 100 Greatest Singles of All Time.
Born, Kenneth Jesse Rogers III on April 30, 1962, Rogers attended Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio and Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. CeCe began studying piano at the age of five. His mother, a music teacher, introduced him to gospel, the genre that forms his musical foundation. He was considered a child prodigy and at the age of 9, CeCe was a featured musician on the weekly television program "The Gene Carroll Show".
Moving to the New York area in 1984, CeCe taught voice and piano, as well as doing session work with such artist as Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, and Curtis Hairston. He also formed his own group, CeCe & Company, whose repertoire included jazz and R&B tunes. Some of the group's vocalist at the time were Sybil Lynch, Adeva, and Kenny Bobien.
Not realizing the massive appeal house music was having in Europe, CeCe moved away from the house scene and released his debut album "CeCe Rogers" in 1989. The album was a mix of contemporary R&B and house tracks that received rave reviews but poor sales. His second album, "Never Give Up" (1991), also failed to chart selling only 300,000 units. CeCe was dropped from Atlantic and went back to doing session work singing backgrounds for TV Commercials. In 1993, David Morales recruited CeCe to work on his debut album Games. He worked on many of David's remix projects including "The Best Things In Life Are Free" by Janet Jackson & Luther Vandross and the soundtrack of Sister Act. CeCe has written and produced many songs with his friend and business partner Marshall Jefferson.
In 1989,CeCe wrote and produced the UK Hit "Got to get you back" for Kym Mazelle.
The house scene grew quickly, starting out in Chicago and establishing roots in New Jersey. The Jersey House Sound combines house with R&B,gospel melodies infused with deep vocals.Club Zanzibar, Movin Records, Club 88 became popular spots where the house heads would gather. A favorite in Europe especially in the UK. Soulful House was boosted in Europe when CeCe toured with Marshall Jefferson. His gospel trained voice belting over the house driven, piano stomping beat brought CeCe legendary status in the soulful house movement.
In 1994, CeCe recorded a string of hits with the Italian band Jestofunk. This would lead to three world tours. After five years with Jestofunk, CeCe decided to stop touring and give teaching a try. His plan was to teach only a year. Seeing the need for more African American male teachers in the urban community, CeCe taught music production for eight years at the Essex County Vocational School in New Jersey. He quickly became a supervisor for the district and formed a gospel choir that won many competitions including the McDonald's Gospelfest and Cherry Blossom music festival.
Originally signed by Atlantic Records, CeCe Rogers recorded a number of late 1980s and early 1990s club classics and two albums for the label.
- CeCe Rogers - Atlantic 82021 (1989)
- Never Give Up - Atlantic 82286 (1991)
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1987||"Someday" (US only)||—||—||CeCe Rogers|
|1989||"Forever" (US promo only)||—||—|
|"Lonely Girl" (US promo only)||—||—|
|"Forever / Someday"||—||100|
|1990||"All Join Hands"||34||—||single only|
|1991||"Never Give Up" (US only)||—||—||Never Give Up|
|"Thick Girlz" (US only)||—||—|
|1992||"Brothers & Sisters" (US only)||—||—||singles only|
|"All Join Hands / Brothers & Sisters"||—||91|
|1993||"Its Gonna Be Alright" (with The Unity Crew) (US only)||—||—|
|1994||"No Love Lost"||15||—|
|1996||"In The Morning" (US only)||—||—|
|2002||"Come On And Dance" (UK only)||—||—|
|2005||"It's Alright" (UK only)||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
As featured artist
|1994||"Say It Again"||Jestofunk||Love In A Black Dimension|
|"Can We Live"|
|1996||"Symphonic Tonic"||Street Corner Symphony||single only|
|"Hollar (Throw Up Your Hands)"||Morel Inc.||N.Y.C. Jam Session|
|1997||"My Sweet Lord"||Papasun Style||The Positive Life|
|"Superstar"||Project MSC||singles only|
|"Take Me Higher"||Inner Spirit|
|1999||"Gimme Your Love"||Starphunk|