Doris Coley

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Doris Coley
Coley in 1962
Coley in 1962
Background information
Also known asDoris Kenner Jackson
Born(1941-08-02)August 2, 1941
Goldsboro, North Carolina, U.S.
OriginPassaic, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedFebruary 4, 2000(2000-02-04) (aged 58)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
GenresR&B, pop, soul
Years active1957–2000
Formerly ofThe Shirelles

Doris Coley (August 2, 1941 – February 4, 2000)[1][2] was an American musician, who was best known as a member (and occasional lead singer) of the Shirelles. Doris was the lead singer on their biggest hit, "Dedicated to the One I Love".[3] She initially left the group in 1968, but returned in 1975 after original lead singer, Shirley Owens, left. Through marriages, she became Doris Coley Kenner and later Doris Kenner Jackson.


Coley was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina but moved with her family to Passaic, New Jersey.[3] With schoolmates Shirley Owens (later Shirley Alston Reeves), Addie "Micki" Harris and Beverly Lee, she formed the Shirelles in Passaic in 1958, one of the 1st all-girl groups of the rock era. The four teenagers did not graduate with their class of 1958, but they earned diplomas later. They performed their self-written "I Met Him on a Sunday" for Florence Greenberg and was signed to her Tiara label (the song was so popular, it was bought by Decca Records).[4]

Coley was married two times. Coley married Alfonza Kenner, who she had two sons with, Gary and Antonio, and they would remain married until his death.[5] She would marry Wallace Jackson and have twins, Staci (later Richardson) and Tracy Jackson.[5] Many years later, in 1994, when the Rhythm and Blues Foundation gave the Shirelles a Heritage Award, Kenner sang with the group's other surviving members, Alston Reeves and Lee, for the first time in 19 years (Harris having died in 1982). The threesome met again when they were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.[4]


Coley died of breast cancer at the age of 58 on February 4, 2000.[6][7]


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  4. ^ a b Polatnick, Gordon. "Doris Jackson Page in Fuller Up, The Dead Musician Directory". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Powers, Ann (February 8, 2000). "Doris Kenner-Jackson, 58, Singer In the Original Shirelles Foursome". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  7. ^ Valentine, Penny (February 7, 2000). "Doris Coley". The Guardian. Retrieved June 24, 2022.