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Shalamar in 1983 (left to right: Howard Hewett, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel)
Shalamar in 1983 (left to right: Howard Hewett, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel)
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1977–1991, 1996–1997, 1999–present
LabelsSoul Train
MembersHoward Hewett
Jeffrey Daniel
Carolyn Griffey
Past membersJody Watley
Gary Mumford
Gerald Brown
Delisa Davis
Micki Free
Sidney Justin

Shalamar (/ˈʃæləmɑːr/) is an American R&B and soul music vocal group active since the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Shalamar's classic line-up on the SOLAR label consisted of Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, and Jeffrey Daniel, together with dancer Jermaine Stewart. It was originally a disco-driven group created by Soul Train booking agent Dick Griffey and show creator and producer Don Cornelius.[1][2] They went on to be an influential dance trio, masterminded by Cornelius.[3] As noted in the British Hit Singles & Albums, they were regarded as fashion icons and trendsetters, and helped to introduce "body-popping" to the United Kingdom.[3] Their name was created by Griffey.[4]


The first hit credited to Shalamar was "Uptown Festival" (1977), which was recorded at Ike & Tina Turner's studio Bolic Sound in 1976.[5] It was released on Soul Train Records. Its success inspired Griffey and Don Cornelius to replace session singers with popular Soul Train dancers Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel, to join original Shalamar lead singer Gary Mumford. Gerald Brown took over the spot vacated by Mumford for the group's second album, Disco Gardens (1978), which featured the hit "Take That to the Bank". After conflicts over lack of payment from Griffey and SOLAR (short for Sound of Los Angeles Records), Brown left the group.[6] Howard Hewett replaced Brown in 1979.[2] The group was joined up with producer Leon Sylvers III in 1979, signed with SOLAR, and scored a US million seller with "The Second Time Around" (1979). The "classic" lineup of Hewett, Watley and Daniel would be the most successful.

In the UK, the group had a string of hits with songs such as "Take That to the Bank" (1978), "I Owe You One" (1980), and songs from the Friends (1982) album: "I Can Make You Feel Good" (1982), "A Night to Remember", "There It Is", and the title track "Friends".[1] The album, which crossed the genres of pop, disco, and soul, was also a big seller in the UK in 1982.[7] The band's record sales in the UK increased when Daniel demonstrated his body-popping dancing skills on BBC Television's music programme, Top of the Pops, which had premiered the moonwalk on television for the first time. Michael Jackson was a fan of Shalamar, particularly Daniel and his dance moves, after watching him on Soul Train.[citation needed] Jackson and Daniel met afterward, and Jackson took his then 12-year-old sister Janet to see Shalamar perform at Disneyland. Daniel and Jackson co-choreographed Jackson's "Bad" and "Smooth Criminal" videos from the album Bad (1987).[8]

Shalamar in 1982
Shalamar in 1982
Shalamar in 1982

The Hewett-Watley-Daniel lineup of Shalamar scored a total of five gold albums in the U.S.: Big Fun (1979); Three for Love (1980), which eventually went Platinum; Friends (1982), which also went Platinum; The Look (1983) and Heartbreak (1984). [1] In 1983, prior to the release of The Look, Watley and Daniel left Shalamar due to conflicts within the group as well as issues with Dick Griffey and SOLAR.[9] Although The Look wasn't as successful as Friends had been the previous year, it still yielded a number of hit singles in the UK, including "Disappearing Act", the Grammy-nominated "Dead Giveaway", and "Over and Over", and featured more of a new wave/synth-pop sound than previous albums.

After Micki Free and Delisa Davis replaced Daniel and Watley in the group's lineup, Shalamar reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Dancing in the Sheets", featured on the Footloose soundtrack album, and contributed "Don't Get Stopped in Beverly Hills," written by Hewett, Free, and David "Hawk" Wolinski, to the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, which won the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special; the award was given to all 14 of the soundtrack's songwriters. Both "Dancing in the Sheets" and "Don't Get Stopped in Beverly Hills" were included on Shalamar's eighth album, the gold-selling Heartbreak, released in November 1984.

Hewett departed the group in 1985 to begin a solo career. Sydney Justin took over as lead vocalist for Circumstantial Evidence (1987), coproduced by Babyface and L.A. Reid, and Wake Up (1990), Shalamar's final pair of albums before they disbanded.


In 1996, Watley performed with Hewett and Daniel on Babyface's million-selling single "This Is for the Lover in You," a cover of a hit single from Shalamar's platinum album Three for Love (1980).[1][10] A music video was shot in which the three former members of Shalamar were digitally reunited on screen.[11] Hewett, Watley, and Daniel subsequently joined Babyface and LL Cool J to perform the song on the UK's Top of the Pops in 1996. They are credited on this single release under their individual names; however, it marked the classic trio's first and only live performance together since 1983.[12]

In 1999, Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel reformed Shalamar and played in Japan. This was followed by UK tours in 2000, 2001, and 2003. From 2001, Shalamar continued touring with the line up of Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel, and Carolyn Griffey (a long-time friend and fan of the original band's, and daughter of Dick Griffey). Carolyn's mother is Carrie Lucas, for whom Watley sang backing vocals. In 2005, this lineup appeared on the UK television series Hit Me, Baby, One More Time. Shalamar reached the grand finale of Hit Me, Baby, One More Time in May 2005, ultimately losing out to Shakin' Stevens. This was followed by annual concert tours in the UK, Cannes, USA, Nigeria, and Japan.

Shalamar was featured in an episode of TV One's series Unsung, in which Watley, Daniel, and Hewett shared their stories about the group's creation, the lack of payments and royalties from SOLAR, success, egos, and the breakup of the classic lineup. Dick Griffey, Micki Free, Delisa Davis, and Sidney Justin were also interviewed for the episode. In October 2009, the reconstituted Shalamar of Hewett, Daniel, and Griffey performed as a part of "The Ultimate Boogie Nights Disco Concert Series", at O2 Arena Entertainment in London.[13][14] This prompted their return to the UK in April 2010 for a tour. Shalamar returned to IndigO2 in October 2011, December 2012, December 2013 and December 2014.[15] Shalamar performed a series of eight UK tour dates in April 2015 and another tour of four UK dates in July 2015.[16][17]

In 2017, Shalamar released their first single since 1991 called "The Real Thing"[18][19]

As of July 2018, Carrie Lucas and Carolyn Griffey, wife and daughter of Shalamar creator Dick Griffey, officially own all Shalamar licensing across the 28 countries of Europe.[citation needed]

Carolyn Griffey once challenged Jody Watley's trademark of Shalamar in the United States, claiming that she (Griffey) was the sole owner of the name. Watley countered, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled in her favor, saying that the petitioner (Griffey) never submitted evidence of her claims. Watley owns the Shalamar trademark in the United States.[20][21]


  • Jeffrey Daniel - vocals, guitar (1977–1983, 1996-1997, 1999–present)
  • Jody Watley - vocals (1977–1983, 1996–1997)
  • Gary Mumford[22] - vocals (1977–1978)
  • Gerald Brown - vocals (1978–1979)
  • Howard Hewett - vocals, piano, guitar (1979–1985, 1996-1997, 1999–present)
  • Delisa Davis - vocals, keyboards (1983–1991)
  • Micki Free - vocals, guitar (1983–1991)
  • Sidney Justin - vocals, keyboards (1985–1991)
  • Carolyn Griffey - vocals (2001–present)


Studio albums

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 385. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
  2. ^ a b "Biography by Ron Wynn". Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 493. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Warner, Jay (2006). American Singing Groups: From 1940 to Today - Jay Warner - Google Boeken. ISBN 9780634099786. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  5. ^ "Ian Dewhirst". Red Bull Music Academy. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  6. ^ "Unsung Shalamar Unfiltered Part 8 Gerald Brown "Take That To The Bank" Conclusion". YouTube. December 30, 2010. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  7. ^ "SHALAMAR | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "Jeffrey Daniel". IMDb. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "". March 7, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.[dead link]
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 37. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "Babyface - This Is For The Lover In You". YouTube. November 24, 2009. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  12. ^ "Unsung Shalamar Part 7 "Reunions And More" Jody Watley Unfiltered". YouTube. November 17, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2012.[dead YouTube link]
  13. ^ "Shalamar – A shadow of their former selves?". Archived from the original on November 22, 2009.
  14. ^ "Upcoming Events". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011.
  15. ^ "Zoeken - Getty Images NL: GBR: Shalamar Perform At Indigo2 At The O2 Arena In London". October 29, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  16. ^ "Shalamar". February 19, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  17. ^ Woolway, Tony (April 4, 2015). "Shalamar in Cardiff was definitely A Night To Remember". Wales Online. Archived from the original on April 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "First Listen: Shalamar returns from long absence with "The Real Thing"". November 4, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  19. ^ "Shalamar Release "The Real Thing", Their First New Single in 20 Years". Jazz World. October 23, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ "Jody Watley Prevails in Shalamar Trademark Registration Challenge. - Official Jody Watley Website". February 21, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  22. ^ "Gary Mumford". Retrieved September 10, 2022.

External links[edit]