|Birth name||Terry Lynn Ellis|
September 5, 1963 |
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Origin||Oakland, California, U.S.|
Terry Ellis was born in Houston, Texas. She is the daughter of Lennie James Ellis and the former Evelyn Marie Patton. Ellis graduated from Worthing High School of Houston in 1982. Ellis received a degree in Marketing from Prairie View A&M University in 1990. She later joined the group En Vogue, which was originally planned to be a trio (a 1990s version of The Emotions), but the producers were so impressed by her voice, they made the group a quartet. In 1995 Ellis took time during the group's hiatus to release her solo CD, Southern Gal which was released on November 14, 1995. The CD included the moderate hits "Where Ever You Are" and "What Did I Do To You?". Within a year of its release the album had sold over 142,000 copies. She also contributed a track called "Call on me" for the Soundtrack for the HBO Film "Disappearing Acts" with Wesley Snipes.
She also released her own fragrance titled "Southern Exposure".
En Vogue lost original members Dawn Robinson in 1997 and again in 2005, and Maxine Jones in 2001 (they were later replaced by Amanda Cole and then Rhona Bennett.) Maxine Jones and Dawn Robinson have since returned to the group. In 2005, Ellis was featured in the Stevie Wonder music video "So What The Fuss" with her original En Vogue group members Dawn Robinson, Maxine Jones and Cindy Herron. She also played one of Chanté Moore's friends in the Music video "Chanté's Got a Man" in 1999.
With fellow group member Cindy Herron having taken a leave from the group around 2004-2005, Terry Ellis is the only original member of En Vogue to have never left the group at any point in time.
Terry Ellis has a five-octave vocal range which was displayed in the En Vogue song, "Don't Go". By her groupmates, Terry was credited as the member with the "ballad" type of voice. With En Vogue, she often shared leads, or lead the group songs that were funky, and soulful. In group harmonies, Terry usually sings the alto arrangement, which is above Maxine Jones, but under Dawn Robinson, or Cindy Herron.
Her cousin was the Thomas Howard who played linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL. She is close friends with actress and model Holly Robinson Peete, whom she met on the set of the sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper while recording the show's theme song.
While a student at Prairie View A&M University, Terry was the featured soloist for the "Marching Storm" directed by the consummate Prof Edwards. Terry also sang duets with the fellow students Michael Cooley, Rickey Lafontaine, Dellenor Miles and Norton Campbell. Terry also participated in the theatrical performances of the famed Charles Gilpin Players, directed by the venerable C. Lee Turner. Her here Gilpin performances took her to the Worlds Fair in New Orleans and other places around the state. The fuel that helped launched her professional career was her duet performance of "Love Changes" with Kashif during his visit to Prairie View A&M University. Kashif gained fame with his production of Whitney Houston's first album for Arista Records and Kenny G's debut album, also on Arista. Additionally, Terry was a featured performer for many Talent Showcases, banquets and other special student events produced by the Office of Student Activities, directed by Frederick V. Roberts, Director of Student Activities.
- 1995: Southern Gal US #116 US R&B #27
- 1995: "Where Ever You Are" US #52 US R&B #10
- 1996: "What Did I Do To You"/"Back Down Memory Lane" US R&B #41
- 1990: "Hold On"
- 1990: "Lies"
- 1991: "Don't Go"
- 1992: "Free Your Mind"
- 1993: "Love Don't Love You"
- 1993: "Runaway Love"
- 1994: "Whatta Man"
- 1996: "Don't Let Go (Love)"
- 1997: "Whatever"
- 1997: "Too Gone, Too Long"
- 2000: "Riddle"
- 2011: "I'll Cry Later"
- "Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 [database on-line]". The Generations Network. 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Terry Ellis". HBCU Connect. Retrieved February 23, 2013.