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This article is about the British solo artist. For the American actor and rapper Yazz, see Bryshere Y. Gray. For the British synthpop duo Yaz, see Yazoo (band). For other uses, see Yaz.
Birth name Yasmin M. Evans[1]
Born (1960-05-19) 19 May 1960 (age 55)
Shepherd's Bush, London, England
Genres Dance, funk, Christian
Occupation(s) Musician, model
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1988–present
Labels Big Life, Polydor, eastwest, Elevation
Website www.yazzmusic.co.uk

Yazz (born Yasmin Evans, 19 May 1960)[2] 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 The Biz in 1983. Her first commercial success came in early 1988, when she supplied the vocals on Coldcut's "Doctorin' the House".[3] 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,[3] 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.[3]

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.[3] She returned to the Top 40 in 1993, performing with Aswad on the 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 wanted to give up not only her secular lifestyle which included her failed marriage to Summers (their union had resulted in a daughter, Rio, born 1990), but also her dependency on drinking. After she had researched various religions, a friend who used to be her hairstylist suggested to her that she try visiting her church. Soon after that, she decided to "turn her life over to Christ".[4]

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,[5] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]



Year Album UK[3] AUS[6]
1988 Wanted 3 43
1989 The Wanted Remixes 53[7]
1994 One on One
1997 The Natural Life
2001 At Her Very Best and All the Greatest Hits 166[8]
2008 Running Back to You
2011 This Is Love


Year Single Peak positions Album
US US Dance
1988 "Doctorin' the House" (Coldcut featuring Yazz & The Plastic Population) 6 16 20 40 11 4 45 33 3 What's That Noise?
(by Coldcut)
"The Only Way Is Up" (as Yazz & The Plastic Population) 1 1 1 1 4 3 5 2 1 5 2 1 96 2 Wanted
"Stand Up for Your Love Rights" 2 1 6 4 19 10 29 7 12 22 8 5
1989 "Fine Time" 9 4 42 28 31 32 25 60 18
"Where Has All the Love Gone" 16 30 86 40 83
1990 "Yazz' Megamix" (France only) singles only
"Treat Me Good" 20 48 55 28 100 7
1992 "One True Woman" 60
1993 "How Long" (with Aswad) 31 52 One On One
1994 "Have Mercy" 42 86
"Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" 56
1996 "Good Thing Going" 53 The Natural Life
1997 "Never Can Say Goodbye" 61 240
1998 "Abandon Me" 78 single only
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Heathcote, Charlotte (2010-05-23). "Yazz at 50: The only way is uplifting God | UK | News | Daily Express". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 613. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Life and Music of 80s Pop sensation: Yazz from YouTube
  5. ^ "YAZZ AT 50: THE ONLY WAY IS UPLIFTING GOD" Sunday Express (23 May 2010). Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  6. ^ "ARIA albums charts". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Chart Log UK". Dipl.-Bibl.(FH) Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  9. ^ "Official Charts Company: Yazz". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  10. ^ IRMA. "The Irish Charts". Retrieved 2014-01-17.  Note: User must define search parameters, i.e. "Yazz" and "Coldcut" when searching by Artist.
  11. ^ "Yazz - German Chart". charts.de. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  12. ^ "ARIA singles charts - Yazz". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  13. ^ "ARIA singles charts - Coldcut". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  14. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  15. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry (submitted to charts.mail@aria.com.au), received 2014-01-17". imgur.com. Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  16. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry (submitted to charts.mail@aria.com.au), received 2014-06-17". imgur.com. Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  17. ^ "Charts.org.nz – "Doctorin' the House"". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Yazz". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance Disco 1974–2003. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 285. ISBN 0-89820-156-X. 
  • 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

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