Meshell Ndegeocello

Hailed by the New York Times as “a singer-songwriter of searching candor and an electric bassist of mesmerizing skill,” Meshell Ndegeocello has been called everything from avant-garde to a dying breed. You can follow her on Twitter here and visit her website here.


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Me'Shell Ndegéocello is a stylisation of Meshell Ndegeocello, a pseudonym of Michelle Lynn Johnson (b. 29 Aug 1968) is a singer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist. She was born Michelle Johnson to Army lieutenant (and saxophonist) father Jacques Johnson and her mother, Helen in Berlin, Germany. Raised in Washington, D.C., Meshell Suhaila Bashir Shakur (as she became known) adopted the surname Ndegéocello, which means "free like a bird", while still in her teens. She has been hailed in the music press as a redeemer of soul music. Her music incorporates funk, soul, hip-hop, reggae, rock and jazz. She has been nominated for 9 Grammys. She has frequently toured with Lilith Fair. Ndegeocello honed her chops on the D.C. Go-go circuit in the late 1980s before venturing out as a solo artist. She emerged as a recording artist in 1993 on Maverick Records/Sire Records with her debut, Plantation Lullabies. This recording presented a distinctly androgynous persona. Her music has been featured in a number of film soundtracks including How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Batman and Robin. She has also appeared on recordings by Basement Jaxx and The Blind Boys of Alabama, among others. Her biggest hit is a duet with John Cougar Mellencamp, a cover version of Van Morrison's Wild Night, which reached #3 on the Billboard charts. Her singles If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night), Leviticus: Faggot, and her cover of Bill Withers Who Is He and What Is He To You? have all charted in the Billboard top 20. She sang background vocals on the song I'd Rather be Your Lover by Madonna, on her album Bedtime Stories. She also sang with Chaka Khan on the single Never Miss the Water, as well as providing her typical solid bass skills. Sites: YouTube, Deezer, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Discogs, MusicBrainz, Twitter and Google+ Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.


Meshell Ndegeocello Talks Passion Pit’s Kindred

By Meshell Ndegeocello | May 5, 2015

Meshell Ndegeocello Talks Passion Pit’s Kindred

The weary songwriter finds relief from a troubled world on Passion Pit’s nostalgic new album.

Meshell Ndegeocello Talks Michael Jackson’s Xscape

By Meshell Ndegeocello | May 28, 2014

Meshell Ndegeocello Talks Michael Jackson’s Xscape

A long time ago, I had the chance to work in a studio where Michael Jackson had recently recorded. The engineers there told me that Michael...