Shannon (born Brenda Shannon Greene, May 2, 1958) is an American singer. She is best known for her 1983 million-selling record, "Let the Music Play". The record re-defined the electro funk sound that Arthur Baker and John Rocca (who produced "I.O.U" by Freeez) developed in 1982, which would eventually be called freestyle music.
In the spring of 1983, Greene was enrolled at York College and toured with the New York Jazz Ensemble. Quintin Hicks, an associate of the production team of Mark Liggett and Chris Barbosa, later saw Shannon singing with a live band in her cousin's recording studio. Shannon auditioned for Liggett and Barbosa with the song "She Can't Love You Like I Do". They introduced her to the track "Fire and Ice", which would later evolve into Shannon's signature song, "Let the Music Play". This title would also be applied to Shannon's debut album.
In July 1983, the "Let the Music Play" single was released and Shannon was invited back to record more songs with Liggett and Barbosa. "Let the Music Play" had become acknowledged as the first Latin freestyle track. The single reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. It spent six weeks at #1.
Her debut album, Let the Music Play, was released in February 1984. The follow-up single from the album was "Give Me Tonight", which hit the top spot on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. It also became a significant hit on Urban radio. In the U.S., the third single was "My Heart's Divided", another Latin freestyle track, which again featured Jimmi Tunnel on the refrain vocals. "Sweet Somebody", a mid-tempo soul effort, made the Top 40 in Europe.
Let the Music Play went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide. Shannon was nominated for a Grammy and received numerous other awards, including the Dianah Washington (Jack the Rapper) Award, the Hall of Fame Award, the Gold Ampex Reel Award, a certified gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Best Billboard Top 10 female R&B vocalist.
In 1985, Shannon released her second album, Do You Wanna Get Away, which sported a sound similar to that of her debut album. The title track became her third #1 on the Dance charts and became her third and final chart hit on the Billboard Hot 100 to date. She scored three more dance hits from the album, including "Stronger Together", a cover of "Urgent" by Foreigner, and "Stop the Noise", with a video sponsored by Pepsi and Black Angus. Her third album, 1986's Love Goes All the Way, was not as successful as her previous LPs.
Shannon asked to be released from her recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1987. Earlier that year, she recorded one last single, "Criminal", for the movie Fatal Beauty. While touring the world, Shannon attended and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
In the late 1990s interest in Shannon rekindled, when VH1 spotlighted her on their One Hit Wonders series. Entertainment Tonight also taped a special about her life. In 1998, she co-wrote and sang on the track "Take a Little Time" by Les Rythmes Digitales.
In 2000, Shannon released her fourth studio album, The Best Is Yet to Come, on which she is credited as a co-writer. Chris Barbosa was invited back as a producer, along with Andy "Panda" Tripoli and Tony Moran. A Greatest Hits album was released in November 2004.
On April 20, 2006, Shannon participated in the Freestyle Extranvaganza concert along with Judy Torres, George Lamond, Cynthia, Lisette Melendez, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, the Cover Girls, Hanson and Davis, Coro, and Stevie B.. The event was sponsored by WKTU, WSKQ, and WCAA in New York.
U.S. Billboard Hot 100
UK Singles Chart
"Let the Music Play" (1983)
"Give Me Tonight" (1984)
"My Heart's Divided" (1984)
"Sweet Somebody" (1984)
"Do You Wanna Get Away" (1985)
"Stronger Together" (1985)
"Stop the Noise" (1985)
"Love Goes All the Way" (1986)
"Prove Me Right" (1986)
"It's Got To Be Love" (1995)
"Do the Wrong Thing" *(1996)
"It's Over Love" **(1997)
"Move Mania" ***(1999)
"Give Me Tonight 2000" (2000)
"Let the Music Play 2000" (2000)
*- "Do the Wrong Thing" with Afrika Bambaataa
**- Todd Terry featuring Shannon
***- Sash! featuring Shannon
1984 Let the Music Play - Mirage/Atlantic Records
1985 Do You Wanna Get Away - Mirage/Atlantic Records
1986 Love Goes All the Way - Atlantic Records
1996 Essential Dancefloor Artists - Deep Beats
2000 The Best Is Yet to Come - Contagious Records
2004 Let the Music Play: The Best of Shannon - Shout Factory
2007 A Beauty Returns - Diggin4Brown
List of number-one dance hits (United States)
List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart