Regina Belle (born July 17, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter from Englewood, New Jersey. At a young age she began performing at Englewood’s Mount Calvary Baptist Church. Belle was a student at Rutgers University when she linked up with the Manhattans and scored her first hit, “Where Did We Go Wrong.” After being signed to Columbia Records in 1987, Belle released her debut album, All by Myself, which included the hits, “So Many Tears” and “Show Me the Way.”
She recorded the 1986 duet, “Where Did We Go Wrong,” with the group which helped to attract the attention of Columbia Records. They eventually signed her to a record deal. While she enjoyed great success, Belle was unexpectedly dropped from her record label, triggering a string of challenges that would nearly take her life. After 25 years in the business, she almost lost it all after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“I went to emergency surgery, and the surgery was supposed to take a couple of hours. It took eight. I bled so badly they had to close me up and finish it six months later, they had to open my head back up,” she recalled on Unsung.
Regina Belle Full Biography and Profile
No walk down R&B memory lane is complete without a rundown of Regina Belle’s discography. From “Baby Come To Me” to “Make It Like It Was,” we’ve kept the Academy Award-winning and Grammy-winning singer’s music on heavy rotation. In the aughts, Belle took a break from R&B to record both jazz and gospel albums. This week she returns with her first R&B album in 15 years. Ahead of the release of The Day Life Began, Belle shared lessons learned from over two decades in the business.
I’m glad that I never had to figure out what I was going to do with my life. It was decided for me inside my mom’s belly. Glad that I was eavesdropping.
The moment I knew I made it was when I first heard my voice on the radio. I was in a car on the way to the gig and heard a song that I recorded with The Manhattans called “Where Did We Go Wrong?” I still lose it when I hear myself. I even lose it on the elevator with the muzak versions of my music. Now that’s having made it big! Lol!
In 1987, she released her debut album, “All By Myself.” It included her first hits “So Many Tears” and “Show Me the Way.” Her follow-up album, “Stay with Me,” was then released in 1989.
Belle recorded a duet in 1991 with Johnny Mathis, “Better Together,” which appeared on his album “Better Together: The Duet Album.” Continuing her tradition of duets, Belle teamed up with Peabo Bryson for the songs “I Can’t Imagine,” “Without You” and “A Whole New World,” which was the featured pop single from the soundtrack to the 1992 Disney movie “Aladdin.”
The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and won the Grammy Award in 1993 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal as well as the Academy Award for Best Song in later that year.
Also in 1993, Belle released her platinum selling third album, “Passion.” The album featured the Disney hit “A Whole New World,” “Dream In Color” and “If I Could, “which reached # 9 on the Billboard R&B chart. Belle released “Reachin’ Back” in 1995 followed by “Believe in Me” in 1998.
In 2001, Regina Belle’s cover of “Just the Two of Us” from the tribute album “To Grover, With Love” made a surprising return to the Billboard charts, and within months Belle would sign with the jazz oriented independent label Peak-Concord Jazz.
That same year she released the album “This Is Regina!, “which featured the R&B hit single, “Ooh Boy.” Belle also known for her hits “Make It Like It Was” and Baby Come To Me” is a must sing for her fans.
In 2004, she released a jazz standard album, “Lazy Afternoon,” which was produced by George Duke. The album included covers of the Isley Brothers’ “For the Love of You” and Tony Bennett’s “If I Ruled the World.”
In 2007, she collaborated with smooth jazz saxophonist Paul Taylor, co-writing and singing on his album, “Ladies Choice.” Belle released her debut gospel album, “Love Forever Shines,” in 2008 via Walker Davis Records The 14-track collection featured guests Melvin Williams (of the Williams Brothers) and Shirley Murdock.
In 2009 Belle suffered a Brain Tumor and under went 2 surgeries that left her deaf in one ear.Belle Faith was tested and she stood on God’s word that she would be healed.
Belle in June 2012 released her Testimony album ,” HIGHER”, Regina Belle has a simple but powerful message. “I pray that each listener has an experience. My whole objective in doing this record is to bring people into the presence of God. Some of us don’t always get there through the preached word.
The music is only second to that, but I want to be able to know that I did my job and if you don’t have words to say, then use my words. If you don’t have a voice, then use my voice. If you don’t have the music or the setting, use mine. I believe that my music helps people get to a special place.” That place is a closer walk with God, one that is sweeter, deeper, richer and HIGHER!
The Last Words
My biggest regret is…I don’t have any! The biggest hurts and mistakes that I’ve made in my life have helped to shape me into the not-so-bad person that I am today. So I kinda need all of me. The good and the bad to be who I am. I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone. I can handle me!
My greatest joy in life right now is making a positive difference in people’s lives. My everyday mantra is “God will keep the feet of His saints” (1 Samuel 2:9). This helps me everyday, especially on days when I feel overwhelmed.
The key to my happiness is family, music, and ministry. I get all my strength from knowing that God is keeping me.
- Regina Belle Biography and Profile (Regina Belle)