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ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Talented singer and actress Freda Payne was born on September 19 in Detroit. Freda modeled and took ballet and Afro-Cuban dance. While at Hutchins Middle School, she appeared on the nationally televised Ted Mack's The Original Amateur Hour. Singing jingles, Payne was featured on WJR radio's Make Way for Youth and many other local television and radio shows. Payne's mother spurned a contract from, then unknown, Barry Gordy.
When she graduated from Central High School Freda Payne toured with Pearl Bailey's musical review and sang with the Duke Ellington Band. Her first album was ‘After the Lights Go Down’ for ABC's Impulse Records in 1962.
Moving to New York City, Freda made appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Merv Griffin Show and The Dick Cavett Show. In 1964, she joined the Four Tops, Billy Eckstine, and Nipsey Russell on the Quincy Jones Tour. Payne was understudy for Leslie Uggams in Broadway's ‘Hallelujah Baby’ and performed in the show 5 times.
Stardom for Payne began when she signed with Invictus Records, ran by her old Detroit friends, Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr. and Lamont Dozier (formerly of Motown) in1969. Payne's smash single "Band of Gold" in 1970 was ranked #1 in the U.K. and #3 in the U.S.A., her first gold record. Other hits included "Deeper and Deeper", "You Brought Me Joy" and the anti-war, "Bring the Boys Home". As her star kept rising, Payne appeared in television specials and toured Europe and Japan.