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Madeline Bell

Born Madeline Bell Brodus on 23 July 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, USA, and raised by her grandmother, who was originally instrumental in encouraging Madeline’s natural singing talent at the age of five. She sang gospel music in church and at school, approximately eight years later Madeline became aware of pop music, inspired by Sam Cook.

During her High School years Madeline met singers at school who targeted their gospel music towards pop music. In addition Madeline sang on corners of streets, local clubs, and talent shows. Madeline was a prominent member of the local gospel choir and at the age of fourteen her voice was unique and powerfully penetrating, with such range it could be distinctly heard above a one hundred and fifty strong gospel ensemble.

Madeline was sixteen when she joined her first gospel group The Glovertones and sang in church halls all over New Jersey and New York. This superb group toured America’s Deep South with Madeline’s illuminating voice impressing audiences everywhere. Madeline stayed with “The Glovertones” for two years until her involvement with the Alex Bradford Singers.

Alex Bradford who formed and pioneered America’s most famous gospel group was immediately magnetised by Madeline’s compelling and creative voice. He instantly recruited her to the group being acutely aware that Madeline’s presence in the Alex Bradford Singers would enhance their vocal performances. The Alex Bradford Singers sang all over America and toured Europe as part of the off-Broadway hit show “Black Nativity” written by Langston Hughes. The musical was also recorded for television. Madeline played an integral part in the show projecting her magnificent voice to the full. Such artists as Cliff Richard and Chris Barber acclaimed “Black Nativity” when it was staged in London in 1962. After completing of the “Black Nativity” tour Madeline decided to make her home in England.

Norman Newell, who was Shirley Bassey’s recording manager, was so enthralled by Madeline’s vocal diversity of style that he was inspired to sign her to Columbia Records. She embarked on a solo recording career making some excellent and outstanding singles and working in cabaret. Madeline’s first cabaret date was in 1964 at the “La Dolce Vita” nightclub in Newcastle upon Tyne. Also on the bill were Lionel Blair and comedian Les Dawson.

Madeline’s career has continued to blossom proving that her supreme vocal ability has sustained its excellent driving force. Madeline has worked regularly with the SAS rock band once again showing audiences diverse sides of her voice, which covers all aspects of music. With the SAS band Madeline has sang outstanding versions of Natural Woman, Higher Ground, Lady Marmalade and Move on Up.

Madeline has recently completed over fifty interviews for BBC and Independent Radio nationwide in the UK giving an account of her remarkable career, in addition Madeline has contributed to many TV programmes through interviews relating to the music industry. Madeline continues to work with the BBC Big Band and is involved in concerts titled The 3 Divas. These shows have impressed audiences everywhere and have included other top singers, Sheila Ferguson, Ruby Turner and PP Arnold.

A considerable amount of Madeline’s time is spent in Holland performing with a great Dutch band headed by Frits Landesbergen all the musicians are excellent and tours continue to be successful. Memorable Christmas tours are brilliant. Madeline also continues to work in Germany.

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