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Lamya
Lamya
Background information
Birth name Lamya Al-Mugheiry
Born Kenya, 1973
Died 8 January 2009
Occupation Singer, songwriter
Genres R&B, Pop, Rock
Years active 1990s-2009
Associated acts Duran Duran
David Bowie
James Brown
Angélique Kidjo
Singer

Lamya or Lamya Al-Mugheiry (1973 - 8 January 2009) was a female R&B and dance music singer whose powerful voice backed Duran Duran in concert during the 1990s, where her standout performance was the re-worked live version of their song "Come Undone".

A remix of her song "Empires" hit #1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 2002.

BackgroundEdit

Lamya was born in Kenya of Omani descent and raised in Sheffield, United Kingdom. When just 16, she sang lead vocals under the name "Razette" on DJ Vaughn Mason's "Ready 4 Love", an answer track to the 1988 single "Break 4 Love" by Raze. Lamya's version reached #77 in the UK Charts in August 1989. Soon afterwards, she was chosen to perform lead vocals for Soul II Soul on the tracks "Love Come Through" and "In the Heat of the Night", from their sophomore album Vol. II: 1990 - A New Decade.

In 1993, she joined Duran Duran for their two-year Wedding Album tour, and related television appearances, including MTV Unplugged which aired in December 1993. She also performed with David Bowie, James Brown and Angélique Kidjo.

Solo careerEdit

In 2002, Lamya released her first and only album, Learning from Falling, on the J Records label. She produced and composed the songs, using poems she had written since the age of eleven. It included the singles "Empires (Bring Me Men)" and "Black Mona Lisa".[1] The album debuted at #16 on the Top Heatseekers chart, but neither of its singles entered the Billboard Hot 100. In its review of the album, Blender described her as "the Kenyan Björk".[2]

She appeared in Nelson Mandela's February 2003 AIDS benefit concert,[3], and opened for Macy Gray later that year.[4]

Lamya was scheduled to release her sophomore album, Hiding in Plain Sight, in 2009, but died of a sudden and unexpected heart attack on 8 January, 2009, while in Oman. She was only 35.


Of her death, Simon Le Bon said on behalf of Duran Duran:[5]

January 12th, 2009

We would like to express our sadness upon hearing about the death of our dear friend Lamya Al-Mugheiry.

She joined Duran Duran as a singer for our tour of the Wedding Album in 1993 and continued to appear on stage with us well into the 1990s. During that time she gained our respect and affection. As well as performing and recording with us, she worked with such greats as David Bowie and James Brown. You may also recognise her as the voice of Soul II Soul’s Vol. II. She released her solo album “Learning From Falling” in 2002.

I can honestly say that hers was one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. Working with her was always easy because she had such a finely developed ear for music and the vocal capability, in both range and timbre, to match it. She was the lovely beautiful girl who brought her very individual formula of Eastern Exotique to a stage of white Anglo-Saxon rockers.

We remember her with love in our hearts.

Simon Le Bon

Her canonical Library of Congress name is "Lamy, A." which is how her work is cataloged in many libraries.

DiscographyEdit

  • Learning from Falling (2002) #16 Top Heatseekers
    • "Empires (Bring Me Men)" (2002) – #1 Hot Dance Club Play
    • "Black Mona Lisa" (2002)

ReferencesEdit

  1. MTV.com profile
  2. "Soul II Soul/Duran Duran backing singer would like to be the Kenyan Björk. Who wouldn’t, really?" Learning From Falling review, 2002.
  3. Billboard
  4. Billboard
  5. Lamya Al-Mugheiry, Duran Duran Official Site news page

External linksEdit

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