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Zhané

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Biography

Given a high-profile spot on the all-star compilation Roll Wit tha Flava as their first recording opportunity, Zhané lived up to the pressure and came away with one of the R&B party anthems of the '90s, "Hey, Mr. DJ." Jean Norris and Renee Neufville met while both were studying music at Philadelphia's Temple University (Norris is originally from Rhode Island, Neufville from Brooklyn). After meeting Naughty by Nature's Kay Gee, Zhané impressed the producer enough to go right into the studio to record for Roll Wit tha Flava. When "Hey, Mr. DJ" was released as a single, it hit number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned the group a contract with Motown in 1994. Their debut album, Pronounced Jah-Nay, produced two additional Top 40 hits ("Groove Thang," "Sending My Love") and went gold by the end of the year. Zhané kept busy during 1995-1996 with spots on tracks by Busta Rhymes and De La Soul as well as new songs of their own on the NFL Jams and NBA 50th Anniversary compilations and the soundtracks to Higher Learning and A Low Down Dirty Shame -- the latter, "Shame," became their fourth Top 40 hit. Norris and Neufville returned with Saturday Night in April 1997, co-produced by Kay Gee, Eddie F., and themselves. It peaked just outside the Top 40. Two years later, the duo split. Baylor worked as a solo artist and with the group Free Day (alongside husband Marcus Baylor), and she also collaborated with Elisabeth Withers, Eric Roberson, and SWV. Neufville joined Roy Hargrove's RH Factor and recorded with the likes of Leela James, Terrence Howard, and Pete Rock. ~ John Bush
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