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Freda Payne

Freda Payne was born in Detroit and began singing and playing piano as a child.

At 18 she moved to New York to study music seriously, took dancing and vocal lessons, and was a cabaret and jazz singer before being taken to Invictus under the wing of the mighty Holland, Dozier and Holland, who kept her on a tight commercial leash.

They made ephemeral golden music, creating three-minute ‘symphonies for the kids’, and Freda was given a pop makeover.

Forever associated with the million-selling Band Of Gold, Payne wasn’t always happy churning out dancefloor-friendly pop/soul, and yearned to explore the jazz avenues of her girlhood heroine Ella Fitzgerald.