Grammy Award-winning vocalist/producer/songwriter Jody Watley made a name for herself with the dance-soul trio Shalamar before embarking on a solo career that would bring her numerous Top Ten hits and a reputation as "The Queen of Cool." Watley was born in Chicago, IL, on January 30, 1959, but grew up in Los Angeles. Jody's teenage gig as a dancer on Soul Train would lead to a meeting with the hit TV show's booking agent, Dick Griffey. Along with fellow singers Jeffrey Daniels and Gerald Brown, Watley was recruited by Griffey to join Shalamar in 1977. A string of poppy dance-soul hits that would chart in America and the U.K. began in 1979 with "Take That to the Bank." Watley would leave the group in 1982 and eventually move to London, where she recorded some demos with the Art of Noise. It was during this time that she was invited by Bob Geldof to appear on the 1986 charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid. She returned to the U.S. late in the year and began working on her solo debut.