In 1985, young R&B singer Meli’sa Morgan made her solo debut with a remake of Prince’s “Do Me Baby.” The song went to No. 1 on the R&B charts and to No. 41 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Since then, she’s recorded a half dozen albums. Many in Atlanta are probably wondering what happen to the popular ’80s singer who had other hit tunes such as “Love Changes” and “Do You Still Love Me.”
We caught up with Morgan Saturday morning right before she was about the make the drive from her home in South Carolina to Atlanta for a Sunday performance at Sambuca.
You’ve been out of the spotlight for a while. What have you been up to?
I’m not going to co-sign on that. I haven’t been out of the spotlight. You just haven’t seen me. A few years ago, I had a CD titled “I Remember,” which did pretty well. I’ve been touring with people like Frankie Beverly & Maze, Freddie Jackson. And I just got back from Bermuda where I had two sold out shows. I also just finished a TV pilot for a show called “Cougars NYC.” I play one of the main cougars. The show documents relationships with younger men.
Will we be hearing any new albums or music from you in the near future?
I will be working on new CD in 2010 that should be out by the summer.
You were 22 when you recorded Prince’s “Do Me Baby.” It went to the top of R&B charts. What made you want to do that song specifically and did you ever get reaction from Prince?
I was actually a little younger that that, and I didn’t want to do that song, but the executive president at Capitol Records had already decided that the next person he signed would sing that song. He thought a female needed to do it. I went to my father to get his permission. And he said, ‘can you sing it?’ And I said, ‘yes I think I can,’ and he said ‘well sing it the best you can.’ And yes, I do know Prince. When I met him he told me thank you for a great song. I said, no, thank you, it’s your song. And he said, ‘but you did it better.’
What will fans hear from you at Sunday night’s performance?
This is a small, intimate atmosphere. I usually play for more than a thousand people, so it will be nice to do a smaller show. I’ll do a couple of cover songs that I don’t get to do when I perform for larger audiences.
What do you like to when you’re in Atlanta?
I like to go to Lenox Mall where I’m headed today. And most people won’t believe this, but every time I come to Atlanta I have to go to Pappadeux [Seafood Kitchen] for some sautéed frog legs.
IF YOU GO
Meli’sa Morgan performs on Sunday night at Sambuca, 3102 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. Shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Admission is $15.