Yes, we all saw it—the TV ONE Unsung episode featuring legendary Tony Award-winning, Grammy nominated singer, Melba Moore. Known for her performance in Purlie and a riveting rendition of “Lift Every Voice in Sing,” Moore was truly a bona fide star. Once upon a time, she was on top of the world. Unfortunately, her rise to the top, didn’t last. But like the saying goes, you can’t keep a good woman down and what’s meant to be will be. Moore is back to pursuing her passion and there’s plenty still to come from the born star.
Born to a musical family, Moore was destined to shine. It was her path and she gladly accepted it. Her first love of music was put on hold, when she joined the cast of “Hair” and eventually replaced Diane Keaton in the play, becoming the first African American actress to ever replace a White actress on Broadway. After leaving “Hair,” her first love—music was waiting in the wings for her.
Moore had several pop hits and earned Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Album for Peach Melba. She also had her own line of sportswear, a management company and a television show with Clifton Davis—a love interest both on and off screen. The television show ended after they broke off their relationship however. That’s when she began to face a series of trials and tribulations. Her managers and accountants walked away from her and her rising career was put on halt for a few years. Things started looking up after she met Charles Huggins and the two were married for two decades. The honeymoon didn’t last and the marriage ended on a sour note. Huggins left Moore in debt and she claims he spread rumors that she was addicted to drugs. Moore ended up on welfare and had to send her daughter to live with friend of the family, Bill Cosby. Moore also claimed that Huggins abused her and stole all her money.
Huggins didn’t know then, but Moore was a fighter. She worked her way through the trials and tribulations to get back on top of her music career, get her daughter back and get her money. With a lot of hard work, better management and faith in God; Moore is back to doing what she loves—making music. She explains that even though she took a break from music, she always stayed current behind the scenes. She says her music is still relevant today and her longevity in the industry is contributed to listening to social media and her fans; and watching the new artists. “If anyone criticizes what you do, don’t take it personal, just fix it and try harder next time,” she says.
When asked what lessons she can share with young people to help them avoid falling in the same traps as she did, she replied,” Develop yourself first (so you’re not so trusting), build confidence and be kind and peaceful.” You get back what you put out in the world.
Moore is busy these days, working on new music and developing her own projects and play. Her song, “Just Dance” will be on a new album expected to be released early this year entitled, Forever Moore. Her focus is reestablishing herself and the first thing she did was improve her wardrobe. She’s been rocking some “banging new clothes,” as she puts it. She’s also scheduled for several performances and appearances this year. Fans can expect to hear her perform her hit records as well as her current music. She says her most requested song is “Lean On Me, “ and she said it’s because there’s a story to the song and people really enjoy it. As for her off Broadway play, Still Standing she says, “I know what people needed to hear from me,” so she wrote it herself with the help of a script doctor.
Melba Moore is back on track and proves that you can’t keep a good woman down. She lives in New York, with her daughter. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/MelbaMoore and visit her website for show listings at http://www.melbamoore.com.