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Angela Tomasa Bofill (born May 3, 1954) is an American R&B and jazz singer and songwriter.
Early life and success:
Angela Bofill was born to a Cuban father and an Afro Puerto Rican mother. Growing up, listening to latin music, she was also inspired by the African-American performers in those days. During her childhood, her weekends were taken up studying classical music and singing in a city chorus. It was as a teenager that her professional singing began. She performed with Ricardo Marrero & the Group and Dance Theater of Harlem chorus prior to being introduced to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen (of the jazz label GRP Records) by her friend, the jazz flautist Dave Valentin. Grusin and Rosen signed Bofill and produced her first album, Angie, in 1978. Angie was well received both critically and commercially and included the chart single "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" (co-written by Gwen Guthrie), as well as Bofill's sprawling jazz composition, "Under the Moon and Over the Sky". Less than a year later, a second album, Angel of the Night was released and outperformed its predecessor. The album included the chart singles "What I Wouldn't Do (For the Love of You)" and the up tempo title track, as well as the self-written song "I Try" (covered by Will Downing in 1991). The reception of these albums positioned Bofill as one of the first Latina singers to find success in the R&B and jazz markets.
Following the release of Angel of the Night, the head of Arista, Clive Davis, (whose label had a distribution deal with GRP at the time) showed interest in Bofill, and she switched labels for the release of her next album, Something About You in 1981. The album, produced by Narada Michael Walden, was an attempt to move Bofill into more mainstream R&B and pop material, but performed less well than her earlier releases, despite the relative success of the singles "Holdin' Out for Love" and the title track, which both reached the R&B Top 40. The following year, she and Walden reunited for Too Tough, this time achieving a major hit with the title track, which reached #5 on the R&B chart and spent four weeks at #2 on the Dance chart, as well as a Top 20 follow-up single "Tonight I Give In". Several months later, Bofill released her final collaboration with Walden, Teaser. The album failed to match the success of Too Tough but did produce one Top 20 R&B hit, "I'm On Your Side", which has since been covered by several artists, most notably Jennifer Holliday, who had a Top 10 hit with it in 1991.
She recorded two more modestly successful albums for Arista with the help of The System and George Duke, before leaving the label in the mid-1980s. Following the birth of her daughter, Bofill moved to Capitol Records and the producer Norman Connors for Intuition in 1988.
It was her last notable chart success, with Bofill's cover version of Gino Vannelli's "I Just Wanna Stop" reaching #11 on the R&B chart. She recorded three more albums over the next eight years of varying quality but limited commercial success, and provided backing vocals on a number of other albums for artists including Diana Ross, Kirk Whalum and for Connors' own Eternity in 2000. She continued to perform live (with a sizable audience internationally, particularly in Asia) and appeared in a number of stage plays during this time, including God Don't Like Ugly and What A Man Wants, What A Man Needs. She also regularly toured the US and Europe in multi-artist jazz shows.
Health issues and recent years:
Angela Bofill suffered a stroke on January 10, 2006 and was subsequently paralyzed on her left side. Bofill convalesced at Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa, California. She was released from intensive care on January 15 and required speech and physical therapy. Because Bofill did not have health insurance, a benefit concert was organized to pay her hospital bills. The show, planned by manager Rich Engel along with the New York radio stations Kiss FM and CD 101.9, was held on March 11, 2006, at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey. Similar events followed, and other aid was sought from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Her album Live in Manila (recorded in 2004) was released during this time. Unfortunately, Bofill suffered another massive stroke in July 2007, which required a long period of therapy and left both her speech and mobility impaired.
Although she lost her ability to sing after her second stroke, in recent years Bofill did return to the stage (at the suggestion of manager Engel) in "The Angela Bofill Experience." The show consists of Bofill recounting her life and career, joined by Maysa Leak, Phil Perry and Melba Moore, performing Bofill's biggest hits and signature songs. In 2012, Bofill was profiled and interviewed for the TVOne documentary series, Unsung.Make Angela Bofill Playlist