UK SINGER Claudia Fontaine has passed away at the reported age of 57. The official cause of the death is currently unknown.
Hailing from London, Claudia began her professional journey in her early teens, providing backing vocals in recording sessions and working with reggae artists such as Keith Douglas, Tony Tuff and King Sounds. She joined a few lovers rock trios, including Mellow Rose, One Love and True Harmony before eventually launching a solo career.
Claudia went on to record a rendition of classic R&B ballad, ‘Natural High’, produced by Junior Boothe, which remains a popular British lovers rock anthem until this day. The pair worked together once again on follow-up single ‘Not A Little Girl Anymore’.
In 1982, Fontaine joined La Famile, singing lead vocals alongside Brown Sugar and Soul II Soul vocalist Caron Wheeler. The group recorded the 1982 disco hit ‘Dancer’, followed by the acclaimed ‘All Night Long’.
In 1983, she teamed up with Raymond Simpson as Raymond And Claudia, and the duo recorded takes on George Benson’s ‘Turn Your Love Around’, Jermaine Jackson’s ‘Paradise In Your Eyes’ and ‘Is It Always Gonna Be Like This’.
Throughout that decade, Fontaine, Wheeler and later Naomi Thompson formed the collective Afrodiziak. The Guardian described them as one of the “go-to” backing vocalists of the time. They featured regularly on Top of the Pops from the mid to late 1980s.
Claudia can be seen in Soul II Soul’s 1989 ‘Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)’ music video alongside bandmate Wheeler.
Throughout her life, she performed with artists such as The Jam, Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Betty Boo, Dusty Springfield, Claudia Brücken, Julia Fordham, Marilyn, Pink Floyd, Madness, Neneh Cherry, The Specials, Heaven 17, Hothouse Flowers and Howard Jones.
Fontaine also sang background vocals on the hit single ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ (1984) by The Special AKA and was a recurring vocalist for Incognito. Described as a ‘singer’s singer’, Claudia was the lead vocalist on The Beatmasters’ hit single ‘Warm Love’ (1989) and ‘Deeper Into Harmony’ (1992).
She reportedly supported performers at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee event in 2002, and was also invited to sing at for the concert for The Celebration of Princess Dianna’s life at the Wembley Stadium (2007).
This story is developing.