Tawatha Agee has used her rich, soulful voice to support artists including Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick. She hooked up with James Mtume and Reggie Lucas to form the group Mtume. Mtume recorded in the late 70s without any commercuial success. Mtume and Lucas began moonlighting as successful producers for other artists. They gave Phyllis Hyman the biggest hit of her career with "You Know How To Love Me". As well, Mtume and Lucas were the architects of Stephanie Mills successful recording career at 20th Century records. Mtume/Lucas crafted all of Mills' biggest hits including "Never Knew Love Like This Before" and "Whatcha' Gonna Do With My Lovin'." Agee continued her collaboration with Mtume/Lucas behind the scenes, providing vocals and composing songs. Agee co-wrote "Two Hearts", the hit duet by Stephanie Mills and Teddy Pendergrass. In 1983, the trio regrouped to take another shot at success as Mtume. Providence smiled and Mtume scored with the inescapable "Juicy Fruit." That track held the No.1 spot on the Billboard R&B charts for eight weeks. It has been regularly sampled through the years -- most recently it was the basis for Keyshia Cole's No.1 hit "Let It Go." Given how ubiquitous the "Juicy Fruit" beat is today, it is interesting to note that it did not make the pop Top 40 during its chart reign. Even so, both the single "Juicy Fruit" and the album of the same name were certified gold. Mtume released two other albums but neither matched the success of Juicy Fruit. Agee's 1987 solo debut, Welcome To My Dream, was produced by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas. It has more in common with the thumping, sparse hits of Mtume than the lush, melodic soul of the pair's productions for Mills or Hyman. The infectious "Thigh Ride" was the first single and it possessed much of the bass-heavy charm of the Mtume hits. It zoomed into the R&B top 10. Unfortunately, the follow-up single "Did I Dream You", gorgeous as it was, barely scraped the Top 50 on the R&B charts. There are other great moments on Welcome To My Dream including the gospel-ish ballad "No More Tears" and "Love Goes Higher." Welcome To My Dream didn't make much of an impact commercially but Agee didn't miss a beat. She continued to provide vocals on almost all of Luther Vandross's albums, and added Sting and The Dave Matthews Band to the array of musicians she has supported.
Side 1 Thigh Ride Did I Dream You Love Shine Love Goes Higher Welcome To My Dream (Tears Of Joy)
Side 2 Are You Serious More Than Before The Waiting's Over No More Tears