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Melanie Janene Thornton (May 13, 1967 – November 24, 2001) was an Americanmarker pop singer who found fame in Germanymarker and fronted the Eurodance group La Bouche, who found success with the singles "Be My Lover" and "Sweet Dreams" in the mid-1990s. She forged a moderately successful solo career in Germanymarker before her death. Her hits include "Love How You Love Me", "Wonderful Dream", "Memories", and "Heartbeat". Thornton died in a plane crash near Bassersdorfmarker, Switzerlandmarker.

Personal life and career

Thornton was born in Charleston, South Carolinamarker and began studying voice from the age of six, as well as learning to play the piano and the clarinet. Growing up her mother would listen to Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack. Thorton would mimic the female vocalists she saw on television or heard on radio. Later on, she financed her college studies with appearances in talent shows and smaller band concerts. She frequented a club called The Peacock Lounge, getting up and doing jam sessions when the live band invited people up to sing. She had long dreamed of a career in music and in February 1992, Thornton went to Germany. Her sister lived there with her U.S. Army husband and Thornton had dual citizenship in Germany and the United States. His uncle, Bob Chisolm, a singer and piano player, encouraged her to give the German nightclub circuit a try. She had been singing in a Macon, Ga., band, Danger Zone, pulling down $50 on a good night. However, Bob Chisolm told her that on a bad night in Germany she would make $150.

Thornton tried it and soon found work in studios recording demos. It was her recording of the song "Sweet Dreams" that caught the attention of producer Frank Farian, the mastermind of the infamous 1980s duo Milli Vanilli. Farian took her under his wing, teaming her with rapper Lane McCray in the duo La Bouche, which is French for "The Mouth". La Bouche went on to become one of the biggest Eurodance groups of the 90s, with a string of hits, worldwide.

She left La Bouche in February 2000 to be replaced by Natascha Wright while Lane remained a part of the project. She signed a record deal with Sony/Epic Records. Her first solo single was released in November 2000, titled "Love How You Love Me", a ballad (the CD-maxi includes a few dance remixes). Thornton presented her new single on November 29, 2000 on the RTL Spendenmarathon, and on December 1 at the Dome in Berlin. The follow-up single was entitled "Heartbeat".

On May 7, 2001, Thornton released her first (and only) solo album entitled Ready To Fly under the label X-Cell (distributed by Sony/Epic Records). She continued to do club appearances in the United States under the billing "Melanie Thornton, formerly of La Bouche".

Death and aftermath

On the night of November 24, 2001, Thornton died in a plane crash of the Crossair Flight 3597marker near Bassersdorfmarker near Zürichmarker in Switzerlandmarker. She had given her final performance in Leipzigmarker and afterards taken the ill-fated plane from Berlinmarker to Zurich for radio and TV appearances (among others, the broadcast "Die Bar" on TV3, which was cancelled) to promote her new single "Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming)" and her album Ready To Fly (New Edition). "Wonderful Dream" was a Christmas ballad recorded for a German Coca-Cola TV commercial. Two members of pop band Passion Fruit died on the same plane.

Although Thornton's death occurred practically on the eve of that year's Christmas season, Coca-Cola decided to stick with the commercial as planned. It has also been used in Christmas Coca-Cola TV commercials in Germany, Irelandmarker, UKmarker, Belgiummarker, The Netherlandsmarker, Norwaymarker, Denmarkmarker, and Swedenmarker. The original commercial has been aired in Germany every year since 2001 around Christmas time, and the song has been in the German single charts every year since.

On November 25, 2002 the single "In Your Life" was released to commemorate the first anniversary of her death. Included is an "in memory" dedication from Lane McCray and SonyBmg/X-Cell Records.

Thornton is buried in Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens, Mount Pleasant, South Carolinamarker.

Discography

Singles

  • "Love How You Love Me" (November 6, 2000 with music video)
  • "Heartbeat" (April 9, 2001 with music video)
  • "Makin' Oooh Oooh (Talking About Love)" (September 3, 2001 with music video)
  • "Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming)" (November 26, 2001, re-released November 24, 2003 with music video)
  • "Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming)" (Pock It 8 cm CD) (November 15, 2004)
  • "In Your Life" (November 25, 2002 with music video.)


Albums

  • Ready To Fly (May 7, 2001)
  • Ready To Fly (New Edition) (November 26, 2001)


Compilations

  • Best of La Bouche feat. Melanie Thornton (May 21, 2002)
  • Memories - Her Most Beautiful Ballads (December 1, 2003)
  • La Bouche - Greatest Hits (April 2, 2007)


Thornton's bands & projects

  • Danger Zone
  • Schnapka
  • Groovin' Affairs
  • Le Click - "Tonight Is the Night"
  • La Bouche - "Sweet Dreams", "Be My Lover", "All Mixed Up", "A Moment of Love", "SOS", The Best of La Bouche
  • Men Behind - "Feel the Life", "How Can I?"
  • Orange Blue - "If You Wanna Be My Only"
  • 100% - "Power of the Light"
  • No Mercy
  • Comic - "I Surrender to Your Love"
  • Joy-Lab
  • Hystery
  • DJ Bobo - "Love of My Life"
  • Loop


References

External links

English language



German language




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