Born Madeline Bell Brodus on 23 July 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, USA, and raised by her grandmother, who was originally instrumental in encouraging Madeline's natural singing talent at the age of five. She sang gospel music in church and at school, approximately eight years later Madeline became aware of pop music, inspired by Sam Cook.
During her High School years Madeline met singers at school who targeted their gospel music towards pop music. In addition Madeline sang on corners of streets, local clubs, and talent shows. Madeline was a prominent member of the local gospel choir and at the age of fourteen her voice was unique and powerfully penetrating, with such range it could be distinctly heard above a one hundred and fifty strong gospel ensemble.
Madeline was sixteen when she joined her first gospel group The Glovertones and sang in church halls all over New Jersey and New York. This superb group toured America's Deep South with Madeline's illuminating voice impressing audiences everywhere. Madeline stayed with "The Glovertones" for two years until her involvement with the Alex Bradford Singers.
She moved into vocal backing work having signed to sing vocal backing along with Lesley Duncan and Doris Troy on the legendary Dusty Springfield hit "In The Middle Of Nowhere". Later more impressive quality vocal backing followed on future Dusty recording sessions, joined mainly by her colleagues Lesley Duncan, Kiki Dee and Kay Garner. Madeline proceeded to be signed to Philips Records and made some spectacular singles to include Bacharach and David's "What The World Needs Now Is Love", Rogers and Hammerstein's "Climb Every Mountain" and Motown songwriters Ashford and Simpson's "One Step At A Time". Madeline also provided exhilarating vocal backing for Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Scott Walker, Long John Baldry, Joe Cocker, Elton John and many more singers too numerous to mention.
vocal contribution on these stars' records added that necessary
golden ingredient to make the recordings more noticeable. It
is a certain fact that Madeline assisted in making many known
singers worldwide celebrities. Madeline's powerful voice was
clearly ahead of its time and that all-important British hit
single eluded her. Madeline achieved another aspect to her career
by making T.V. Jingles including British Gas, Tea, McDonalds
and other significant brand leading product commercials. Madeline's
delectable voice radiated through many of these Jingles, bringing
her majestic voice into the homes of the British public. This
valuable T.V. work proved to be both promotional and lucrative
entertained the public in another capacity as Disc Jockey on
BBC Radio 1 for a while displaying a flair for other aspects
of the music industry. She has also appeared many times on a
variety of television programmes to include "Top Of The
Pops" and other popular music shows singing with her powerhouse
of unique vocal talents. Various radio stations have given Madeline
a vast amount of airplay for her songs.
has worked many times with the BBC's Big Band and was their special
guest on 19 August 1999 at the "Royal Albert Hall"
London impressing everyone with her incredible vocal dynamics.
She has performed at the world famous Ronnie Scott's club in
London since 1987 and on every occasion received a tumultuous
reaction from enthusiastic audiences. Madeline has released numerous
CDs of her work in the 90's, revealing supreme talents and array
of styles, and on her recordings, plus live performances Madeline's
backing musicians have provided ultimate professionalism.
Having started out as a gospel singer in 1956, toured Europe with the successful show "Black Nativity" in 1962, provided many stars with quality vocal backing and recorded superb singles and albums of her own. Worked and recorded hits with "Blue Mink", provided vocal backing for "James Last", toured the Netherlands and impressed inner Europe with outstanding performances. Played a major role in London's recording studios and written a considerable amount of her own songs, Madeline continues to enthral the public with her excellent voice and dynamic personality. Madeline has achieved many other significant show business events throughout her career which are not mentioned here, indeed sufficient to fill a book. The 9 July 1999 brought about a tremendous occasion in the singing career of this amazing lady when Madeline was given full acclaim and recognition for her work in the form of an award, which was presented by The International Alliance For Women In Music. Record Producers, Song Writers, T.V. Producers, Musical Directors of shows and the Global Press need look no further than Madeline, for they have a golden talent in their vision ready to enter the hall of fame where she will remain as a brilliant perpetual star. The June Mendoza portrait of Madeline at Ronnie Scott's Club in London will be touring the UK Art Galleries for 18 months until June 2001.
On the 22 June 2003 Madeline was honoured with a LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD, presented by the Music Heritage Foundation for her significant and outstanding contribution to the music industry. The event, held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London, was attended by many prominent celebrities. This award is long overdue and more than well deserved for a lady whose musical career is diamond studded with great songs and immaculate performances this prestigious award will place Madeline at the top of the ladder of international stardom where she belongs as a magnetic and outstanding entertainer whose class and quality voice has spanned the decades and remained impeccably intact.
world zoomed into the Millennium on 1 January 2000 and the "Celebration
Bells" rang out, our own magnificent Madeline Bell was ready
to continue holding the universal public transfixed with her
miraculous vocal ability, inspiring hearts and minds musically
way into the 21st Century.
Madeline's career has continued to blossom proving that her supreme vocal ability has sustained its excellent driving force. Madeline has worked regularly with the SAS rock band once again showing audiences diverse sides of her voice, which covers all aspects of music. With the SAS band Madeline has sang outstanding versions of Natural Woman, Higher Ground, Lady Marmalade and Move on Up.
Madeline has recently completed over fifty interviews for BBC and Independent Radio nationwide in the UK giving an account of her remarkable career, in addition Madeline has contributed to many TV programmes through interviews relating to the music industry. Madeline continues to work with the BBC Big Band and is involved in concerts titled The 3 Divas. These shows have impressed audiences everywhere and have included other top singers, Sheila Ferguson, Ruby Turner and PP Arnold.
A considerable amount of Madeline's time is spent in Holland performing with a great Dutch band headed by Frits Landesbergen all the musicians are excellent and tours continue to be successful. Memorable Christmas tours are brilliant. Madeline also continues to work in Germany.
Madeline is now involved in a great enterprise and has completed a series of shows in Movie Theatres in the Netherlands and Belgium. These important shows incorporate the film "Ray", and Madeline's vocal tribute to the great Ray Charles's Music. The full extravaganza which includes an introduction to Ray's music with Madeline involved, the film Ray with actor Jamie Fox giving an awe inspiring performance as "Ray", then the entire Jazz orchestra of the Concertgebouw with Madeline performing in front of the screen where the film had just been shown, Madeline gives an electrifying vocal tribute to Ray Charles's songs.
rendition of Ray's songs is spectacular and audiences responded
enthusiastically in respect of Madeline's great voice and personality
a live CD entitled Tribute to Ray Charles Jazz Orchestra of the
Concertgebouw featuring Madeline is on release, e-mail @jazzorchesta.nl.