Melba Moore

Melba Moore (born Oct. 29, 1945) is an American R&B singer and actress who got her start in showbiz as part of the off-Broadway cast in the musical Hair in 1967. She released two albums and a live disc on Mercury between 1970 and 1972, followed by four albums on Buddah and three on Epic between 1975 and 1980. She continued the pace during the subsequent decade on Capitol while acting in stage productions and film/TV roles.

Moore was born Beatrice Melba Hill in New York City on October 29, 1945, the daughter of R&B singer Gertrude Melba Smith (aka Bonnie Davis, 1920–1976) and big band leader Teddy Hill (1909–1978). Her parents separated soon after she was born. She grew up in Harlem until age nine, when her mom married jazz pianist Clem Moorman and moved the family to Newark, New Jersey.

Moore made her recording debut in 1967 with the track “Magic Touch,” which went unreleased until 1986. That same year, she made her theatrical debut as Dionne in Hair alongside fellow soul singer Ronnie Dyson. In 1970, she won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical her portrayal of Lutiebelle in Purlie. That same year, she released her debut album, I Got Love (alternately issued as Living to Give), on Mercury.


  • I Got Love (1970)
  • Look What You’re Doing to the Man (1971)
  • Peach Melba (1975)
  • This Is It (1976)
  • Melba (1976)
  • A Portrait of Melba (1977)
  • Melba (1978)
  • Burn (1979)
  • Closer (1980)
  • What a Woman Needs (1981)
  • The Other Side of the Rainbow (1982)
  • Never Say Never (1983)
  • Read My Lips (1985)
  • A Lot of Love (1986)
  • I’m in Love (1988)
  • Soul Exposed (1990)


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