Cece Peniston


Cecelia Peniston, 6 September 1969, Dayton, Ohio, USA. After moving to Phoenix, Arizona, Peniston started acting at school. She went on to appear in numerous talent contests and also won the beauty pageants Miss Black Arizona and Miss Galaxy. She worked as a backing singer for the Overweight Pooch, and while still at college wrote ‘Finally’, which would become her first solo single. The music that backed the song bore more than a passing resemblance to the Ce Ce Rogers underground hit, ‘Someday’. Fresh out of college, and with only the faintest hopes of a music career, ‘Finally’ broke her into the US Top 10 in late 1991 on the back of a speculative demo. She also sung backing vocals on Kym Sims’ US Top 40 hit, ‘Too Blind To See It’. A singer and dancer slightly reminiscent of late 70s soul, most of Peniston’s compositions are piano-based with strong similarities to Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. Her modelling career was put on the back burner as ‘We Got A Love Thang’ reached US number 20 early in 1992, before the release of a somewhat disjointed debut album, which featured a third US Top 20 hit, ‘Keep On Walkin’’. All three songs also broke into the UK Top 10, with a reissued ‘Finally’ climbing all the way to number 2. Her second album, which featured the UK Top 20 hit ‘I’m In The Mood’, included contributions from house gurus David Morales and Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, but was generally more urban R&B-focused. After recording the gospel set Good News In Hard Times as the Sisters Of Glory, with Thelma Houston, Phoebe Snow, Lois Walden and Albertina Walker, Peniston continued her move towards a swingbeat -style with 1996’s commercially unsuccessful Movin’ On. She subsequently left A&M Records, since which she has recorded the club hit ‘Nobody Else’ for Hurley’s Silk Entertainment label and appeared in the Broadway production of The Wiz