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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » ‘She gold-plated songs’: Denise Johnson, the voice of Manchester’s dancefloors


‘She gold-plated songs’: Denise Johnson, the voice of Manchester’s dancefloors

Delivered... Fergal Kinney | Scene | Tue 28 Jul 2020 2:10 pm

Nineties bands in need of rave vocals looked to the late Johnson, whose rich, fiery voice alchemised their music into something else entirely

News: Denise Johnson dies aged 56

Manchester’s nostalgia industrial complex tends to privilege its white men: Joy Division and Tony Wilson are the ones to have had biopics made about them, with another about Shaun Ryder on the way. But these rightful remembrances can crowd out figures such as Barry Adamson and Rowetta: black, genre-fluid pioneers amid the city’s wildly exciting music scene in the 1980s and early 90s. Vocalist Denise Johnson, who died this week aged 56, was another of them at the vanguard.

“Even though she was a mate,” remembers Johnny Marr, “you felt it was a privilege her being on your song. She kind of gold-plated songs – you knew that the track was going to acquire a few extra gold stars.”

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