Genevieve Alison Jane Moyet was born on June 18, 1961, in Billericay, Essex, England. Growing up in Basildon with her brother, Alison developed a liking for music thanks to her parents. Her dad liked Jacques Brel and her mom liked classical music. Alison didn’t share the same tastes, but she wound up gravitating towards the likes of Dusty Springfield.
Alison Moyet was out of school at 16 without any clear skills or significant ideas for what she would do next. She’d started singing a year earlier and jammed in some bands like The Vandals and The Little Roosters, but music wasn’t a means of support; it was a hobby. Alison was earning her money as a shop worker, but decided that a job as a piano tuner might be more fun. It wouldn’t last because much larger events were in store for her.
Having done some jamming around town, Alison Moyet was known on the local music scene.Vince Clarke, late of Depeche Mode, asked her to record a demo for some music that he was working on. At the time, Alison was enrolled in a piano tuning course, but she was forced to quit when the resulting Clarke/Moyet collaboration “Only You” became a smash hit. Performing as the group Yazoo (or Yaz to U.S. audiences), the group officially launched in 1981 and experienced a quick rise to fame.
Yazoo released two albums, Upstairs at Eric’s and You and Me Both. The band was credited with breathing fresh life into the dance music scene by combining synth and soul for an intoxicating sound. As Yazoo, Alison and Vince captured a Brit Award for Best New Band, but after two albums, Alison decided to begin a solo career.
Alison Moyet gave a nod to Janis Joplin by selecting the singer’s old record label, CBS, as her own. She also titled her 1984 debut solo album Alf, an nickname from her days in punk. In the UK, Alf scored a trio of top 10 hits over a three year period with one of them, “Invisible,” giving U.S. fans their first exposure to Alison’s music. Several UK tours would follow, as well as a pair of Brit Awards and a performance in 1985’s Live Aid benefit.
After the success of her next album, 1987’s Raindancing, Alison Moyet took a break to ponder her next move. It would be 1991’s Hoodoo, an album with equal doses of rock and soul. Hoodoo represented Alison’s most personal album, and one of the singles, “It Won’t Be Long,” was Grammy-nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Alison released another album,1994’s Essex, but unfortunately a legal battle with the Sony label prevented her from releasing any new material for seven years. Even with this setback, Alison still got to live a dream by performing with Dusty Springfield during the singer’s final performance in 1995.
As a result of the recording delay, Alison Moyet decided to try some new things in the interim. Acting was one, as she hit the stage in 2001 to star in Chicago as ”Mama” Morton for a six-month run. As luck would have it, she won a release from her Sony contract that same year and in 2002, she released Homeland, the comeback album that became one of the top-selling albums of the year by a UK female artist. Alison was clearly back in top form.
Recently, Alison Moyet has been spending her time with her husband and two children. In 2007, Alison decided to head back to the recording studio for The Turn, a new album penned with her longtime collaborator Pete Glenister. With the future still shining bright, Alison sees her twilight years as a chance for more music, more acting and maybe even some painting.
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