Neneh Cherry

Neneh Marianne Karlsson Cherry was born in Sweden in 1964 before moving to New York City in the early '70's. Her Mother is "famous" painter Moki Cherry, and her step-father Don Cherry had been an influential jazz artist.

After dropping out of school and joining bands including Rip Rig & Panic, she recorded a solo single called "Stop the War". Neneh Marianne then got involved in the Bristol Urban Culture music scene, working as an arranger on Massive Attack's "Blue Lines" album while also recording her debut album "Raw Like Sushi" with Cameron McVey, her future husband and father of her then-unborn sprog.

Everything was primed for a career that would spawn the huge hits "Buffalo Stance", "Manchild" and "Kootchi".

"Raw With Sushi" was massive, and established Neneh as one of the most exciting new pop acts of the late eighties, spearheaded by its groundbreaking single "Buffalo Stance". Neneh appeared on "Top of the Pops" gyrating along to the track in a mini-skirt while controversially heavily pregnant. In 1990, she was the one who lost out to Milli Vanilla when they had their "Best New Artist" Grammy revoked (see the Milli Vanilla Music Box column). Whether or not they sent the returned Grammy on to Neneh later remains unknown.

"Raw Like Sushi" - great

Follow-up single "Manchild" was just as successful as "Buffalo Stance" and scored her another UK Top 10 hit. Cherry now had a daughter, Tyson (giving birth while Shara Nelson recorded "Unfinished Symphony" next door) and appeared in a big iconic bandana cradling the child in the "Manchild" video.

Then she caught Lyme disease and vanished for three years.

"Raw Like Sushi" had been bled for further singles ("Kisses on the Wind", "Heart", "Inna City Mama") with steadily diminishing returns. Second album "Homebrew" took four years to appear, and wasn't half as good, although "Buddy X" became a big dance hit and "Trout" (a duet with Michael Stipe) was quite popular amongst the fish community.

Cherry and Stipe - "Trout" wasn't on the REM Best Of.

From there, Neneh's career seemed to drift. She recorded a number of bizarre (but successful) collaborations, scoring a massive hit with Youssou N'Dour on "Seven Seconds" in 1994 (it stayed in the charts for six months) and then appearing with Eric Clapton, Cher and Chrissie Hynde on "Love Can Build A Bridge", a charity effort in 1995. Neneh appeared in fabby blonde dreads in the video and the song hit number 1. Soon after, she sang on one of Pulp's most famous hits, "Seductive Barry".

Third album "Man" eventually formed something of a comeback in 1996 (and racked her up another Top 10 single with "Woman") though wasn't huge and WAS mostly dreary. Putting then-four year old "Seven Seconds" on there was cheeky too. Second single "Kootchi" floppity-flip-flopped, and that was apparently that. Still, reading the Amazon review reveals that it's someone's favourite album of ALL TIME which is nice.

Anyway. Whither the Cherry since? WHITHER THE CHERRY?

Cherry protected herself from theft by storing everything she owned on her head.

Cherry's younger brother Eagle Eye Lanoo Cherry, who was given his middle name by Lulu, was huge for three seconds in 2000, and like a canny moose Cherry snuck in a duet with him before he fell down a black hole shortly afterwards, scoring a nifty hit with "Long Way Around" in the process.

In 2003 she sang on a track called "Braided Hair" by 1 Giant Leap (lost!) and on the Gorillaz "Demon Days" album.

In 2004, she became a granny! God above! Less excitingly, she also presented "Neneh Cherry's World of Music" on Radio 2.

In 2006, Cherry formed a new band - CirKus (the fools). It features herself, Cam McVey (still around), her husband Boogabear (it would be) and two characters known as Lolita Moon and Karmil. That means that she has actually married half the group.

The bands debut album "Laylow" was released last year. In France only, natch. It's the first ever release on Tent Music. Think about it.

With CirKus. Stop arsing about and make a proper album.

There was a "Remixes" album in 1997 - interesting use of unreadable font and "literal" cherries on the cover (see what they did there etc). Interestingly, it doesn't bother with remixed takes on "Buffalo Stance", "Manchild" or "Seven Seconds", but it does offer up alternative versions of "Carry Me" and "Beastiality". And bloody "Kootchi".

She's never been compiled (but you can get a Best Of Rozalla. Oh yes). There's a "Sushi" era video, but we tried to watch it and sleep claimed us. We literally stopped living.

Neneh, today. Help a poor old granny.