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Lisa Lisa was born Lisa Velez on January 15, 1967 in Hell's Kitchen, New York City.

An unconfirmed legend states that Lisa Velez was raised by a single mother of Puerto Rican descent who had ten children. The legend continues with Lisa Velez being somewhere between the age of sixteen and twenty when she met Full Force, the record producers who hooked her up with Cult Jam to land the early waves of the English language Latin dance music invasion.

So, Lisa Velez was folding clothes in a sweater manufacturer's sweat shop when she struck gold by meeting Mike Hughes and getting invited to audition for the new group he wanted to put together. He brought her to meet Full Force and she auditioned by performing the Sheena Easton hit For Your Eyes Only amongst other things and that won her the opportunity for short term commercial success.

Mike Hughes and guitarist Alex "Spanador" Moseley became Cult Jam, backing Lisa Velez, who now became known as Lisa Lisa. Together they would meld R&B, dance, hip-hop and latin music into mainstream funky pop and had a five or six year successful run selling records and getting maximum airplay. 1985 saw the release of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force, which was all too fun of a grouping to twist your tongue around. Couldn't they have found some more names and people to add to the list? Regardless, their first hit, "I Wonder If I Take You Home", was originally issued only to the European market for a breakdancing compilation record. It would eventually hit number six on the U.S. R&B charts after being rereleased stateside. After a second and third single, "Can You Feel The Beat" and "All Cried Out", the album would go platinum and things were looking pretty good in Lisa Lisa's world.

Well, the world was starting to take notice of this young Puerto Rican woman from Hell's Kitchen. The fact that Columbia Records had the foresight to use Lisa Lisa's physical attractiveness, including her ample bosom, to help promote sales did not hurt her popularity. This was the beginning of the Latin invasion, which continued with Gloria Estefan and Selena and today seems to have reached maximum overdrive.

The second album from Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Spanish Fly sprinkled flavors inspired by, amongst others, The Supremes. The hit single "Head to Toe" remains the most recognizable Lisa Lisa tune.

Today started with a crazy kiss
On our way home
We were in for a surprise
Who would have known

Who would have thought that we would become lovers
As friends we were so, so tight
Can’t help myself, you make me feel so right
I got to, got to, got to tell you, darlin’

Ooh, baby, I think I love you
From head to toe
Ooh, baby, I think I love you
From head to toe

I think I love you from head to toe
I know

Here today, gone tomorrow
It’s possible, but I doubt it
His kiss is credit in the bank of love
I never leave home without it

He’s different from any boy I know
Body supreme
Bedroom eyes, head back to the side
Please don’t be so mean

14 karat love, you are my jewel of the Nile
When we make love diamonds are forever
Top to bottom I love you, I will leave you never
I got to, got to, got to tell you, darlin’

Ooh, baby, I think I love you
From head to toe
Ooh, baby, I’ve got to kiss you
From head to toe

Ooh, baby, I think I love you
You got to know
Ooh, baby, I think I love you
From head to toe

I think I love you from head to toe
You can’t hurry love, you got to take it slow
But my angel, you forget your wings tonight (Heaven up above)
Baby, you got the love

14 karat love, you are my jewel of the Nile
When we make love diamonds are forever
Top to bottom I love you, I will leave you never
I got to, got to, got to tell you, darlin’

Ooh, baby, I think I love you
From head to toe
Ooh, baby, I want to kiss you
From head to toe

Ooh, baby, I think I love you
You got to know
Ooh, baby, I think I love you
From head to toe

I think I love you from head to toe
I know

Not the most literary lyrics by far, but a catchy dance tune that most people had trouble really hating. This was the post-disco dance side of the 80s and quality control was never much of an issue. It was all style and attitude, and Lisa Lisa gave a certain counterpoint to the overly whitebread standards of the era.

"Head to Toe" was the pop peak for Lisa Lisa, and her third album with Cult Jam yielded hits on the R&B charts such as "Little Jackie Wants to be a Star". The fourth album, "Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen", would be their most aggressive, trying new styles and splitting the production duties between Full Force and Clivilles and Cole of C&C Music Factory fame. "Let the Beat Hit 'Em" and a cover of The Isley Brothers' "Sensuality" would be the highlights, but the public seemed to have lost interest.

Lisa Lisa would part ways with Cult Jam after the album and release a solo effort in 1993 called LL 77 in which she charted with a song strangely entitled "Skip to my Lu" and "When I Fell in Love". Wearing leather boots and no pants on the album cover may have helped sales, but the album fell flat and Lisa Lisa appeared to be finished on the commercial music scene.

She has released no further material since then, but resurfaced in 1999 at the Billboard Magazine Dance Music Conference in New York. Invited to participate as an authority on dance music and legend in the field, she was finally named as a diva of music and recognized for her role in bringing latin influence to the pop music scene.

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