Soul vocalist Rena Scott has traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe performing alongside R&B's and jazz's most reputable acts, including the Temptations, Natalie Cole, and Aretha Franklin, and yet her career successes stemmed more from doing commercial jingles for Levi and Sunny Delight in addition to serving as the national spokesperson for Harvey's Bristol Cream wines. The long gaps between albums and virtual absence from the '90s were marked by hard times, depression, and fruitless label deals. Over two decades after the release of her first album, she established a more stable footing with her own independent record label, Amor Records, and returned with the charting single "Remember" in 2006.
Hailing from Detroit, MI, Scott first began to sing in the Baptist church. Music allowed the gifted songstress to escape the abusive relationship between her parents. Her first taste of the industry was at the age of 13 when she obtained an opening act spot for the Temptations and subsequently for other Motown artists like the Four Tops and the Originals in local Detroit venues. Embarking on a professional career, she continued singing throughout high school and college. During her attendance at Wayne State University, she attained the golden opportunity to sing as backup for Aretha Franklin -- a major highlight in her life. The stint with Aretha only extended to a few shows and an album, but climaxed with a performance at the illustrious Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Scott's first major hit song was a 1978 duet with urban funk artist Michael Henderson, "Take Me I'm Yours," which peaked at number three on the Black Singles chart and was featured on his In the Night-Time album. Signed to Henderson's label home, Buddah Records, she released the 1979 disco-flavored LP Come on Inside, produced by the R&B songwriting duo of Mtume and Reggie Lucas (who have penned hits for Stephanie Mills and Roberta Flack). During the '80s, she toured extensively with pop-jazz band the Crusaders and took the lead on front stage after singer Randy Crawford left. She did not release another album until her deal with Sedona Records for 1989's Love Zone, which had three singles appear on the R&B charts. The opportune chance to springboard off the buzz from this album was squandered by Sedona as well as several other labels during the '90s. In the early 2000s, after founding her own label, she released the throwback quiet storm album Let Me Love You in 2004. Two years later, the album's "Remember" single struck a chord among the smooth jazz and adult contemporary circles, shedding light on Scott's weighty history. ~ Cyril Cordor