Rene & Angela: A Soulful Duo

Rene & Angela were an American R&B duo that rose to fame in the 1980s with their hit songs “I’ll Be Good”, “Your Smile” and “You Don’t Have to Cry”. They were also known for their collaborations with other artists such as Bobby Brown, Janet Jackson and Notorious B.I.G.

The duo consisted of Rene Moore and Angela Winbush, who met in 1977 while working as session musicians in Los Angeles. They soon formed a musical and romantic partnership, and signed a record deal with Capitol Records in 1980. Their debut album, Rene & Angela, was released in 1981 and featured the singles “Free and Easy” and “Imaginary Playmates”.

Their second album, Wall to Wall, came out in 1982 and spawned the hits “Secret Rendezvous” and “Do You Really Love Me”. The album also showcased their skills as songwriters and producers, as they wrote and arranged all the tracks. They also worked with other artists during this period, such as Stephanie Mills, Plush and L.T.D.

In 1983, they moved to Mercury Records and released their third album, Rise. The album was a commercial and critical success, reaching the top ten on the R&B charts and earning them a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The album included the classics “I’ll Be Good”, which was co-written by Bobby Brown, and “Your Smile”, which became their first number one R&B hit.

Their fourth and final album, Street Called Desire, was released in 1985 and was their most successful project to date. It peaked at number one on the R&B charts and number nine on the Billboard 200, selling over two million copies. The album featured four top ten R&B singles: “You Don’t Have to Cry”, “Save Your Love (For #1)”, which featured rapper Kurtis Blow, “I Love You More” and “No How – No Way”.

However, despite their musical achievements, Rene & Angela’s personal relationship was falling apart. They broke up in 1986, both professionally and romantically, and pursued solo careers. Rene Moore released his debut solo album, Destination Love, in 1988, but it failed to make an impact. Angela Winbush continued to have a successful career as a singer, songwriter and producer, working with artists such as Ronald Isley, Whitney Houston and Johnny Gill. She also released four solo albums between 1987 and 1994, scoring several R&B hits such as “Angel”, “Hello Beloved” and “Treat U Rite”.

Rene & Angela’s legacy lives on through their music, which has been sampled by many hip-hop and R&B artists over the years. Some of their most notable samples include Jay-Z’s “Can I Live II”, Foxy Brown’s “I’ll Be”, Mary J. Blige’s “Be Happy” and Faith Evans’ “You Used to Love Me”. They are also considered one of the most influential duos in soul music history, inspiring other acts such as Ashford & Simpson, Peaches & Herb and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.

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