Jody Watley


In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’re featuring the achievements, exploits and adventures of our illustrious Board of Directors across the music industry.

For the fifth in our ongoing series of weekly snapshots, we catch up with Grammy™ winning board member, prolific music trendsetter and maverick (Pop, R&B, Jazz, Dance and Electronic Soul): Jody Watley – vocalist, songwriter, producer and visionary leader in video, fashion and style!

© 2014 Jody Watley by Albert Sanchez

© 2014 Jody Watley by Albert Sanchez

Sit back, and make yourself comfortable, because you’ll definitely enjoy reading her truly amazing bio HERE

Since her earliest days (starting at age 14!) as a popular dancer on Soul Train and her later success with the group Shalimar (1977-1983), Jody has never stopped creating, inventing and moving forward as a pioneer with her own extremely successful multi-dimensional career.

She became an immediate success as a solo artist, winning the Best New Artist GRAMMY award in 1987.

Grammy Award Best New Artist 1988

She quickly topped the charts with her 1987 smash hits, “Looking For a New Love”:

 “Don’t You Want Me”:

Followed by “Real Love” in 1989:

Since embarking on her solo career in the 1980’s, Watley has continued to evolve into a powerhouse artist who has sold over 20 million albums and singles worldwide, as well being known as an international style and music video icon.  Her ability to combine music and fashion has remained an inspiration for many artists today such as Rihanna and Beyonce. She has served as a Governor for the LA Chapter of The Recording Academy, and is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard Magazine for her career spanning over 25 years.

In Harper’s Bazaar Nov. 1991 by Andrea Blanch

Harper’s Bazaar Magazine feature: Nov. 1991 by Andrea Blanch

Fashion icon reel: 

Jody’s latest release is entitled Nightlife, from the soon-to-be-released EP “Paradise”:



Check out the Jody Watley Nightlife Official Video (Dave Doyle Remix):

Recently. she performed live for a very enthusiastic crowd at Yoshi’s in Oakland, reviewed HERE


 Here, Jody pays tribute to 40 Years of Soul Train… 

With Cuba Gooding, Smokey Robinson, , Questlove, et al

With Cheo Horari Coker, Smokey Robinson, Cuba Gooding, Don Cornelius, Questlove

 We’re honored to have Jody Watley serve on our board, as a powerful role model and mentor for aspiring musicians, entertainers and artists!

Jody Watley's Newest upcoming release: PARADISE

You can stay connected with Jody Watley, for all the latest news:


We’re extremely proud of our board, and their dedication in support of music education!



Celebrity Guest Blog: Jody Watley GRAMMY Award Winning Pop/R&B Icon

We are extremely excited and proud to present the first in a series of posts written by our extraordinary Board of Directors for The Musicians Foundation.

We’ve asked Jody to share her very unique perspective and words of wisdom on being an artist in our ever-changing industry. Enjoy!

Jody Watley is a GRAMMY Award Winning Pop/R&B Icon, Songwriter, Producer, Label Owner

Jody Watley: GRAMMY Award Winning Pop/R&B Icon, Songwriter, Producer, Label Owner

7  Effective Tips for Musicians and Aspiring Artists

by Jody Watley

Being an artist for decades, I continue to learn, grown and evolve. The process never ends and it keeps me from becoming jaded or bored.

There are different levels of artistry and musicianship from the; hobby, casual, local, independent to the aspiring superstar. There is no “one size fits all” for any musician or artist. What worked for someone else might not work for you. You have to find what works for you every step of the way – remember it’s your journey. Be fearless, know and define yourself. If you allow others to do it – you’ll be trapped in their box and definition and not the one you created.


1. Be Prepared.

Be prepared to work hard, for opportunities that you will have to create for yourself as well as be prepared when they present themselves. Be prepared to be professional remembering a first impression can be a lasting one.  Be prepared to wear multiple hats and never assume (even with a manager) that anyone will look out for you more than you will for yourself. 

2. Be Flexible.

Have your goals and plans in place so you have some sort of navigation on what and where you’re going in your field.

3. Build Relationships.

Don’t burn bridges – it’s a large industry but a small business. People move around and you never know how paths will cross.  Build a good reputation and goodwill that can last throughout your career. Be punctual, professional and never spam a contacts inbox with unsolicited mailing lists. Establishing relationships takes time.

4. Research, Read and Be Responsible. 

Learn about the business in your chosen field and stay current on laws, copyright, publishing, new services for artists, writers and musicians, branding, effective marketing and promotion in all areas. Read books and blogs where you can learn about building a fan base, effective social media practices, live concerts, selling merchandise and beyond. It’s a never ending process. Read and understand your agreements, even when seeking legal counsel. There is no failure unless you never try.

5. Invest in Yourself.

You will have to spend money; be it for a professional bio, public relations person, graphic design, merchandise, etc. Budget and plan.

6. Consistent Imaging.

It’s important to have continuity in all that you do, as it represents you and what impression you’re giving fans, colleagues and industry professionals.

7. Be patient.

Nothing worthwhile happens overnight. Expect obstacles, turn them into stepping stones. Believe in yourself when it may feel like you’re the only one. Keep pushing forward and always be your own biggest critic – this will keep you from becoming complacent.

The NEW Single “NIGHTLIFE” – ‘It’s In The Music!”