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CeCe Rogers

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  • Born: Cleveland, OH
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Cleveland-born vocalist Ce Ce Rogers wisely changed his name from Kenny to avoid confusion with the country/pop singer. James Brown nicknamed him Ce Ce as a teen, after watching the young Rogers imitate Chubby Checker. Rogers later studied music in Boston, where he was a classmate of Wynton Marsalis. Marsalis urged him to concentrate on his vocals. Rogers moved to New Jersey and formed Ce Ce & Company, where he worked with vocalist Sybil. After producer Marshall Jefferson saw his show, he recruited Rogers to sing the vocals on a song he'd written titled "Someday." The song did well enough for Rogers to land his own deal. His 1989 LP Forever was well received by dance audiences, and he followed it in 1991 with Never Give Up.


CeCe Rogers, born Kenneth Jesse Rogers III, is an American singer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer from Cleveland, Ohio.

He was given the nickname CeCe by James Brown, who watched him performing at 11 years of age, imitating Chubby Checker. He is considered one of the most popular male vocalists in house music. In 1987, CeCe recorded the track "Someday" in collaboration with Marshall Jefferson, to this day, the song is seen as an anthem in the genre of house music, having been rated number 3 in MixMag's 100 Greatest Singles of All Time.

^ EMusic

Early life[edit]

Born, Kenneth Jesse Rogers III on April 30, 1962, Rogers attended Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio and Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. CeCe began studying piano at the age of five. His mother, a music teacher, introduced him to gospel, the genre that forms his musical foundation. He was considered a child prodigy and at the age of 9, CeCe was a featured musician on the weekly television program "The Gene Carroll Show".

Moving to the New York area in 1984, CeCe taught voice and piano, as well as doing session work with such artist as Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, and Curtis Hairston. He also formed his own group, CeCe & Company, whose repertoire included jazz and R&B tunes. Some of the group's vocalist at the time were Sybil Lynch, Adeva, and Kenny Bobien.

Recording career[edit]

In 1987 CeCe recorded the track "Someday" with Marshall Jefferson and was immediately signed to Atlantic Records, making "Someday" the first house-music song released by a major label.

Not realizing the massive appeal house music was having in Europe, CeCe moved away from the house scene and released his debut album "CeCe Rogers" in 1989. The album was a mix of contemporary R&B and house tracks that received rave reviews but poor sales. His second album, "Never Give Up" (1991), also failed to chart selling only 300,000 units. CeCe was dropped from Atlantic and went back to doing session work singing backgrounds for TV Commercials. In 1993, David Morales recruited CeCe to work on his debut album Games. He worked on many of David's remix projects including "The Best Things In Life Are Free" by Janet Jackson & Luther Vandross and the soundtrack of Sister Act. CeCe has written and produced many songs with his friend and business partner Marshall Jefferson.

In 1989,CeCe wrote and produced the UK Hit "Got to get you back" for Kym Mazelle.

The house scene grew quickly, starting out in Chicago and establishing roots in New Jersey. The Jersey House Sound combines house with R&B,gospel melodies infused with deep vocals.Club Zanzibar, Movin Records, Club 88 became popular spots where the house heads would gather. A favorite in Europe especially in the UK. Soulful House was boosted in Europe when CeCe toured with Marshall Jefferson. His gospel trained voice belting over the house driven, piano stomping beat brought CeCe legendary status in the soulful house movement.

In 1994, CeCe recorded a string of hits with the Italian band Jestofunk. This would lead to three world tours. After five years with Jestofunk, CeCe decided to stop touring and give teaching a try. His plan was to teach only a year. Seeing the need for more African American male teachers in the urban community, CeCe taught music production for eight years at the Essex County Vocational School in New Jersey. He quickly became a supervisor for the district and formed a gospel choir that won many competitions including the McDonald's Gospelfest and Cherry Blossom music festival.

Originally signed by Atlantic Records, CeCe Rogers recorded a number of late 1980s and early 1990s club classics and two albums for the label.

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