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N'Dea Davenport (born May 6, 1966) is an American recording artist, dancer, performer and producer, best known for her work as a vocalist in the UK funk band, The Brand New Heavies, and her pioneering contributions to the genre of acid jazz.


Her diverse projects include collaborations with music producers and artists including Mark Ronson, Roger Sanchez, Guru's Jazzmatazz, Madonna, Sly and Robbie, Malcolm McLaren, Dead Prez and many more. Prior to her career in the music industry, Davenport was formally trained as dancer and the performing artist. Dance scholarships, acting and music studies were the core of her development as an artist and entertainer. Immediately after finishing, she left her home in Atlanta, with $300 to her name en route to Los Angeles. In California she began working as a dancer and quickly was embraced by artists in both the music and fashion industries. Her influence on pop culture and legacy as an artist began with her involvement in the burgeoning underground club and rave scene in the late '80s and early '90's in Los Angeles, a merger of cultural movements ranging from dance, funk, hip-hop, punk, graffiti and pop art. As a performance artist and dancer, Davenport's was an instrumental figure in the movement that launched careers of artists including Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Fab Five Freddy and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Working simultaneously as a recording session and commercial singer, Davenport was soon connected with graffiti artist, Fab Five Freddy who recommended her to his DJ friend starting a new record label, Delicious Vinyl. Producer/label owner Dave Stewart, known for his work with the Eurythmics, had offered Davenport a recording contract a year prior when they were introduced through a collaboration with Bootsy Collins and Malcom McLaren, former manager for the Sex Pistols where she was featured on McLaren's Waltz Darling LP. She declined Stewart's offer due to his requirement for her to relocate to London, England. After inking a solo development deal with Delicious Vinyl, she eventually relocated to London where The Brand New Heavies were signed to the label for North America, but the band had no singer.

The band's initial UK indie label Acid Jazz Records, struck a deal with London Records for distribution in Europe and the rest of the world. During this period, the band produced a string of international LP's and singles, invigorating a global movement and popularizing the musical term known as Acid Jazz. The Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol.1 was a successful collaboration of New York rappers and the initial members of the group, opting to forgo vocals for this project. Parallel to the completion of this project, Davenport completed work on the Jazzmatazz LP with good friend, late MC and rapper Guru. The result of their work together was one of the earliest collaborations between a vocalist and a rapper and an infusion of jazz music, cultural rhetoric and hip hop beats.

At the height of The Brand New Heavies success in 1995, Davenport left the group citing irreconcilable differences, returning to the US and choosing New Orleans as a home base while she pursued other collaborations, and completed work on her long overdue solo recording with Delicious Vinyl. Encouragement received from her associate, producer Daniel Lanois, resulted in the completion of the debut solo, less the remaining four songs, produced by Dallas Austin. After her association with Delicious Vinyl dissolved, Davenport's project was picked up by newly formed label owned by Virgin Group originator Sir Richard Branson. In 1997, Davenport released her and self-titled debut solo recording on V2 Records. She toured extensively in support of the album, around Europe, North America and Australia and with the concert series Lilith Fair. During which Davenport also played with renowned guitarist songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Renard Poche'. When her relationship at V2 came to an end she continued her work output, primarily focusing on European dance music projects.

Upon returning the US in the late 1990s, Davenport held residency in New Orleans but lived primarily in New York City and cites the September 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina disaster as the motivation to shift both professionally and personally. In late 2005 talks began about a reunion with The Brand New Heavies and by 2006 the group reemerged with the release of a new CD called "Get Used To It." Their reunion received a warm reception and the group continues to tour globally. Davenport's most recent projects include Celectrixx, a multi-media and live performance based electronic/acoustic duo, conceived in Japan.