Val Young

Last updated
Val Young
Birth nameValaria Marie Young
Also known asLady "V"
Born (1958-06-13) June 13, 1958 (age 64)
Origin Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres R&B, [1] Soul, Funk, Disco, Hip Hop Soul
Years active1977–present
Labels Motown, Amherst Records

Valaria Marie Young (born June 13, 1958) is an American recording artist from Detroit, Michigan, who achieved success during the 1980s. She is now based in Los Angeles.



She was discovered by George Clinton, who hired her as a background vocalist in 1977 for The Brides of Funkenstein, [2] [3] one of the many acts in his Funkadelic stable. [3] In 1980, she recorded and toured with Roy Ayers. Young became a background vocalist for The Gap Band the same year and was featured with the group on the funk hit "Oops Up Side Your Head". [3] She recorded five albums with the group and also toured with them. [3]

It was not until she met Rick James that she became popular as a solo artist. [3] James promoted her as the "Black Marilyn Monroe", [3] and brought Young to Berry Gordy, who signed her to Motown Records on James' recommendation. James produced her debut album Seduction, [3] [2] which was released in 1985, it included the singles "Mind Games" and the title track "Seduction", as well as "Piece of My Heart" and "If You Should Ever Be Lonely", which were successful follow-ups in 1986. [3]

James ran into serious conflict with Motown over the status of his spin-off acts, and Young subsequently left the label signing to Amherst Records, a Buffalo, New York-based label, [3] releasing her second album Private Conversations in 1987. Three tracks from this album were produced by James with the title being released as a single.

Young went on tour with Bobby Brown in 1988 after he released his Don't Be Cruel album, and she was in high demand for performing live and recording background vocals for several artists: Bobby Womack, Kurtis Blow, Dr. Dre, Sylk E Fyne, Wayman Tisdale, Snoop Dogg, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Yo-Yo, El DeBarge, Miki Howard, Gerald LeVert, Teena Marie, 2pac, MC Eiht, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Teddy Riley, Michael Bivins of New Edition and many other artists.

Young appeared in the songs "To Live & Die in L.A.", "Black Jesus", "Teardrops & Closed Caskets", plus on the album Still I Rise , and the track "Never Forget", a tribute dedicated to Tupac Shakur by former Outlawz member Napoleon.

In 2009, she was featured as a background singer for Raphael Saadiq in his PBS televised concert Live From The Artists Den.

In 2013, Young sang backing vocals on Eddie Murphy and Snoop Lion's single "Red Light", she also appeared in the official music video. In 2014, Young began touring with Candice "Candi" Ghant and Farah Melanson as the new lineup of The Mary Jane Girls.

In 2019, Young partnered with entertainment manager, Lawrence "youngBiz" Dixon, to revamp her and The Mary Jane Girls' career.


Studio albums


Guest appearances


See also

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  1. Sanders, Corey (25 July 2016). "Val Young Of The Mary Jane Girls Shares How She Partnered With Rick James & What She Thinks Of The Music Today". TBE Media. Retrieved 26 September 2022. She became a solo vocalist after meeting Rick James, and James got her signed to Motown. They worked together on the LP Seduction in 1985. It got Young one Top 20 and one Top 30 R&B single.
  2. 1 2 Wynn, Ron. "Biography: Val Young". AllMusic . Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Colin Larkin, ed. (1993). The Guinness Who's Who of Soul Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 314. ISBN   0-85112-733-9.