Where is … Lisa Fischer?

Where is … Lisa Fischer?

Marti Parham

Even though Grammy Award-winning artist Lisa Fischer left the forefront of music nearly 15 years ago she never left the stage. The sultry singer can still he found belting out tunes, only now she does it where she’s always felt more comfortable–in the background.

Fischer began her professional singing career at the age of 17 but her big break in music didn’t happen until she became a background singer for the legendary Luther Vandross in 1983.

“Working with Luther was such a great opportunity for me to see somebody do what they loved so passionately,” says Fischer of Vandross, who died in July 2005. “He was always supportive of everything I did.”

The self-proclaimed “East Coast girl,” reared in Brooklyn and now residing in New Jersey, toured with Vandross for almost a decade before breaking out as a solo artist. From Fischer’s debut album So Intense came the hit single How Can I Ease The Pain, which earned her the 1991 Grammy for best female R&B vocal performance.

After her solo success she attempted a second album hut because of a “corporate energy shift” at Elektra records and a failed recording deal with a new label the project was never finished.


“I wasn’t very trustful of what people would say after that,” says Fischer about why she hasn’t made an album since. “I just felt too fragile, too emotional to put myself out on the firing line again.”

Fischer also notes that she never toured as a headlining act because, “I just didn’t think it would be fair to the audience to tour off of one album.”

The singer returned to singing background for Vandross until the mid-’90s. When she wasn’t on tour with the crooner she became a back-up singer for the Rolling Stones, who she’s been with now for almost 18 years.

“Singing background is a support system. That’s what Luther taught me. It’s really about supporting the person that’s putting their neck on the line,” Fischer explains. “For me it’s comfortable, I feel secure in it and I feel like I’m good at it.”


As a professional background singer, Fischer has toured the world and performed at intimate spots and large stadiums with such artists as Chaka Khan, Seal, Cheryl Crow and Tina Turner. Earlier this year she performed with Turner and Beyonce during the Grammy Awards. She also sang at the 2008 BET Honors.

Entering her fabulous 50s later this year, Fischer is single, has never married, and has no children. At this stage in life she feels she is more prepared to make another solo project and hopes to do so in the future.

For now she plans to continue working in the industry and “living for the music” doing background vocals and songwriting for herself and for other artists.

“I really enjoy the process of songwriting,” Fischer says. “Because I’ve been an artist and I’ve done the background thing I understand the dynamic between the two.”

The songs Rock the Cradle and Plastic People, for which she wrote the lyrics and melody for Latin singer Anane Vega, are slated for release sometime this month.


By Marti Parham


COPYRIGHT 2008 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning