Joy Maureen Denalane (born 11 June 1973), known as Joy Denalane,
is a German singer-songwriter, known for her mixture of soul,
R&B, and African folk music with lyrics in German and English.
Denalane, the third of six children, was born in the Berlin-Schöneberg,
the eldest daughter of a German mother and a South African father.
A little later, the family relocated to the Kreuzberg dictrict where
Denalane spent much of her childhood years.
At the age of sixteen Denalane left home and started focusing on
music with first stage performances and the joining of the reggae
and soul bands Culture Roots and Family Affair. At nineteen she was
signed to a major pop label but she and her management could not
agree on what her music and image should be like and Denalane soon
asked for a release. Afterwards she moved to Stuttgart where she
met DJ Thomilla and Tiefschwarz (two already well-known producers
active in the Kolchose) with whom Denalane co-wrote and produced
the club hit "Music".
 1999—2005: Debut and Mamani
Denalane on-stage with Freundeskreis at the Gurtenfestival in Bern,
Switzerland in 2000.
Around the same time Denalane came in first contact with hip hop
group Freundeskreis, who searched for a female counterpart to lead
singer Max Herre's voice on their track "Mit Dir" then.
However, the duet was released as a single in July 1999 and made
the top ten in Germany, the top thirty in Austria, and the top fifteen
in Switzerland—pushed by the fact Denalane and Herre had become
a couple simultaneously.
Afterwards Denalane joined the FK Allstars, which also consisted
of Afrob, Gentleman, Sekou, and Brooke Russell, among others, and
went on tour with them for more than two years. Later on she signed
a contract with Four Music (founded by Die Fantastischen Vier) and
began working on her debut album Mamani, which was released in June
2002 and debuted at number eight on the German Albums Chart. Inspired
by African roots, the album was primarily produced by husband Max
Herre. In total Mamani spawned six singles, including the lead single "Sag's
Mir", the socially critical track "Im Ghetto von Soweto" (featuring
South African flugelhorn legend Hugh Masekela), and "Kinderlied",
a song dedicated to her oldest son Isaiah.
In 2003 Denalane went on a solo tour and finished collaborations
with Youssou N'Dour, ASD, and Till Brönner. She also performed
in New York City and Philadelphia for the first time and eventually
received a Comet for Best Hip-Hop/R&B National and three ECHO
nominations, including Best Female Artist. Soon after she released
a live edition of Mamani on CD and DVD, which was recorded during
a special performance at Berlin's Tränenpalast and involved
a set of previously unreleased remakes. In summer 2005 Denalane contributed
vocals to the German version of Common's 2005 single "Go!".sada
 2006—present: Born & Raised and Maureen
In April 2006 Denalane and husband Herre founded their own label,
Nesola Records. Simultaneously Denalane prepared the release of her
second album, Born & Raised, her first record in English. Pre-programmed
in Germany, the album was entirely recorded in Philadelphia and features
appearances by American rappers Lupe Fiasco, Raekwon, and Governor.
While its lead single "Let Go" reached a moderately successful
number forty on the German Singles Chart, the critically acclaimed
Born & Raised (released on 11 August 2006) debuted at number
two (behind Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics) on the national
albums chart, making it Denalane's highest chart entry to date. Further
singles from the album, "Heaven or Hell" and "Sometimes
Love", failed to chart within the top one hundred. In spring
2007 Denalane released the single "Change" (featuring Lupe
Fiasco) in the United Kingdom, but it failed to chart.
In 2008 Joy Denalane worked with Tweet, Dwele and Bilal on the project
The Dresden Soul Symphony in Dresden, Germany. They performed classic
soul cuts like "Let's stay together", "Natural woman", "Its
a man´s man´s man's world", "Ain´t nothing
like a real thing" etc. with the MDR Symphony Orchestra. An
album The Dresden Soul Symphony and DVD were later released on October
Denalane's third studio Maureen, titled after her middle name, is
expected to be released in May 2011.[dated info] It will be her second
German-language album after Mamani (2002).
Main article: Joy Denalane discography
 Studio albums
Born & Raised (2006)