Born on January 30, 1959 as Jody Vanessa Watley in Chicago, Illinois, she is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and artist. her first stage appearance was when she was 8 years of age and appeared with family friend and godfather Jackie Wilson. She started on the television dance show Soul Train when she was fourteen. Ebony magazine documented her in 1977 as a part of “The New Generation.” Jody Watley was among the most popular dancers on the show and was identified as a trendsetter courtesy of her dance moves and style. As standouts on the show, Watley and fellow Soul Train dancer Jeffrey Daniel were chosen to join Gary Mumford and become the original members of the R&B group Shalamar by the show’s creator Don Cornelius. The team of Hewett, Watley and Daniel became the most successful. Watley remained a member of Shalamar from 1977 to 1983. The trio released a number of albums and various hits including the US Top 20 “Dead Giveaway” and the R&B hits “The Second Time Around”, “For The Lover In You”, and “A Night To Remember.” The internal conflicts of the group and disagreements about the artistic direction of Shalamar with Dick Griffey and payment issues with Solar Records led to her exit from the group in 1983, before the release of The Look album.