Marla Glen (born January 3, 1960, in Chicago) is an American singer who since 1998 has been based in Germany.
Marla grew up on the South Side of Chicago, the daughter of Dell Glen (American-Jamaican) and Cortez Glen (Mexican-American). Glen’s father was a blues guitarist, her grandmother a gospel singer, and her mother was friends with the legendary blues guitarist BB King. Her mother Dell graduated from the University of Chicago and went on to become a successful banker who worked for Merrill Lynch. Glen’s father, an American patriot who joined the military at a young age, became an engineer based in Frankfurt, Germany. Like many other children in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood (also known as the Black Metropolis) who received gifts and inspiration from folks like Muddy Waters and BB King, Marla was given a toy harmonica as a child, and her musical talent became immediately apparent. She was only 11 years old when she wrote her first song, “Repertoire”, a title that has won three gold records and one platinum, and appears on her 1996 release, Love and Respect.
Since 1998, she has lived in Heilbronn in Germany. On July 2, 2004, she entered a civil union with Sabrina Conley at the local Rathaus. In the meantime, they got divorced.
Singer Roberto Blanco, his girlfriend Luzandra Strassburg, singer Marla Glen and wife Sabrina Conley attend the ‘UNICEF-Gala’ at Park Hotel on September 5, 2009 in Bremen, Germany.
As a teenager, Marla Glen set out to pursue her musical career. The story of her early days “taking a gamble” on her musical abilities is recorded in the lyrics of “Travel,” a song that appears on her first breakthrough album, This Is Marla Glen.
The gamble paid off: Glen won first prize performing at a local Jam-session in New Orleans and was rewarded with a trip to France, where she first performed before a European audience. When invited to stay in Europe, she did, and formed the Marla Glen Band in Niort, France. In 1993, she catapulted to stardom overnight with her debut album This Is Marla Glen (two-time gold, two-time platinum).
Glen was ruthlessly exploited by the music industry, and spent a period in deep reflection, which she talks about in a 2002 interview with Jakob Buhre (in German). The interview is accompanied by a spectacular series of photos, which may say as much to the English-language reader as the German words can barely convey.
In 1998, Glen went on tour with her 1997 release Our World, and made a strong comeback in 2003, with Friends.
Glen is known for her haunting lyrics, for her fierce commitment to social change and the cause of human unity. Most recently, she has dedicated her time and efforts to the education of children, and was declared the “patron saint” of the Knowledge Festival, organized by Bildung ohne Grenzen (Education without Barriers) in Hamburg, Germany (2007). (by wikipedia)
Marla Glen possesses one of the most intense voices I’ve ever heard. She is a true artist devoted to her music and delivering a message in a most powerful and deeply felt manner.
She is probably one of the most popular soul artists in Europe and given the fact that she is an American national living in Paris makes it hard to believe that she is not more well known in her own home country.
This was her second album and although not as strong as her first and third it still is a masterpiece.
I can only strongly recommend her work to anyone. Listen to her and you’ll understand. (Philipp Kessler)
Gary Barnacle (saxophone)
Patrick Clahar (saxophone)
Michel Crosio (piano, flute)
Marla Glen (vocals, harmonica)
Peter Gordino (organ)
Chris Jarrett (guitar)
Dominic ‘Ski’ Oakenfull (piano, clavinet)
Tony Remy (guitar)
Crispin ‘Spry’ Robinson (percussion)
Kevin Robinson (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Paul Robinson (drums)
Fayyaz Virgi (trombone)
Steve Walters (bass)
Andy Wright (keyboards)
Beverly Skeete – Morris Michael – Sylvia Mason James – Mason James – Judith Nicholas
01. Ain’t That A Shame (Glen) 7.15
02. Also Love You (Glen/Crosio) 4-50
03. Break Free (Glen/Crosio) 5.28
04. Repertoire (Glen) 6.12
05. You Got Me (Glen/Crosio) 4.07
06. Love & Respect (Glen/Crosio) 4.47
07. What About Our Kids (Glen/Crosio) 3.46
08. City Love (Glen) 4.08
09. Other Plans (Glen/Crosio) 4.44
10. Not Really Easy (Glen/Crosio) 3.57