Martha Wash. Name associated with “victory”, in terms of ensuring that those who actually do the singing on recordings are properly credited. Happening in significant part because she found her distinctive vocal being lip-synced by Zelma Davis on the video of the major C and C Music Factory hit:
Also serves as excellent funeral music, as I once found out.
Who could not sense an original Weather Girl at the lead:
And stopping the bullies:
A daughter of devout Christians, Wash had been singing since she was three years old, absorbing and imitating gospel greats Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward in the house. “My mother and I would be cleaning the house and listening to these gospel artists,” says Wash. “At the same time, I’d sneak in 45s of the Supremes, the Temptations and Rare Earth because I wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music.”
Wash began singing in public through her church. The activity offered one of the few refuges from constant bullying over her weight. After years of singing gospel, Wash started taking private lessons from an opera teacher, and began developing a vocal style that drew on those studies as well as the pop, rock and funk that she loved.
In 1974, when the singer went to see a concert by funk and soul musician Billy Preston, she was captivated by the talent and flamboyance of his opening act. “Sylvester had this high falsetto voice and I’m watching him and saying, ‘Oh my God, who is this guy?'” Wash said of the celebrated disco singer. “I didn’t sit down.” Two years later, Wash, then a jobbing vocalist, auditioned to be one of Sylvester’s backup singers.
Jason Newman, Martha Wash: The Most Famous Unknown Singer of the ’90s Speaks Out: How the voice behind “It’s Raining Men,” “Gonna Make You Sweat” and “Strike It Up” went from being a bullied victim to an industry pioneer Rolling Stone, September 2, 2014