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WHO: Zhane.

HITS WE LOVE: “Hey Mr. DJ,” “Sending My Love,” “Groove Thing.”


HOMETOWNS: Jean Norris-Baylor grew up in Moorestown, N.J,; Renee Neufville is from Brooklyn by way of Jamaica, W.I..

WHAT THEY’RE UP TO NOW:  Both are still singing and recording separately, Jean as a solo act and Renee with Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor.

THE STORY: Two music loving students meet up at Temple University and form a duo, which they call Zhane. Their first recording is on Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Ring My Bell,” which led them to seek a deal after they were excluded from the video for the song. A chance meeting with Naughty By Nature’s Kay Gee, and Zhane is tapped for a spot on the 1993 Flavor Unit compilation CD, “Roll With The Flava.” Talk about a hot debut – “Hey Mr. DJ” was the biggest hit from that compliation.

They went on to success with their debut album “Pronounced Jah-Nay” which included “Sending My Love” and “Groove Thing.”  Another album – and another hit with “Request Line” – and the duo kept on rolling, appearing on numerous projects and on both the “Higher Learning” and “A Lowdown Dirty Shame” soundtracks.

But by 1999, the magic was gone, and the popular duo went their separate ways. Apparently the split was drama-free, at least to the public, as both women went on to do other things. Norris-Baylor released a CD independently entitled “Testimony: My Life,” and Neufville has been singing and touring worldwide as the vocalist for trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor collective. 

Of her new release, Norris-Baylor says, “After putting so many others first in my life, I finally put God first. That’s when everything else started to fall into place. I’ve come to know that life is so much bigger than us. Each one of us has a voice, one of purpose.”


While Zhane fans may still mourn the duo’s untimely end, they both are in a great place and continue making music on their own. Still, it’s hard to forget the great songs they did together and how much of it was playing when great memories were made. Some of the best artists have stories that end in tragedy or poverty as the world forgets their earlier accomplishments. In Zhane’s case, the ladies have moved on just as they once made records together – with class and grace.