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Growing up in Mission Viejo California, Ford listened to mix of R&B (Rufus and Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, the Commodores, Anita Baker, Sarah Vaughn, Smokey Robinson, Al Green) pop (Olivia Newton- John, Cyndi Lauper, Tom Tom Club, Thompson Twins) and rock (Boston, the Police, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac). He also managed to find time for Manhattan Transfer. Ford’s fondness for words and melodies and singing paved the way to a young Ford participating in dinner theater revues while still in college. A short stint with Jon St. James’ production company (responsible for pop-dance hits by Stacy Q and others) in the mid-’80s provided Ford with the necessary tools to take a giant step forward. By the late-’80s, Ford had signed a production deal with the company co-owned by hit-making songwriter Denise Rich. In the early-’90s, Ford was confirmed to be the featured male vocalist on Frankie Knuckles’ second studio album, 1995’s “Welcome to the Real World.” In the end, conflicts at the label (Virgin Records) prevented this from happening, and female singer Adeva became the album’s featured singer. Virgin then offered Ford a solo album deal. Unfortunately, this album never saw the light of day.
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