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Born Alfonso Thornton in New York City, Fonzi Thornton became a background vocalist behind Luther Vandross. He toured the world and can be heard on the singer's gold and platinum albums. He also can be heard doing background vocals on various releases including those by Chic. In 1983, Thornton got a solo deal with RCA Records. Thornton co-wrote and co-produced his debut LP, The Leader, with RCA executive Robert Wright. Issued in spring 1983, the urban pop LP yielded the percolating, perennial dance favorite "Beverly," which made it to number 43 R&B on Billboard's charts in spring 1983. Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards appear on the LP. Thornton and Wright also co-wrote and produced his second RCA LP, Pumpin', released in summer 1984, which was more reflective of the dance/rock of the time. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi