Shannon Brenda Greene (born May 2, 1958), better known by the mononym Shannon, is an American recording artist and singer of Freestyle music and dance-pop music and songwriter. She is best known for her million-selling record single "Let the Music Play". Often she is considered the "International Queen of Freestyle."
Her albums include Let the Music Play, released in 1984, followed by Do You Wanna Get Away in 1985 and Love Goes All the Way in 1986. In 1999, Shannon appeared in a segment of VH1's One-Hit Wonders, and returned to music with her fourth album, The Best is Yet to Come, which was released in 2000. The album was followed by a compilation album released in 2004, Let The Music Play: The Best of Shannon. Shannon's most recent album is A Beauty Returns, released in 2007.
In 1983, Shannon was enrolled at York College and toured with the New York Jazz Ensemble. Quintin Hicks, an associate of the production team of Mark Liggett and Chris Barbosa, later saw Shannon singing with a live band in her cousin's recording studio. Shannon auditioned for Liggett and Barbosa with the song "She Can't Love You Like I Do". They introduced her to the selection "Fire and Ice," which would later evolve into Shannon's signature song, "Let The Music Play;" its unique sound, called "The Shannon Sound," would later come to be known as "freestyle." Let The Music Play would also be the title of Shannon's debut album, which she released in 1984.
In September 1983, "Let The Music Play" was released, and Shannon was invited back to record more songs with Liggett and Barbosa. The single reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard R&B and Hot Dance Club Play charts. It also was ranked at #49 of Billboard's Top 100 songs of 1984. It was later ranked #23 among Billboard's best dance songs of all-time.
Her debut album, Let The Music Play, was released on February 1, 1984. "Give Me Tonight", the follow-up single, reached the number-one spot on the R&B and Hot Dance Club Play charts. It was one of Billboard's top 30 dance songs for the year of 1984. In the United States, the third single was "My Heart's Divided." The single, featuring Jimi Tunnell as one of the back up vocalists, became a moderate hit on the Dance Chart. "Sweet Somebody," a mid-tempo soul effort, made the Top 20 in a few European nations.
Shannon's album Let the Music Play went on to sell approximately 1.5 million worldwide, with 500,000 of those sold in the United States, earning gold certification. Shannon was nominated for a Grammy Award and received numerous other awards, including the Dinah Washington (Jack the Rapper) Award, the Hall of Fame Award, the Gold Ampex Reel Award, a certified gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Best Billboard Top 10 female R&B vocalist.
In 1985, Shannon released her second album, Do You Wanna Get Away. The title track was the first single and it became her third single to appear on the Hot 100, and it reached #1 on the Dance Chart. She scored three more dance hits, including "Stronger Together," a cover of "Urgent" by Foreigner, and "Stop the Noise," with a video sponsored by Pepsi and Black Angus. Love Goes All the Way, Shannon's third album, was released in 1986.
Shannon asked to be released from her recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1987. She recorded soundtracks, jingles, and the track "Criminal," for the movie Fatal Beauty. While touring the world, Shannon attended and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
In 1998, she co-wrote and sang on multi tracks produced by Todd Terry, Tony Moran, and Germany's Sash! and Les Rythmes Digitales. In 1999, Shannon appeared in a segment of VH1's One-Hit Wonders. Entertainment Tonight also taped a special about her life. Was managed for a period of time by Eric Vega producer of shows and events.
Shannon's fourth studio album, The Best Is Yet to Come, was released on March 28, 2000. She is credited as 50% writer of the album. Chris Barbosa served as a producer, along with Andy "Panda" Tripoli and Tony Moran. Shannon later released a compilation album, Let The Music Play: The Best of Shannon, in 2004.
On April 20, 2006, Shannon participated in the Freestyle Extranvaganza concert along with artists Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, The Cover Girls, Coro, and Stevie B.. The event was sponsored by WKTU, WSKQ, and WCAA in New York.
A fifth studio album, A Beauty Returns, was released in 2007.
Today, Shannon is a voting member of the Grammys (Recording Academy), and she occasionally performs shows around the world.