Regina Belle may be known best by the mainstream audience for her duet with Peabo Bryson on “A Whole New World” from the “Aladdin” soundtrack, and best known by R&B audiences for sultry songs like “Baby Come To Me,” but in her Atlanta church, she’s known best as the First Lady of New Shield of Faith Ministries. Belle is married to former NBA player John Battle, who is now a pastor.
Churchgoers can certainly appreciate the vocalist in their midst, as Belle is now firmly entrenched in the gospel music world. Her latest release “Higher” features the single “Make an Example Out of Me,” based in part on the challenges of two surgeries that had her out of circulation for almost a year. Here’s more on our latest In Studio Jam artist.
BORN: Englewood, New Jersey
BIG BREAK: Belle’s vocal talents were discovered in church and by age 8, she was singing solos.
EDUCATION: Belle studied opera at the Manhattan School of music and went on to Rutgers University in her native New Jersey.
BACK STORY: Belle has released albums in the R&B, jazz and gospel genres. She sang with Peabo Bryson on the pop hit “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin.”
RESUME: Although she’s spent the last several years of her career primarily in the gospel vein, Belle is best known for her R&B hits “Baby Come to Me,” “Make It Like It Was” and for the #1 duet “A Whole New World.”
FUN FACTS: Belle won both a Grammy and an Oscar with Peabo Bryson for the song “A Whole New World.”
LATEST WORK: “Higher,” out now.
ON FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/regina.belle
ON TWITTER: twitter.com/#!/reginabelle
ON MYSPACE: www.myspace.com/msreginabelle
BEST OF REGINA BELLE (Video):
“The Bible says go into the hedges and the highways, and so I'm permitted by permission of our Father, to go back to some of the places that I've been previously,” Belle says about still singing her secular hits.
“I pray that each listener has an experience. My whole objective in doing this record is to bring people into the presence of God. Some of us don’t always get there through the preached word. The music is only second to that, but I want to be able to know that I did my job and if you don’t have words to say, then use my words. If you don’t have a voice, then use my voice. If you don’t have the music or the setting, use mine. I believe that my music helps people get to a special place.” Official Bio (2012)
"My grandmother is almost a hundred years old, she's 98. My mother and father are still living and they are getting ready to celebrate 60 years in marriage. I come from a long line of marriages in my family. So the things that I sing about–love, people staying together– I talk about all these different things that hold families together. I think because of that it's easier for people to "swallow" what I'm doing, as opposed to maybe some other folks (not to be judgmental), but like R. Kelly. That might be difficult for them. God can do all things. Just like he changed Paul who was a killer of Christians, he can work on R. Kelly.”