Born in Chicago and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Francine Reed has had a passion for singing since her early childhood. She began singing professionally with her family's gospel group when she was five. "I always say I was born singing," Reed has said in a biographical release. "I can still remember my first performance when I was a 3-year-old in my aunt's church. I used to listen to rehearsals with her gospel choir and I'd sing 'I Wanna See Jesus' in front of the congregation...It's a natural, God-given talent."
After marrying young, the everyday struggles of life kept Reed from pursuing her dream of singing full-time until her children were older. Fortunately, she was able to sing in local jazz clubs and at various functions in Phoenix. She became known for her powerful voice and commanding stage presence, and delivered an eclectic blend of jazz, blues, and R&B. She was often the opening act for such headliners as Miles Davis, Etta James, Smokey Robinson, and the Crusaders.
In 1985, friends introduced Reed to Lyle Lovett, who was searching for a female singer for his new band. Lovett was still a struggling, virtually unknown performer when they began their association, but as his star rose, Reed became an integral part of his show. Reed began touring with Lovett and his Large Band as a background vocalist, and also often performed duets with the country musician. She was featured with Lovett on several albums, and appeared with him on television shows such as "Late Night with David Letterman," "The Tonight Show," and "Regis and Kathy Lee."
In the mid 1990s, she decided to pursue a solo career and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Here she recorded her debut solo album, "I Want You to Love Me," which featured a duet with Lyle Lovett. Her follow-up, "Can't Make It On My Own," featured a duet with Delbert McClinton. The success of these early works resulted in nominations for the prestigious W.C. Handy Award. (Blues Song of the Year and Soul/Blues - Female Artist of the Year - 1997)
Reed continued to release several solo albums and has collaborated with other great performers, as well. She performed on Willie Nelson's acclaimed album Milk Cow Blues (2000), lending her soulful voice to the title track as well as to the song "Funny How Time Slips Away." She has also contributed vocals to the recordings of Delbert McClinton and Roy Orbison.
Francine Reed has become one of Atlanta's most treasured artists and continues to expand her fan base at venues around the country. For several months out of the year, she performs in Seattle or San Francisco, appearing as the Chanteuse for Teatro ZinZanni. She describes the avant-garde production as "Cirque du Soleil meets dinner-in-the-round, on acid." Reed continually blesses audiences with her amazing vocals and vibrant personality; she is truly a musical experience that should not be missed.