Long-term background singer for Luther Vandross and the Rolling Stones; released a freestyle classic and a Grammy-winning R&B single.
Lisa Fischer was first heard as a background singer on early-'80s releases by Kleeer and D Train. The native of New York City's Brooklyn borough debuted as a lead vocalist under the name Xēna with 1983's "On the Upside," a classic freestyle single.
Throughout the remainder of the decade, she was one of the busiest session singers in the industry; she appeared on dozens of contemporary R&B recordings, including releases by Angela Bofill, Billy Ocean, Luther Vandross, Cheryl Lynn, and Will Downing. Prior to the decade's end, she established long-term touring associations with Vandross and the Rolling Stones.
Her career took a major turn after she signed with the Elektra label. In 1991, she released So Intense, an album that peaked at number five on Billboard's R&B Albums chart and featured the number seven R&B hit "Save Me," as well as the number one "How Can I Ease the Pain" -- the latter of which won the 1991 Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
She remained active as a session and touring vocalist -- she continued to tour not just with Vandross and the Stones but with Tina Turner and Chris Botti as well, and she recorded with artists ranging from AC/DC to Bobby McFerrin. In 2013, Fischer was prominently featured on Eclipse, an album from Louie Vega's Elements of Life, and she also appeared in [muzeItalic]20 Feet from Stardom[/muzeItalic], a film about unsung background vocalists.
~ Andy Kellman.