b. Willie Frances Peak (a.k.a. Willie Frances Nero), 13th March 1943, Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 29th November 2014, U.S.A..
Born in Detroit, Frances Nero was part of Berry Gordy's Motown set-up, however, chart success was to follow later in her life, at a revamped Motorcity label the other side of the water (in the U.K.) from her own country of origin.
Frances began her singing career as a teenager, winning a 1965 talent show at the age of 22, judged by Berry Gordy.
A certain Ronnie McNeir took second place in the same contest.
As a result of winning the competition she was awarded a year's contract with Motown, with whom she remained with for three years, releasing only one single.
The song was entitled 'Keep On Loving Me' b/w 'Fight Fire With Fire' on Motown's 'Soul' subsidiary label.'Keep On Loving Me' was released on the 11th March 1966.
On departure from the Motown stable Frances recorded briefly with Gino Parks for the Crazy Horse imprint, releasing material produced in part by Berry Gordy's ex wife, Raynoma and her then husband Eddie Singleton (Motown A&R man).
She also recorded two songs for Shrine Records, which Eddie and Raynoma owned.
Frances continued to sing until her mother's death in 1978, then caring for ailing family members.
Frances had retired from recording until in 1989, when, after a long search U.K. Producer Ian Levine tracked down Frances, after appealing on the Detroit T.V. show 'Kelly & Co.'
She signed with the UK label Motorcity and teamed up with Gino again for a duet 'Your Precious Love'.
In 1990 Motorcity released her first single for the label, 'Footsteps Following Me', which was highly acclaimed on the soul scene and remains one of the label's most successful (U.K. Top 20), and arguably finest moment for the imprint (later remixed and re-released by Debut Records).
At Motorcity, Frances also re-recorded her Motown song 'Keep On Loving Me', and recorded a version of the We The People dancer 'Making My Daydream Real'.
She also released an album entitled 'Out On The Floor' for the label.
In 1996, Hot Productions released 'The Very Best of Frances Nero' in the States.
She has also released a three-song CD entitled 'Love Ride' on her AJA record label (also instigated in 1996) along with an album project based upon the songs of Dinah Washington.
Frances, sadly, passed away in November 2014, at the age of 71.
...very many thanks to Frances Nero, for her help with this page...
Out On The Floor (Motorcity Records 1992)
The Very Best of Frances Nero (Hot Productions 1996)
Love Ride (AJA Records 1996)
Footsteps Following Me (Hot Records 1996)
Frances Nero Salutes Dinah Washington (www.francesnero.com 2007)