Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Andrea Martin, former R&B songwriter for En Vogue, dies at 49

Andrea Martin, a woman who wrote lyrics to numerous songs for hit R&B and hip-hop artists including En Vogue, Blackstreet and Salt-N-Pepa, has died. She was 49.

Martin died Monday of organ failure at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, according to the rapper and actor A. Carmichael, whose mother had lived with Martin.

“My mother was singing along to her song when it died,” Carmichael, an actor and stand-up comedian, wrote on Instagram. He said Martin was about to have a bone marrow transplant.

Martin’s recent output includes two poems for the book “The You’re There Collection.” “Hold on the Memory,” with Cathy Moriarty as an alter ego, imagines a person unable to find happiness in a world that will not let her.

Martin also completed a poem, “The Rap Day Care Book,” about a day care worker whose job includes rappin’.

But at the center of her body of work was her five-year stint as a songwriter for En Vogue, which was briefly part of the R&B scene in the 1980s. Martin collaborated with Howard Hewett, the singer/songwriter who at one point was a member of another R&B hitmaking trio, Salt-N-Pepa.

En Vogue had a string of hits between 1986 and 1991, including “Free Your Mind,” “Free Your Love,” “Pocket Full of Kisses” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The group was widely featured on the American Music Awards.

Martin also was a co-writer of a version of “What a Feeling” for Salt-N-Pepa, with Stevie Wonder, which remained a Top 20 R&B hit in 1994.

In 1992, Martin also co-wrote “Say It Right” for Blackstreet, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts.

She co-wrote “Let’s Go” for the girl group SWV, but it did not chart.

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