Born and raised in Houston Texas, Terry Ellis graduated from Worthing High School in 1982 and later earned a degree in Marketing from Prairie View A&M University in 1990. During her years at Prairie View A&M University, Terry honed her vocal skills as a five octave - mezzo soprano by being the lead vocalist for the Marching Storm Band. She participated in several talent showcases, performed on special programs including the Miss and Mr. Prairie View A&M University Pageants and also opened for many major acts in concert on the campus, including Grammy Award winning Singer / Producer, Kashif. In 1988, a friend informed Terry about auditions being held in the Bay Area (California) for a girl group and recommended she try out. The group was originally supposed to be a trio. The producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy had already selected singers Dawn Robinson, Maxine Jones, and Cindy Herron. However, even though Terry showed up late for auditions, they gave her a shot. They were so amazed at her vocal prowess that they decided to make the trio a quartet. That group became the now legacy act – En Vogue. Ellis sang lead vocals on the intro of the group's first single "Hold On", which peaked at number 2 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, and sold over a million copies becoming platinum certified by the RIAA. Later that year, the group released their debut album Born to Sing, which went platinum. Ellis also sang lead vocals on the singles "Lies" and "Don't Go", both of which charted in top-five positions on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The group released their second album Funky Divas in 1992, which sold over 3.5 million copies in the United States. Ellis shares lead vocals on one of the album's top-charting singles "Free Your Mind". "Free Your Mind" won two MTV Video Music Awards, for "Best R&B Video" and "Best Dance Video". En Vogue released an EP in the fall of 1993, entitled Runaway Love.
By the mid-'90s, the members of En Vogue took a three-year break from recording, which gave Ellis a chance to record an album of her own, 1995's Southern Gal, released on Elektra. Two of the singles became hits: "Wherever You Are" and "What Did I Do to You."
In 1996, En Vogue returned to the studio and recorded, "Don't Let Go (Love)". The song was featured on the soundtrack to the motion picture Set It Off. Released in the autumn, it became the group's biggest hit to date going number one worldwide. It also sold over 1.8 million copies worldwide and became certified platinum by the RIAA
In 2018, Ellis along with fellow members Herron and Rhona Bennett, who joined the group in 2004 – released their most recent album titled, Electric Café on En Vogue Records / EOne Music and are still touring and electrifying the world with their music!
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Terry Ellis for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Terry Ellis speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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