for realPlace of Birth: Selma, Alabama

Miss Baldwin grew up in Selma. Her mother had moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in show business so she was raised by her grandparents.

When she was 13, she moved to Hollywood to live with her mother, hoping to eventually pursue a singing career.

After high school, she began searching for a singing job and eventually landed some jobs as a background vocalist.

Later, she toured Japan and Malaysia as part of a "Supremes Forever" tribute show.

Back in Los Angeles, she spotted an advertisement - a female R&B group was looking for a singer. The group was For Real, which Josina Elder had started several years before. She auditioned, and was asked to join.

For two and a half years, For Real tried to land a record deal. No luck. When they finally did get signed, it happened by accident.

'We were picking up our manager from the airport,' Miss Baldwin says. 'So we decided to greet him with an acappella song.' Someone from A&M records just happened to be in the airport and heard them perform. Not long after, they were signed.

Their first album, "Natural Thang", caught the ear of Stevie Wonder, who called the group up and asked them to perform on his "Conversation Peace" album. Then he asked them to join him as backup singers and as the opening act for his "Natural Wonder" tour.

The group has also worked with producer Babyface on the "Waiting To Exhale" soundtrack and recorded music for the movie "Grace Of My Heart".

The second album which came out in 1996 on Rowdy Records, the Atlanta based label owned by popular R&B producer Dallas Austin and distributed by Arista Records, is called "Free".

By mixing both modern and classic R&B elements, "Free" manages to capture the spirit of the girl groups of the '60s and '70s, while still maintaining a modern sound. That back-to-basics vibe is what For Real - which also includes vocalists Josina Elder, Wendi Williams and Necia Bray - is all about.

taken from an article in
Birmingham Post-Hearald
Nov. 15, 1996
by Darin Powell

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


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