Lillie/Nicole McCloud just wants a comeback. Will she get it?
Well, she actually did blow me and even the world away with her amazing performace of Cece Winan’s Alabaster box, but the stunning 54 year old mother of three and grandmother of 7, Lillie McLoud, is an old R&B singer and a dance floor diva. Lillie’s daughter actually gave up her mother’s identity on twitter in her reaction to her performance at the X-factor audition.
Well, how about that.
A google search on Nicole McCloud turns up a wealth of information on the singer, which explains her beautiful rendition. She was a dance floor diva in the 80′s and 90′s charting a slew of hits, and performing alongside some of the greats. She was signed to Epic records. Via Wiki
Nicole J. McCloud (born in 1960 in Rochester, New York) is an international singer who has performed with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, the group Kool & The Gang, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Timmy Thomas and other artists. She has lived in the United States most of her life where she has recorded four albums. She now lives in Košice, Slovakia.
In the mid 2000s, Nicole moved to Košice, a small village in Slovakia, to live together with her partner, the football trainer Günter Kronsteiner. Her first Slovakian performance took place at the prestigious Košice International Jazz Festival 2006, where she unexpectedly performed with jazz legend Peter Lipa.
In 2010, Nicole provided the title song for the Slovakian version of Britain’s Got Talent, ‘?esko Slovensko má talent’.
Nicole first appeared on the US Billboard charts in 1985 with “Always and Forever,” which ultimately peaked at No. 66. Her breakthrough single “Don’t You Want My Love” reached Top 10 in the US, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden. Ten of Nicole’s singles landed the US Billboard charts. So far, her biggest hit has been the 1994 single “Runnin’ Away” which peaked at #3. In 2002, Nicole returned to the Top 10 with “Search’n” (#5). That same year she received a nomination for the International Dance Music Awards, along Craig David and Shakira.
“Don’t You Want My Love” reached number 10 on the DANCE chart in 1986. Still. That’s pretty good. It also charted in several European countries. (US R&B #66 Belgium #7 France #18 Germany #20 Netherlands #9 Sweden #8)
Lillie spoke to Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks the day after her “X Factor” audition aired to set the record straight.
“I do want to let the public know that I am for sure not hiding who I am,” she insisted. As for why “X Factor” producers didn’t mention anything about her past singing career, she replied, “I really don’t know the answer to that. When I would ask that question, I would be told, ‘This is what’s important, this is how we want to do it.’
“I personally embrace my past, and hopefully with all the controversy, I’ll get a chance to speak out, because people — I would say ‘haters,’ is what I call them — don’t know my story. When you have children, it’s a no-brainer: You can’t go for everything you want to go for, and you let opportunities pass you by. I’m sure that had I not had children, maybe I would have reached my goal. But I’ve got three kids and seven grandkids, so I missed so many opportunities that I could have said yes to, that would have helped launch my career. ‘The X Factor,’ I mean, they know everything about my life, so they made a decision on how they wanted to put me out there. Was it a wrong decision? I don’t think so. I think they wanted to catch on the more intimate side of me, and let me do the talking as far as my career. And you know, if someone’s really interested and they search my name, they can find out anything they want to find out, anyways.”
As for that name, Lillie is in fact the name on her birth certificate, although she never billed herself as such until Simon Cowell (whom Lillie says she never met before, despite the aforementioned “Got Talent” connection) started doing so. “He just started calling me Lillie [the legal name on her documents], and I said, ‘Okay, I guess I’m Lillie, then,’” she recalls. “I didn’t intend to use my real name; the only people who know my real name are the bill collectors! But Simon went on ‘Chelsea Handler,’ and he mentioned ‘Lillie,’ and it just kind of took off from there.”
As for her earlier accomplishments in the dance world, Lillie said, “Yes, I had some success, and it was a great market to be in, but it was just not for my heart. I never could get any of the record labels to take me seriously or let me do what I wanted to do. They were always pushing me in the dance market, and although I appreciate that and I had a really good time doing that, it was never where I wanted to get to in my career. I had some records out and they charted okay, and I had my fanbase and did the little nightclubs in New York or the big cities, and that was about as far as I went. But a long time ago because of one [hit] song, ‘Don’t You Want My Love,’ it allowed me to go overseas and get more corporate on a high scale with dates in Europe and that kind of thing. So the name allowed me to keep working, here and abroad.”
Lillie quit music in 2004 and soon after permanently relocated to Europe (to Slovakia, where she lived with her boyfriend at the time), after years of frustration in the business. “I just walked away from it because it just wasn’t going well. You know, you have a record out there, and to some people it’s like, ‘Oh my God, she’s a superstar!’ But when you look in your bank account, you’re not.”
But Lillie eventually caught the performance bug again and starting gigging around Europe. “When I couldn’t make it in the recording industry, I told myself, ‘I’m going try to become one of the best live performers around,’” she recalled. And all that practice paid off when Lillie moved back to the States (she now resides in Orlando) and decided to pursue a real recording career again…by trying out for “The X Factor.”
“I was following [the show] for the last couple years. It seemed to be the one place that would really reach out and give someone like me an opportunity. It just seemed like it was the place to go. I was so happy that such a show would allow someone my age a chance to be noticed, to really branch into this career properly. My sister was pushing me, and I finally said, ‘Okay, I’ll try it; I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.”
Lillie, who found God in recent years and auditioned for “The X Factor” singing CeCe Winans’s “Alabaster Box,” now wants to pursue a less dancey type of gospel-crossover music that she describes as “Mary Mary vs. Bruno Mars….Although I’m in the secular world singing secular music, my objective is to go into gospel, but gospel as it’s never been known before. I’m not going take off my catsuit if I feel like wearing it. I want to show the young kids that you can have a party and really get down with gospel. So the type of music I’m hearing in my head is something that hasn’t been released before. Hopefully I’ll find a producer that can get in and unravel my thoughts, and get it onto tape.”
As for the public debate regarding whether someone as seasoned as Lillie deserves another chance in a forum like “The X Factor,” Lillie points out that there are plenty of singing-show contestants with similar pasts. “There’s so many of us who have had careers before, from ‘American Idol’ to ‘The Voice’ to ‘The X Factor.’ If you search the background on every contestant, you’re going to find quite a few that have experience in this industry. But we’re here on these shows because we didn’t make it.”
Perhaps Lillie will finally “make it” after all, if “X Factor” fans give her a chance — and “X Factor” editors tell her entire story.
At the moment, the producers of X-factor are yet to react on the sudden revelations about Lillie but I think she does deserve another chance at her career, age notwithstanding.
Check out some of her songs on YouTube.