||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2009)|
|Birth name||Carmen Rosa Vega|
October 7, 1951 |
Queens, Long Island, New York, United States
|Genres||R&B, Contemporary gospel|
Born in Jamaica, Borough of Queens, Long Island, New York, Vega's parents are Luis Alfredo De La Vega, who served in the United States Air Force, and Rosaura Maltés. As a result of her fathers work, the family moved frequently. Before she was even a teenager, the family lived in Panama, Puerto Rico, San Antonio, Texas, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her father nicknamed her Táta, for that was the first word she uttered as a child.
Vega began her professional singing career in 1963. In California (1969–70) she was cast in the Los Angeles, California production of the Broadway musical "Hair". From there went on to join the group Pollution, led by Dobie Gray (who also appeared in the L.A. Cast of Hair), and then became a member of the group Earthquire, which released an album in 1973 on Motown's Natural Resources label With Motown Records, Vega released four solo albums on the Tamla record label: Full Speed Ahead (1976), Totally Táta (1977), Try My Love (1978), and Givin' All My Love (1981).
She has had an active career as a lead backing vocalist, working with Russ Taff, Stevie Wonder, Andraé Crouch, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Madonna, Singing duets with Lou Rawls, Jermaine Jackson, Peter Rivera with Rare Earth and Michael Sembello. She is featured on the 2010 Elton John and Leon Russell CD The Union. She also worked in film, performing the voice of Shug Avery in The Color Purple; she is featured on four songs on the 1986 soundtrack album, one of which, "Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)", was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Song category.
In 1994, she recorded two Spanish versions of the song "Circle of Life" from Disney's The Lion King, one for Latin America ("El ciclo sin fin") and the other one for Spain ("El ciclo de la vida"). During 1995, she was featured in the Warren Chaney docudrama, America: A Call to Greatness.
In 2006, Vega signed with Do Rite Records, releasing a new gospel album This Joy on October 27, 2009.
On January 18, 2013, Vega, alongside Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill, premiered Twenty Feet From Stardom, a documentary about the sound that shaped music, at Robert Redford's annual Sundance Film Festival.
- Pollution; Pollution (Prophesy Records; 1971)
- Pollution; Pollution II (Prophesy Records; 1972)
- Earthquire; Earthquire (Motown; 1972)
- 1976: Full Speed Ahead, Hollywood, Calif.: (Tamla Motown), OCLC: 33057917
- 1977: Totally Táta, Hollywood, Calif.: (Tamla Motown), OCLC: 33057752
- 1978: Try My Love, Hollywood, Calif.: (Tamla Motown), OCLC: 6634273
- 1980: Givin' All My Love (Tamla Motown)
- 1987: Time's So Right
- 1998: Now I See, Burbank, CA: (Qwest Records), OCLC: 40485132
- 2009: This Joy (Do Rite Records)
- Roberts, David (2006), British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.), London: Guinness World Records Limited, p. 584, ISBN 1-904994-10-5
- Abbey, John (November 1976). "Tata Vega:Tata for Now". SoulMusic.com. "Tata was actually christened Carmen Rosa Vega when she was born back on October 7, 1951, in Queens, Long Island. It was her father who dubbed her Tata because they were the first words she learned to utter as a baby."
- America Movie (Musicians)