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Club Nouveau is an American R&B group formed by record producer/performer Jay King in 1986 in Sacramento, California following the breakup of the Timex Social Club. The group's name (French for "New Club") was changed from its original incarnation, "Jet Set", to capitalize on the breakup. The group was signed by Warner Bros. Records, on which Club Nouveau released its first three albums. Club Nouveau's version of Bill Withers' song "Lean on Me" won a Grammy award for Best R&B Song in 1987.[2]

Club Nouveau
Club Nouveau.jpg
Background information
OriginSacramento, California, United States
GenresR&B, soul, new jack swing, dance
Years active1986–present
LabelsWarner Bros. (1986–1990)
Cleopatra Records[1]
Associated actsTimex Social Club, Foster & McElroy, Samuelle
MembersJay King
Valerie Watson English
Samuelle Prater
Past membersDenzil Foster
Thomas McElroy
Kevin Irving
David Agent
Roque LaCrosby
Walter Phillips
James L. Richard II
Mario Corbino


From its debut album, Life, Love & Pain, which was released in 1986, the group scored four consecutive hits: "Jealousy" (essentially an answer song responding to Timex Social Club's hit "Rumors"), "Situation #9", "Lean on Me" and "Why You Treat Me So Bad". The latter two both made it to #2 on the Billboard R&B chart the next year, with "Lean on Me" going on to become a big Billboard Hot 100 hit. "Jealousy" also made an appearance on the soundtrack for the film, Modern Girls. "Why You Treat Me So Bad" was interpolated by the hip-hop duo Luniz, on its hit single "I Got 5 on It", and subsequently by rapper/record producer Puff Daddy on his #1 R&B single "Satisfy You".

The group's original lineup consisted of Jay King, Valerie Watson, Samuelle Prater, Denzil Foster, and Thomas McElroy. Foster and McElroy soon left to form their own production team and focus on working with other acts. Prater, who had performed lead vocals on "Lean on Me," eventually left as well to pursue a solo career, but reunited with the group in 2009.

The group's next albums—beginning with Listen to the Message—were laced with an evolving social consciousness. Notable recordings include, "You Ain't No Friend of Mine" from Under A Nouveau Groove; a dancehall-influenced version of the Gospel classic "Oh, Happy Day," from A New Beginning; "Let It Go" from Everything Is Black; and "What Kind of Love" from The Collection Volume I. The group also recorded "Step by Step" for the Who's That Girl soundtrack.

Club Nouveau was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Performance in 1987. The group’s version of "Lean on Me" was its most celebrated hit resulting in a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year in addition to winning the Grammy for Best R&B Song that same year. "Lean on Me" was also nominated for two American Music Awards, nominated and won a Bammy Award, a BRE Drummer award, a Bay Area Star award and it won two NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) awards.

The 2015 line-up consists of King, Watson, and Prater.

In 2017, as part of Warner Music’s divestment requirements as a result of its purchase of Parlophone, the group’s Warner Bros. recordings were acquired by Tommy Boy Records, which worked 12-inch singles from its first album to clubs as a result of its emerging relationship with Warner and from being an expert in the format.


Studio albumsEdit

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications

1986 Life, Love & Pain 6 2 90 13 65 69 9
  • US: Platinum [9]
1988 Listen to the Message
  • Release date: May 24, 1988
  • Label: Warner Bros.
98 44
1989 Under a Nouveau Groove
  • Release date: November 7, 1989
  • Label: Warner Bros.
1992 A New Beginning
  • Release date: April 30, 1992
  • Label: JVK
1995 Everything Is Black
  • Release date: October 10, 1995
  • Label: Rip-It
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Single Peak chart positions Album


1986 "Jealousy" 8 38 80 Life, Love & Pain
"Situation #9" 4
1987 "Lean on Me" 1 2 1 5 22 1 9 5 4 1 7 3
"Why You Treat Me So Bad" 39 2 22 96
"Let Me Go"
"Heavy on My Mind" 42
1988 "It's a Cold, Cold World!" 34 Listen to the Message
"For the Love of Francis"
1989 "No Friend of Mine" 12 Under a Nouveau Groove
1990 "Under a Nouveau Groove"
"Momentary Lover"
1992 "Oh Happy Day" 45 A New Beginning
1993 "When Will You Come Back to Me?"
1994 "Ghetto Swang" Everything Is Black
1995 "Let It Go" (featuring Thrill Da Playa of the 69 Boyz)
1998 "What Kind of Love (Secret Rendezvous)" The Collection Volume 1
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ron Wynn "Club Nouveau - Discography" "" Retrieved Oct.27, 2017
  2. ^ "Bill Withers Biography". pp. 8th Paragraph, Last Sentence. Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  3. ^ a b c d e "US Charts > Club Nouveau". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  4. ^ a b David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Club Nouveau". RPM. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  6. ^ a b "GER Charts > Club Nouveau". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  7. ^ a b "NL Charts > Club Nouveau". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  8. ^ a b "NZ Charts > Club Nouveau". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  9. ^ "US Certifications > Club Nouveau". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  10. ^ "AUT Charts > Club Nouveau". Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  11. ^ "IRE Charts Search > Club Nouveau". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  12. ^ "SWI Charts > Club Nouveau". Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  13. ^ "UK Charts > Club Nouveau". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-03-18.

External linksEdit