Lani Hall (born November 6, 1945) is an American singer, lyricist, author, and the wife of Herb Alpert. From 1966 to 1971 she performed as lead vocalist for Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66. In 1972 she released her first solo album Sundown Lady, with many more soon to follow. But, she may be best known for providing the most-recognizable (female) face and (female) vocal signature sound to Sergio's group during her tenure there, and for her rendition of the theme song to the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again, with its accompanying video, in which she prominently appears. In 1986 she was awarded her first Grammy Award for Es Fácil Amar as "Best Latin Pop Performance."  After that year she largely retired, resurfacing in 1998 with the solo album Brasil Nativo. She has the distinction of recording over 22 albums in three different languages and has released three albums, Anything Goes, I Feel You and Steppin' Out, on which she performs alongside her husband Herb Alpert. She received her second Grammy Award in 2013 as producer for the album, Steppin' Out.
Hall in 2012
|Birth name||Leilani Hall|
|Also known as||Lani Hall Alpert|
|Born||November 6, 1945|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Genres||Jazz, Latin, Pop, Brazilian|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, lyricist, author, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, percussion|
|Labels||A&M, Windham Hill, Concord (with Herb Alpert), Shout Factory (with Herb Alpert)|
|Associated acts||Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, Herb Alpert & Lani Hall|
Her first public appearance occurred at The Centaur, a coffee house in Old Town, Chicago, in 1965. She was heard by Brazilian pianist and bandleader Sérgio Mendes, who was on tour in Chicago. He first heard her perform at a benefit at Mother Blue's, another club in Old Town. His group, Brasil '65 was disbanding, and he invited Hall to come to Los Angeles to be the lead singer of his new project, Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66. She agreed, and six months later the group signed a contract with A&M Records.
Unlike the previous incarnation, Brasil '66 was an instant success - making a significant impact on the charts with its first single, a version of the Brazilian song "Mas Que Nada". Much of the song's appeal was due to Hall’s distinctive, multi-tracked vocals and Herb Alpert's expertise as producer.
A series of popular interpretations followed, including their take on The Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" and "Day Tripper". The band was the opening act that toured alongside A&M label mates (and label founder) Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 1966. Mid-way through the production of the folk-rock concept album Stillness she left Brasil '66 in 1971, and was replaced by Mendes' wife Gracinha Leporace. In December 1973 Hall married Herb Alpert at their Malibu home.
With Alpert assuming production duties, Hall embarked on a solo career, beginning with 1972's Sun Down Lady and following up with Hello It's Me in 1975. She recorded regularly throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including singing the title song to the James Bond film Never Say Never Again, in 1983, produced by Mendes and Alpert.
Beginning in 1982, Hall recorded several successful Latin pop albums in Spanish, culminating in 1985's Es Fácil Amar, produced by Albert Hammond, for which she received the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance. Amongst her Spanish hits were "Un Amor Así" and "De Repente El Amor", duets with José Feliciano and Roberto Carlos, respectively; "Para Vivir Así," which features Herb Alpert on trumpet; and another duet, "Te Quiero Así" with the iconic José José (who also began his career with a bossa nova/jazz band). She recorded "Corazón Encadenado" and won a Grammy with Camilo Sesto in 1984, even though she doesn't speak Spanish.
In the mid-1980s, Hall contracted a debilitating case of Epstein–Barr virus and was forced to take a break from performing. She returned in 1998 with the album Brasil Nativo on the Windham Hill label. In 2008, she reunited with Mendes again, performing the song "Dreamer" on his album Encanto, which also featured Herb Alpert on trumpet.
In 2007, she and Alpert put a band together consisting of pianist/composer Bill Cantos, bassist Hussain Jiffry and drummer/percussionist Michael Shapiro, developing new arrangements for jazz standards and Brazilian songs. From then until the present, they have continued to tour, and have released three CDs, Anything Goes in 2009, I Feel You in 2011 and Steppin' Out in 2013, which won a Grammy Award for both Alpert (artist) and Hall (producer).
As a young girl, Hall began writing poetry. She started writing short stories in 1982 while on tour in Mexico City. In 2012 she published her book, Emotional Memoirs & Short Stories. Written over the course of more than thirty years, the book contains fiction and nonfiction stories that describe women coping with the vicissitudes of life.
Hall has taken over the role of stepmother to Dore and Eden, children of Herb Alpert's first marriage from 1956 to 1971 with Sharon Mae (Lubin). Hall and Alpert have as joint offspring the actress Aria Alpert. The Alperts live on a 5.5 acres beachfront compound on the Pacific Coast Highway in West Malibu, which Herb Alpert acquired in the early 1970s.
Albums with Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66Edit
Albums with Herb AlpertEdit
- Cordova, Randy (22 January 2010). "Grammy winner Lani Hall's new career 'perfect'". The Arizona Republic.
- "Lani Hall Biography". NNDB. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- Neyhart, Harry. "Lani Hall Discography". A&M Corner. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
- Nathan, Kristen (22 August 2013). "A sacred space: A review of Personal Memoirs and Short Stories by Lani Hall Alpert". ChicagoNow.
- "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. 1981-03-28. Retrieved 2016-08-10.