Phyllis Nelson

Phyllis Nelson (October 3, 1950 – January 12, 1998)[1] was an American singer, most famous for her 1985 song "Move Closer", which topped the chart in the United Kingdom. Her son is the singer and record producer, Marc Nelson.

Phyllis Nelson
Born(1950-10-03)October 3, 1950
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
DiedJanuary 12, 1998(1998-01-12) (aged 47)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresDance, pop, disco
Years active1981–1998
LabelsHallmark Records, Carrere


Nelson was born in Jacksonville, Florida and a member of family group Nelson Five. She was later a backup singer for Major Harris and Philly Cream. She worked and recorded for several years from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Her records were mostly dance oriented. She also recorded numerous records during the disco era.

In 1984, she recorded a self-written ballad entitled "Move Closer". It was a complete departure from the type of music she had been recording. The lyrics of "Move Closer" were based on a long-term love affair she had with a much younger man in Philadelphia, who was struggling to start his own computer business. They lived together for several years, raising Nelson's two children (Marc and Kenya) that she had from previous relationships.

While "Move Closer" failed to find an audience in her native United States, it was successful in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart in April 1985.[1] The song remained on the chart for almost six months,[1] and became one of Britain's highest-selling singles of the year.

Based in France, she recorded a single with the French actor, Alain Delon: "I Don't Know". It was included in the original soundtrack of the 1985 French film, Parole De Flic (Cop's Honor). Her subsequent releases failed to make any impression (except "I Like You" which made No. 81),[2] and she is remembered as a one-hit wonder.

In the United States, she had success on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, where her song entitled "I Like You" peaked at No. 1 in 1985 and No. 61 on the Hot 100. "I Like You" reached No. 29 in the French dance chart.[citation needed] "Move Closer" returned to the UK chart in 1994, reaching the Top 40,[1] after being featured in a television commercial for anti-perspirant.[citation needed]


Nelson died in January 1998 from breast cancer in Los Angeles, California, where she had been living since her divorce. She was 47 years old.[3]

Her son Marc Nelson also enjoyed a recording career.[4]



Year Album Label
1984 Move Closer Carrere Records
1985 I Like You Hallmark


Year Single U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Dance U.S. R&B UK[1] Album
1981 "Don't Stop the Train" 20 Move Closer
1985 "Move Closer" 1
1985 "I Don't Know" I Don't Know
1985 "I Like You"[5] 61 1 65 81[2] I Like You
1994 "Move Closer" (re-issue) 34 Move Closer

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 389. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ a b "Official Charts Company – Phyllis Nelson". Official Charts Company. 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  3. ^ Rock, Doc. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1998 - 1999". Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  4. ^ Graham Betts (2004) Complete UK Hit Singles 1952–2004, ISBN 978-0007179312
  5. ^ "Phyllis Nelson - Chart history - Billboard". Retrieved 7 July 2018.

External linksEdit