Wendy Ann Melvoin[1] (born January 26, 1964) is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter, best known for her work with Prince as part of his backing band The Revolution, and for her collaboration with Lisa Coleman as one half of the duo Wendy & Lisa.

Wendy Melvoin
WendyMelvoin 2006.jpg
Wendy Melvoin in 2006
Background information
Born (1964-01-26) January 26, 1964 (age 56)
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
GenresAlternative rock, funk, R&B, rock, pop, new wave, Minneapolis sound
Occupation(s)Musician, arranger, composer, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsGuitar, bass guitar, mandolin, drums, vocals
Years active1980–present
LabelsColumbia, SME Records, Virgin, EMI, World Domination
Associated actsThe Revolution, Wendy & Lisa, Sheryl Crow

Music careerEdit

Melvoin met Prince in 1983, one night when she was practicing guitar in Lisa Coleman's room. A few days later, when guitarist Dez Dickerson didn't show up at soundcheck, Prince asked her to play his guitar; that same night, Prince invited her to join the band.[2] Melvoin's debut show with The Revolution was a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theatre at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis on August 3, 1983. This concert was recorded, and some of the tracks ended up in Prince's next record, most notably the title track. Melvoin was 19 at that time.

Shortly after the completion of Prince and The Revolution's 1986 album Parade, Coleman and Melvoin left the Revolution and started their own duo, Wendy & Lisa, also known as Girl Brothers.

Melvoin and Coleman also composed music for the first season of the TV series Heroes.[3] In September 2008, they announced that they would release an album consisting entirely of the score from Heroes, entitled Heroes: Original Score. Melvoin and Coleman composed the main title song for Nurse Jackie, for which they were awarded with an Emmy in 2010. As of mid-November 2015, the duo were working on the American TV series Touch.

Melvoin also contributed guitars to Madonna's 2008 album Hard Candy on the song "She's Not Me", and she is mentioned by name during the song.

She contributed heavily to Neil Finn's second solo album One Nil, co-writing many tracks and playing drums and bass on several. She is credited for guitar work on most of the tracks on Rob Thomas's first solo album, ...Something to Be.

Melvoin is also listed in the credits of Glen Campbell's 2011 final studio album, Ghost on the Canvas.

Personal lifeEdit

Wendy Melvoin was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of jazz pianist (and former NARAS president) Mike Melvoin,[4] who in the 1960s was part of the Los Angeles session musician collective The Wrecking Crew.[5] Her brother, Jonathan Melvoin, was the Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboardist, and her twin sister is singer and composer Susannah Melvoin. Wendy and her family are Jewish.[6][7][8][9][10]

In April 2009, Melvoin gave an interview with Out magazine that, for the first time, publicly revealed that she is a lesbian and discussed her past romantic relationship with Lisa Coleman, who is still her musical partner.[11] She was in a longterm relationship with film director Lisa Cholodenko. They share a son, Calder, to whom Cholodenko gave birth by way of an anonymous sperm donor.[12]

Awards and recognitionEdit

In 2007, the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards gave Melvoin and Coleman the "Top Television Series" award for their work on Heroes.[13]

Melvoin and Coleman were awarded with an Emmy for Outstanding Original Main Title in 2010 for their theme to Nurse Jackie.[14] They also technically share the honor of winners of a Grammy and Oscar for being part of The Revolution, as Purple Rain won two Grammys, and the Oscar for Best Original Score.

In 2014, Melvoin and Coleman received the inaugural Shirley Walker Award from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), an award which honors those whose achievements have contributed to the diversity of film and television music.[15]


  1. ^ self
  2. ^ Eric Deggans (December 30, 2010). "Biggest regret in 2008: Not publishing this Wendy and Lisa interview". tampabay.com. St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 12, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  3. ^ Melvoin's and Coleman's compositions for Heroes closely followed their music-scoring of the previous Tim Kring series, Crossing Jordan, which had starred Jill Hennessy in the lead role.
  4. ^ Dennis McDougal (1985-03-14). "Jazz musicians threaten split after snub on Grammy show". Montreal Gazette.
  5. ^ Robert Lloyd. "Time of the Session: When the music was fast, and the players anonymous". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2004-04-08.
  6. ^ Search Results Web results Prince's little-known Jewish connection - Jewish World ... https://www.haaretz.com › jewish › prince-s-little-known-jewish-connectio... Apr 22, 2016 - The American pop icon, who died this week, was no stranger to the Jewish part of his hometown of Minneapolis.
  7. ^ After 'no proper tribute,' Prince & the Revolution survivors ... www.startribune.com › prince-amp-the-revolution-survivors-talk-about-fir... Aug 27, 2016 - The Revolution, from left: BrownMark, Lisa Coleman, Wendy Melvoin, Dr. ... The Revolution last reunited in 2012 for a benefit for the American Heart ... All five Revolutionaries — guitarist Melvoin, drummer Z, keyboardist Lisa .... “It was a purple shiva,” said Melvoin, referring to the Jewish mourning service.
  8. ^ The secret Jewish history of Prince's 'Purple Rain' - Prince.org https://prince.org › msg Aug 5, 2014 - 30 posts - 14 authors Wendy joined the Revolution as a guitarist and played on “Purple Rain,” and ... "I hate to say it, but he wouldn't even let us eat off of his silverware on Friday ... Finkelstein and Wendy Melvoin, producer David Rivkin, all Jewish.
  9. ^ Prince interview: 'I didn't let fame rule me' - Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk › Culture › Music › Interviews Apr 22, 2016 - The Artist People Formerly Cared About, as the American 'shock jock' ..... his erstwhile guitarist, Wendy Melvoin, who is Jewish and a lesbian, ...
  10. ^ The Secret Jewish History of Prince – The Forward https://forward.com › culture › the-secret-jewish-history-of-prince Oct 28, 2019 - Around this time Prince began his association with the Melvoin twins, Wendy and Susannah, daughters of famed studio musician and former ...
  11. ^ "The Revolution Will Be Harmonized". out.com. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  12. ^ http://www.filmjournal.com/node/4467
  13. ^ "Top Television Series". ascap.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  14. ^ "'Glee,' Rock Hall of Fame Win Creative Arts Emmys". billboard.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  15. ^ "ASCAP to Honor Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman with Inaugural Shirley Walker Award at 29th Film and TV Awards". ascap.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017.

External linksEdit