Watley got her start as a Soul Train dancer, and then was invited to join Shalamar in 1977. Frustrated by the group's lack of interest in her songs, she left the group in 1982 and moved to London, where she worked with Musical Youth and Art of Noise (she was also part of the 1984 Band Aid project). She later returned to the U.S. and released her eponymous (and hugely successful) solo album in 1987.
For the blog, we went with "Still A Thrill," a lesser-known single from her debut album. The song only reached #56 on the charts, and I do not think that the video was widely played at all. This is a shame, because it is a great late 1980's funk song, with a definite Minneapolis feel to it. It turns out the Watley's co-writer was none other than André Cymone, who had been Prince's bass player (pre-Revolution). Cymone and Watley were also married until 1995.
Cool trivia fact: Watley's dance partner (and choreographer) was Tyrone “The Bone” Proctor, a fellow Soul Train dancer from back in the day.