When Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes portrayed the most famous pair of star-crossed lovers in the 1996 film adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” part of the musical backdrop was set by a soul singer with Region roots.
Kym Mazelle sang a cover a “Young Hearts Run Free” which the costumed Mercutio dances to at the party where Romeo and Juliet meet. Mazelle was singing long before Hollywood caught up to her.
Born Aug. 10 1960 in Gary, she was raised on the same street as the Jackson family. Often called the First Lady of House Music, Mazelle was credited for spreading the genre beyond the United States. When Mazelle appeared on the UK version of “The Voice” in 2013, singer-songwriter will.i.am said she brought dance music to the UK, saying she was a “pioneer of house music in the UK.”
Although she studied arts and entertainment media management at Columbia College in Chicago, she hit the charts repeatedly across the pond, with a 1988 club hit single “Useless” and 1989 duet called “Wait,” which peaked at No. 7 in the UK.
Worldwide acclaim came from the single “Missing You” by Soul II Soul.
In more recent years, Mazelle has taken her talents to reality television. She has appeared on several shows, including “Celebrity Fit Club” and “Celebrity MasterChef.”