Helen Scott (Performer)

Helen Scott (Performer)

Helen Scott-Leggins was born in Richmond, Virginia but raised in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Helen claims duel citizenship to both cities and her family when it comes to the musical influence in her life. At the age of 2½ years old, while attending St. Phillip's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Va., she got her first taste of audience appreciation when the congregation would applaud her as she ran down the aisle to the front of the church to sing her favourite hymn, to the embarrassment of her two older sisters, many times interrupting the service. Often times at home she would sit around the piano with her father and uncle and participate in the family sing along and when there was no music around to be heard she would dance to the rhythm of the washing machine. She participated in church and community programs, directed by a family friend who realised her love for music and her love for singing. While attending schools in the Philadelphia area she joined various glee clubs, choirs and talent shows as well as a local centre that put on plays and musicals for the community.

At the age of 15 while attending Germantown High School, she was introduced to Richard Barrett, the manager and teacher of “ [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Degrees The Three Degrees] ” by a teacher in her school. She teamed up with Fayette Pinkney and Janet Harmon to begin a professional career performing on local television shows, singing engagements on the weekends while still in school and recording on the Swan record label.

She left the group in 1966 to marry and have a family, putting her love for singing on the back-burner while her new profession, motherhood, took precedent. Her two children, Kia and Kyle, became the highlight of her life and singing was limited to children's songs, the shower and family gatherings.

In 1976 Fayette Pinkney left the group to further her education. To Helen's amazement she was asked to rejoin by former Degree and childhood friend, Sheila Ferguson. With her two children now attending school and her marriage dissolving after 11 years, she decided to give it a try. Her verbal account of her first few years juggling a fulltime career with motherhood and now a single parent sounds amusing at times; however "It was no joke!" she says. I would get up in the morning, get the children to school and go to rehearse with Sheila and Valerie. After 8 hours of intense singing and choreography I would come home to the full time duties of a mother and when the children were finally in bed, I prepared for the following day and spent the remaining hours of the evening practising the French, Spanish and Japanese songs I needed to learn for the up-coming tour. "But, I made it through" she says with a smile.

Once she rejoined the group they recorded and released their last album for CBS Records entitled "Standing Up For Love." In 1978 the group signed to Ariola Records in the UK and released the albums "New Dimensions" which spawned the hit singles "Giving Up Giving In," "The Runner," "and "Woman In Love". At the end of 1979 they released the album "3D" which spawned their classic song "My Simple Heart."

In 1984, she remarried and in 1986 gave birth to a daughter. Karis (named after Kans Jagger- daughter of Marsha Hunt and Mick Jagger. Marsha and Helen are childhood friends) and continued performing…… most times with Karis, who claims to be the fourth Degree, by her side. She is the proud grandmother of three granddaughters (Kylee, Devon and Kavla) and one grandson (Kaylen) and another grandchild on the way. Cooking is one of her favourite things to do. It’s almost a guarantee whenever you visit that she’ll have something cooking and seemingly always enough no matter who stops by. Spending time with her family and friends is very important to her. Other hobbies include reading, shopping (especially for shoes), sporting events (Basketball) and just lying on the beach. After 32 consecutive years with The Three Degrees, she still juggles the family and career but says (with a smile), “I'm a little older, a lot more relaxed and blessed to still enjoy what I do. Not everyone can say that and mean it”.

Albums with The Three Degrees

1977: Standing Up for Love (Epic) 1978: New Dimensions (Ariola) - US #169 1979: 3D (Ariola) 1980: Gold (Ariola)1982: Album of Love 1984: Live In The UK 1989: ...And Holding (Ichiban) - R&B #76 1993: Out The Past Into The Future (BMG Ariola) 2001: The Three Degrees Christmas (BCI) 2002: All the Hits Plus More (Prestige Elite) 2002: Greatest Hits (Goldies) 2003: Sounds of Philadelphia (Fabulous) 2007: Another Touch CD - Dirty Ol' Man (Jazz) at YouTube 2007: A Soulful Tale Of Two Cities CD - Ain't That Peculiar at YouTube

[edit] Singles1965: "Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)" - US Pop #80 1966: "Look in My Eyes" - US Pop #97 1978: "Giving Up ,Giving In" - US Dance #12, UK #13 1979: "Woman In Love" - US R&B #27, UK #3 1979: "The Runner" - US Dance #56, UK #10 1979: "Jump the Gun" - US Dance #30, UK #48 1979: "The Golden Lady" - UK #56 1979: "My Simple Heart" - UK #9 1980: "Without You" - UK #83 1980: "Set Me Free" - US Dance #12 1985: "The Heaven I Need" - UK #42 1993: "When Will I See You Again" (Duet with Thomas Anders) - Germany #37 1998: "Last Christmas" - UK #54

[edit] External links
Official Website http://www.thethreedegrees.com
The Three Degrees Photo Gallery http://surf.to/3degrees

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