Me’Shell Ndegeocello

(b. 1968)

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Me’Shell Ndegeocello (b. 1968) is a singer-songwriter, musician, and activist.

Born Michelle Lynn Johnson in Washington, D.C., she adopted the phonetic spelling of her first name and the Swahili name Ndegeocello, meaning “free like a bird,” as her last name. Known for her fusion of soul music with rock and reggae, she is reportedly credited as the facilitator of the neo-soul movement in 1990s. Ndegeocello began her career in the go-go music scene of D.C. with such bands as Rare Essence and Little Bennie and the Masters. After auditioning for various bands, she released her Grammy-nominated debut album, Plantation Lullabies.

Cover of "Ravers" magazine with an image of a woman with her hands above her head.

Ravers: The Black Rock Coalition Arts Magazine: Winter 1994

Published by Positive Press Inc. 

2015.42.14.8.3

Gift of the Black Rock Coalition - LaRonda Davis, President

Throughout her storied career, Ndegeocello has worked with John Mellencamp, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Indigo Girls, and The Rolling Stones among others. She is a notable voice in the LGBTQ+ community and has continued to be an outspoken advocate for gay rights through her artwork and music. Ndegeocello has two children.

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