Janice-Marie Johnson personifies longevity. As the leader and co-founder of A Taste Of Honey, she’s been keeping the groove alive ever since topping the charts with “Boogie Oogie Oogie” and winning the coveted Grammy Award for “Best New Artist.” A celebrated pop and R&B icon, Janice-Marie’s music captivates audiences of all generations. From her timeless melodies to the infectious rhythms of her bass, JaniceMarie’s stellar musicianship is always the heart of her hit-filled, roof-raising performances in clubs, casinos, arenas, and concert halls all around the world.
A Taste Of Honey first exploded on the music scene with “A Taste Of Honey” (1978), the group’s self-titled debut for Capitol Records. The album was produced by R&B and jazz maestros Larry Mizell and Fonce Mizell. Featuring an equal portion of exquisite love songs (“Sky High”) and funky jams (“Distant”), the platinum-selling A Taste Of Honey shot to #2 on the R&B albums chart and made the Top 10 on the Billboard 200. Penned by JaniceMarie, “Boogie Oogie Oogie” opened the album and became a dance floor anthem. It was a cross-format smash, soaring to number one on the Hot 100, the R&B singles chart, and the disco charts, and earning the group gold and platinum singles. As the writer of “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” Janice-Marie received a Grammy nomination in the “Best R&B Song” category while the song scored the group a nomination for “Best Vocal Performance by a Group or Duo.” A Taste Of Honey performed “Boogie Oogie Oogie” on the Grammy telecast and took home the prize for “Best New Artist,” conquering a category that included rock acts such as Toto, The Cars, and Elvis Costello.
Janice-Marie and her band members didn’t disappoint on their follow-up album “Another Taste” (1979). Larry Mizell and Fonce Mizell returned as producers, further honing the group’s unique blend of R&B, pop, jazz, and dance on songs such as “I Love You” and “Your Love.” The album’s lead single “Do It Good” yielded a Top 20 R&B hit and packed dance floors in the trendiest nightclubs. A Taste Of Honey’s international appeal extended to Japan. At the 8th Annual Tokyo Music Festival, “Another Taste” was awarded the Gold Prize and Janice-Marie won the Gold Prize for writing “Do It Good.” Both the single and the album were also certified gold in Japan, foreshadowing the group’s enduring popularity throughout East Asia.
At the dawn of the 1980s, A Taste Of Honey teamed with producer George Duke on “Twice As Sweet” (1980). Janice-Marie co-wrote a number of tunes with Duke, including “Say That You’ll Stay” and “Don’t You Lead Me On,” while her “Rescue Me” landed in the R&B Top 20. However, it was Janice-Marie’s classic interpretation of Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” that was the centerpiece of the album. She wrote English lyrics for the song, which were later translated into Spanish and other languages, and created innovative marketing plans for Capitol to promote the single. “Sukiyaki” topped the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts and gave A Taste Of Honey a Top 5 pop hit plus another gold single. To this day, Janice-Marie incorporates a stunning traditional Japanese fan dance into her live performances of the song.