Jody Vanessa Watley (born January 30, 1959) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer, whose music crosses genres including pop, R&B, jazz, dance and electronic soul. In 1987, she won the Grammy Award for "Best New Artist." Along with Janet Jackson and Madonna, she ranks as one of MTV Video Music Awards most nominated female artists ever, with six nominations for her ‘Real Love’ video. In 2008, she was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard magazine, and was also prominently featured in the historic black issue of Vogue Italia in 2008. Her early music influences are Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, The Carpenters, Roberta Flack, Prince, Grace Jones and various jazz artists including Nancy Wilson.