Marcella Detroit

Marcella Detroit (born Marcella Levy, June 21, 1959) is an American soprano vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. She co-wrote the 1977 Eric Clapton hit “Lay Down Sally” and released her debut album Marcella in 1982. She joined Shakespears Sister in 1988 with ex-Bananarama member Siobhan Fahey. Their first two albums, Sacred Heart (1989), and Hormonally Yours (1992), both reached the top 10 of the UK Albums Chart. Detroit sang the lead vocals on their biggest hit, “Stay”, which spent eight consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart in 1992. Detroit left the band in 1993 and had a UK top 20 hit with “I Believe” in 1994. She formed the Marcy Levy Band in 2002, and finished third in the 2010 ITV series Popstar to Operastar.

Songwriting career

Detroit has co-written many songs for other artists, starting when she was part of Eric Clapton’s backing band in the 1970s. She most famously co-wrote “Lay Down Sally” for him, which was a #3 hit in the USA in 1978, and contributed other songs for his albums No Reason to Cry, Slowhand, and Backless.

During the 1980s, she established a lasting songwriting partnership with songwriter Richard Feldman, co-writing many songs for other artists. Also, Feldman and Detroit collaborated on songs of Shakespear’s Sister and co-wrote most of Detroit’s 1982 Marcella album, and both appear on the album cover art. Among the artists both co-wrote for are:

Bobbi Walker, “You’re the One” (1980)
Patty Weaver, “Somebody’s Gonna Get Hurt” (1982)
Three Dog Night, “Somebody’s Gonna Get Hurt” (1983)
Jennifer Rush, “Nobody Move” (1984)
Eric Clapton, “Tangled in Love” (1985)
Eric Clapton, “Walk Away” (1986)
Chaka Khan, “So Close” (1986)
Amii Stewart, “Sometimes a Stranger” (1988)
Belinda Carlisle, “Little Black Book” (1991)
In the mid-1980s, Detroit collaborated with songwriters Billie Hughes and Roxanne Seeman. Among the songs they wrote together is Philip Bailey’s “Walking on the Chinese Wall”, which hit #34 in the UK and #46 in the US. They also wrote songs for Randy Crawford, Al Jarreau and Pernilla Wahlgren.

Detroit also co-wrote metal band Vixen’s 1989 single “Love Made Me”, which was a top 40 hit in the UK.

Detroit has written songs for Alex Parks, Charlotte Church, Billie Myers, Marti Pellow and Joe McElderry among others.

Personal life

Detroit is married to Lance Aston (one time member of Prima Donna and brother of Bucks Fizz star Jay Aston). They have a son, Maxwell, born in 1991.[29]


Marcella (1982)
Jewel (1994)
Feeler (1996)
Dancing Madly Sideways (2001)
The Vehicle (2013)
For the Holidays (2013)
Gray Matterz (2015)

Marcy Levy Band discography

Studio albums
Title Album details

The Upside of Being Down
Released: July 26, 2006
Formats: CD, digital download
Label: Lofi

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