Moms & Babies

Celebrity Baby Blog
Celebrity Baby Blog

Update: CBB Exclusive: Freestyle singer Lil' Suzy is all grown up

10/29/2007 at 08:30 AM ET

Update:
Lil’ Suzy and her husband Marc Melone welcomed their daughter, Angelica Juliet Melone, yesterday, Sunday, October 28th, at 3:43 pm.  She weighed 7 lbs. 13 oz. and is 20 inches.

Check out our exclusive interview and photoshoot with Suzy, posted just days before she gave birth!

Thanks to CBB Reader Soledad.


2_cbbAt a time when most kids are playing tag on the playground, Suzanne Casale Melone (otherwise known as Lil’ Suzy) was shooting her first music video at one. As one of the queens of the hugely popular 80’s and 90’s music phenomenon Freestyle, Lil’ Suzy was the youngest artist in the music genre to earn the coveted title of Billboard Magazine’s Best New Dance Artist. Today, Lil’ Suzy, 28, is expecting her first child, and talked to CBB about Freestyle, family and being famous at age five.

Photography: Gabbeli Photography (www.gabbeliphotography.com)
Hair/Makeup: Douglas Martucci

Click below for all the photo and interview highlights!

1_cbb


How did you get your start?

When I wasfive years-old, I was singing at a beach in Brooklyn. A man came overto my dad and asked him if he had ever thought about having me singprofessionally. It turns out that the man was one of the top clubpromoters in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

I started doing covers of songs by Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. Then, I started opening up for disco acts like Thelma Houston and The Village People. I loved being around music and I was so excited to meet these top musical performers.

I was eight years-old when I released my first song, Randy, which did pretty well. But the song that really launched my career was Take Me in Your Arms, which I recorded when I was just 12 years-old.

How was it being in the music industry at such a young age?

It was so much fun, and it felt really natural for me. It never felt intimidating or weird. My parents were always with me, up until I was 19, and then I asked them to step back a bit! And when my parents stopped traveling with me, I traveled with my road manager, Latif, whom I’ve known since I was 5.

Take Me in Your Arms was such a huge hit, and still gets played on the radio. What was it like being 12 and shooting your first music video?

It seemed so normal at the time. We shot it at Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan. I told my friends at school, “Hey, I’m shooting a video today…who wants to be in it?” Most of the people in the video are my friends from school or relatives!

3_cbb
Even still, the average 12 year-old isn’t out touring. How did you balance a career with being a normal kid?

I went to school during the week, and then I would fly out on Friday nights to perform in shows. Sometimes I had to miss school, but my teachers understood that I had a career.  I always did all of my work, and I liked being in school.

My parents made sure that even though I was a singer, I had a regular childhood. I was not treated like a star at home; I had chores to do like every other kid. And I had to bring home good grades, no matter if I was performing that weekend or not.

You’re literally a child of the Freestyle movement. How would you explain the success of Freestyle, and its ability to still be so mainstream?

It’s amazing that Freestyle had such an impact on the industry and the fans. All of the Freestyle performers, like Cynthia, K7/TKA, Noel, etc., are performing at shows all over the world. There is still a huge demand for the music. Since Freestyle has been around for so long now, many of our original fans are now parents, and their kids are listening to it! It’s amazing to think that I’m only 28 years-old, and Take Me in Your Arms is considered a classic Freestyle record!

Do you think that being labeled a Freestyle artist is a moniker or something positive?

I think that no one wants to be labeled. As artists, we want to try different styles. I released a song, ‘When I Fall in Love,’ which was a Top 40 hit. The song was more of a Euro-style dance hit. I recorded that in Canada, where there is a strong European influence. When it came to the U.S., critics said, “Oh, it’s not a Lil’ Suzy record.” It’s frustrating, because you don’t want to always do the same kind of music, and people want to hear something different. However, when you do release a record that has a different sound to it, people complain that it doesn’t sound like the old stuff. It’s a Catch-22.

In addition to being a Freestyle artist, you’ve worn many other hats, too.

Before the pregnancy, I would perform every weekend, without fail. During the week, though, I would be completely free…and bored. An opportunity came along to open up a nail and hair salon in Staten Island, where I was living at the time. So I got my nail certification license. People would come to the salon and say, “I can’t believe Lil’ Suzy is doing my nails!” The salon was really successful, but between running it, going to school for medical assisting and recording my Greatest Hits album, it became too much, so I sold it.

How did you meet your husband, Marc?

I met my husband through a friend of mine in high school. It took him eight years to propose, but it was well-worth it!

Suzanne_marc_cbb


Was he star struck about dating Lil’ Suzy?

Not at all. He is extremely shy, and he gives me my space when it comes time for me to become Lil’ Suzy. He has never been that interested in that part of my life. He’s never called me Lil’ Suzy or asked to go to my shows, like other guys did. At one point, I thought he didn’t care about it at all, until one day I was looking through a drawer for something and spotted one of my tapes in there! I laughed and said, “I always knew you were a fan of mine!”

And now you’re expecting your first baby. How has the pregnancy been?

It’s been really, really good. We’re having a little girl and I’m so excited! Her name is Angelica Juliet. I call her the golden child because she’s the first grandchild on both sides. Both grandmas are already vying to see who is going to baby-sit her first!

How did the fans react to the pregnancy?

They were so happy for me! I announced the pregnancy during a show. I was wearing a flowing top, kind of what like Jennifer Lopez has been wearing lately. I was only about 8 weeks along, and still, one of the fans noticed that I was pregnant!

Of course, being pregnant meant that I had to stop touring. I’ve been working as a solo artist, and I also work in a collaboration called S.A.L. with fellow Freestyle artists Lisette Melendez and Angel Clivilles, who is the original lead singer of The Cover Girls.  We sing our own songs, and we do each other’s background vocals. We’re looking to record a song together.  It’s a lot of fun traveling with the girls.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to spend as much time with the baby as I can. S.A.L. is scheduled to begin performing again in March, so it will be really hard to leave the baby, but exciting to be on stage again.

And if baby Angelica shows any musical aspirations?

That would be great! It would be great to perform together; then it would be Big Suzy and Lil’ An
gie!

2_cbb_2

Angelica’s crib set is Sugar Plum by Cocalo ($180).

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

On Newsstands Now

Mystery of the Marine's Wife
  • Mystery of the Marine's Wife
  • Andi Tells PEOPLE: 'Our Love is Worth All the Drama'
  • Cameron Diaz: Ready to Wed?

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 38 comments

Melinda on

Lil’s Suzy was the shit and still is. I am 34 yrs old and my kids who are 13 & 10 listen to her. I know freestyle is around but I wish that the younger generation would grasp it and create an explosion just as my generation did. It is great dancing music.

She’s still beautiful.

Stephanie on

I’ll be 28 next week, but I have absolutely no idea what Freestyle is?? The article makes it sounds like it was this huge phenomenon, but I must have had my head in the sand! I just have no clue what this is or who any of the people mentioned in this article are. But she seems to be a sweet person, hope she has a healthy baby!

Kimberly Morrissey on

I thought that bedding set looked familiar – I have all of it in my daughter’s nursery!

It’s Sugarplum by Cocalo; Baby Martex.

She looks absolutely adorable! Congrats to her and her husband!

Annie on

I really appreciate that this website is able to get the 411 on celebs from diverse backgrounds and careers and stauses. Keep it up!

angie on

I’m 31 and I LOVED Lil’ Suzy’s songs! She was one of the queens of freestyle! I’m so happy that she is married and expecting her first child! Way to go, Suzy! :) Hugs!

Southern girl on

Stephanie…I am 28 and have no clue who she is either, or what “Freestyle” is refering to in this particular article! LOL
Either way, I wish this family the best!

Laura AS1 on

She looks just beautiful. I love the bedding set, too. That purple cheetah print is just adorable! Hot stuff!

Mariela on

I’m so thrilled to see CBB has featured a story on Lil Suzy. She has been keeping a blog with pregnancy updates for her fans on her MySpace. CBB is the best!

nina on

I’m 34 too and LOVE freestyle. I just went to the Freestyle Explosion concert and was sad that Lil Suzy wasn’t there. I have wondered what she has been up to. Thanks CBB for getting the 411 on good celebs. BTW.. I think Freestyle was popular in the bigger cities and back in the late 80’s into the 90’s.

J on

Not to sound rude, but who is she? For the life of me I can’t remember her and the article makes her out to be as famous as J-Lo or something. (shrug)

Janet on

Great to see her on here! For those of you who asked what is freestyle…it’s dance music. I guess only the cool kids who put a lot of hairspray in their hair back in the day from Cali and Miami knew freestyle music! hahah JUST KIDDING!!

Victoria on

Just wanted to chime in and offer an explanation of Freestyle. Freestyle is, obviously, a type of music. Back when it was popular it wasn’t called Freestyle, and I don’t even know when that started. It was predominantly a Hispanic genre of music, being very popular in urban New England areas, huge in NYC, southern California and southern Florida, southern Texas. I’m sure I’m missing a few places too.

The most mainstream songs and artists I can think of are, Look Out Weekend by Debbie Deb, Let The Music Play by Shannon, Maria and Louder Than Love by TKA, Spring Love and In My Eyes by Stevie B. Lil Suzy’s claim to fame was Take Me In Your Arms These songs actually made it to mainstream radio stations that weren’t dedicated to Freestyle, which was a big deal because this sort of music wasn’t popular all over by any means.

Here’s a link to Wiki’s explanation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freestyle_music
And you can look up Lil Suzy on YouTube too. Pretty plain to see that I loved Freestyle, and Lil Suzy is one of those stars who grew up with me. We are just about the same age.

Doreen on

I have loved Lil Suzy all my life and I can’t believe that she is finally going to have her own lil memories to cherish as her fans cherish her. She has an angelic voice and I think that as her fan she chose a perfect name for her child. My prayers will always be with her and her family and I hope that her childs career should launch as hers has. She is an inspiration to all of us out here who can’t sing and sing through her.

Michelle on

Yes, Lil’ Suzy is the shit! She is so talented, beautiful, and intelligent. Im 35 and still listen to Freestyle. Ill probably be old with a walker still jamming to it! LOL! My kids listen to it, too. You dont have to be my age to like it either. I know plenty of young 20 yr olds that love the music too. For the ones that dont know what it is… you missed out! Still have time to catch on. Peace!

Robin on

In your first photo of you sitting by your house I guess why isn’t there any ralings on the stairs?You need railings girl with a baby you need something to hold on too espcially when it snows.You look very pretty Suzanne.I always loved your music,but getting to know you personaly is what I like best.Thank you for showing your fans you truly care about everyone with your blogs & photo’s.Your doing great and looking fabulous! Muah

Jeanette on

Congrats…God bless!

Linda Keomanivong on

I love Lil Suzy! She is so beautiful in the pictures and in person. I have been listening to Lil Suzy since way back and I still listen to it now. Her songs are definitely a classic. I have met her long time ago when she performed at club in GA and she is just the sweetest person. I wish her all the blessing and love!

Darlene Garcia on

Here is San Jose,California-We called it Hi-Energy,As I STILL call it. I don’t know when OR where FREESTYLE came in?!?!?!? Whatever. LOL

Darlene Garcia on

Here is San Jose,California-We called it Hi-Energy,As I STILL call it. I don’t know when OR where FREESTYLE came in?!?!?!? Whatever. LOL

Darlene Garcia on

Here is San Jose,California-We called it Hi-Energy,As I STILL call it. I don’t know when OR where FREESTYLE came in?!?!?!? Whatever. LOL

Val on

Lil Suzy is the greatest and the prettiest,
pregnant and all. She is a wonderful person to be with and very funny. God has blessed her with a talent, and she has used that talent to the fullest. God Bless Lil Suzy and her husband Marc, what a handsome young man. They are going to have one beautiful daughter. God Bless the whole Melone Family.
PS, Lets not forget the Dog Wheaton, he is also part of the family.
Love,
Val

veronica marquez on

Lil’ Suzy is the bEST she has the most beautiful voice and when she sings i just get the best feeling!! You look beautiful!!! GOOD LUCK
Love ya out here in CHICAGO!!!

j rivas on

love your music,wish more girl singers can sing like you,i think you are the one who gave freestyle a name,cute baby you and your new little family take care

Lori on

I love Lil Suzy;) I never get tired of her music. It’s been really exciting getting to see her through her pregnancy on Myspace. I had the honor of meeting her in Dallas.She is so nice and sweet.I like what she’s done with the nursery, it’s so adorable. Congratualtions to her and her family.

lina on

I am so glad that there are so many of us 30 sumthins that still have a love for Freestyle!! And yes, my kids love it too!!

Ann on

What an awesome interview with my beautiful, talented, sweet-as-can-be cousin. I am so happy for you and wish you all the best, always. Love ya!

Marina on

Lil Suzy was and still is one of the original queens of Freestyle. I’m 32 now and have loved Freestyle from the beginning and I am so glad that it is still around although not nearly as much as it should be. I am so happy for her and her family and wish her nothing but happiness with the upcoming arrival of her little girl, Angelica. Thanks for providing us with this interview.

Julius/Triad/Freestyle Artist on

The Vazquez Family would like to send our Blessings to the entire Lil’Suzy Family. Congratulations,with Angelica & your Husband as well. We wish you all the best in health & more wealth! By the way Freestyle has been around since the 80’s & my opinion Lil’Suzy was the child queen of Freestyle in that era. Till this day, our kids 14,& 15 of age still listen to Freestyle music and love Lil’Suzy.If you search Miami Dance Freestyle Vol.2 Exit Records you’ll find “Look into your eyes” by Triad. Keep Freestyle Alive! God Bless You Lil’Suzy!!!

Valerie on

Lil Suzy will always be a star!! I have been a fan since I was 12 of her music!! She is the bomb!!I seen her perform one time in Dallas when she came and she can sing she is amazing! Congrats to her and her hubby!!

Aidi on

I think lil suzy was awesome and still is…i am 30 years old and I have 3 kids in which the oldest is 13 and I have her singing freestyle music…lol. so it is good for parents who know about freestyle music to pass that on to there kids as well i have a blast with my kids when we all listen to it. Lil Suzy i wish you and your family the best…god bless.

Monica aka on

Well I don’t care if people don’t know who Lil Suzy is but I love freestyle and Lil Suzy will always be one of the freestyle queens I ever heard..Ha Ha! My hubby got me your song “Take me in you arms” for my ring tone on my cell. I love him for getting it for me. Since I love your song so much.. ;.) Good luck in being a new mommy and don’t worry you’ll be fine and your hubby too. Make sure you keep an eye on hubby(since he’ll freak out more on being a daddy!) and don’t let him worry so much, or you’ll never get any sleep! LOL! I know I loved dressing up my daughter when she was little (still now that she’s 7)and I know u will love to do the same with your Lil Angie. It’s not easy being a parent but you and your hubby will do great! Love ya! and take care!

Selina on

Lil’s Suzy is still one of my favorites. I remember rewinding the cassette player just to here her songs again…LOL I remember the video shoot for take me in your arms like that was yesterday. She has always been a great person and she is going to be a wonderful mother. Baby Angelica is blessed to have such a young, beautiful, energetic talented mother. I wish you all the best in evertything that awaits you. You go girl!

Mari on

Beautiful interview. You look beautiful. The room is beautiful too. Good Luck Mama and Congrats to you and your family. I remember when my son was my mother’s first grandson and my siblings first nephew, what a spoil. I could just imagine Lil Angel. Enjoy & God Bless.

Erica on

I’m 20 yrs old and I am a HUGE fan of freestyle. I was influenced by my mom and uncles who are still in their 30’s. I love all of her music, and I think she will make a wonderful mother. She sees like such a sweet and caring person, I wish you the best with your family and career. Love ya, and God Bless.

Veronica on

I’m 26yrs old and grew up listening to freestyle among other styles of music. Without a doubt freestyle is one of my favorites… Can’t remember if it was the year 2000 or 2001 when I had the opportunity to meet Lil Suzy. By the way, Chicago loves her. I remember that night we took pictures and she gave me an autograph. There was a huge crowd of people waiting for an autograph and even though there was a huge crowd behind me she took the time to give me an autograph for some buddies in NY( F & J the best webmasters in the world) She doesn’t know this, but to me, she proved to care for every single person who loves her music. Lil Suzy is one of the sweetest persons I’ve ever meet, multi-talented and so dedicated. I’m so happy for her and wish her the best… -Veronica

betty on

MyHotComments

Thiago Derucio on

A big congratulations to both Lil Suzy & Her Husband! The interview brought shivers up and down my spine because everything she explained is very true. I hope that Angelica becomes to be a strong willed woman just like her mom is!! CONGRATULATIONS!!

B on

Lil Suzy is the best of the best! Me and my whole family grew up with her! Freestyle is true music! I am so damn happy 4 her! I wish her the happiest with her new baby girl!

Advertisement

Squeals & Deals

Sign-up for the Mom's &s Babies Free Weekly Newsletter

Free Weekly Newsletter

Mom Said It

"We weren't trying to have kids. We left it up to fate. I knew there was a possibility, but I was really excited. Even if you are trying, just to see a positive result is shocking!"

 

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters