Rosie VelaView In iTunes
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Best known for her work as a fashion model, Rosie Vela dabbled in music in the 1980s and showed much promise as a singer/songwriter, but she didn't get very far commercially. Vela was born in Galveston, TX, where she began playing the piano at the age of six and studied classical music for 11 years. Vela moved to Little Rock as a teenager, and she was a student at the University of Arkansas when she posed for some fashion shots. Those shots found their way to a New York agent; eventually, Vela ended up moving to the Big Apple and working as a professional full-time model. Although Vela's modeling kept her busy in the 1980s, she wrote and sang on the side and signed with A&M in 1986. That year, A&M released Vela's debut album, Zazu, which favored a jazzy style of pop/rock and was influenced by Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan. In fact, the album was produced by Gary Katz (who is best known for his work with Steely Dan) and employs former Steely Dan members Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Subsequently, Vela recorded Sun Across the Alter for A&M, but commercial success as a singer/songwriter continued to elude her.