Melanie Janene Thornton (May 13, 1967 – November 24, 2001) was an American pop singer who found fame in Germany and fronted the Eurodance group La Bouche, who found success with the singles "Be My Lover" and "Sweet Dreams" in the mid-1990s. She forged a moderately successful solo career in Germany before her death. Her hits include "Love How You Love Me", "Wonderful Dream", "Memories", and "Heartbeat". Thornton died in a plane crash near Bassersdorf, Switzerland.Thornton was born in Charleston, South Carolina and began studying voice from the age of six, as well as learning to play the piano and the clarinet. Growing up her mother would listen to Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack. Thornton would mimic the female vocalists she saw on television or heard on radio. Later on, she financed her college studies with appearances in talent shows and smaller band concerts. She frequented a club called The Peacock Lounge, getting up and doing jam sessions when the live band invited people up to sing. She had long dreamed of a career in music and in February 1992, Thornton went to Germany. Her sister lived there with her U.S. Army husband and Thornton had dual citizenship in Germany and the United States. His uncle, Bob Chisolm, a singer and piano player, encouraged her to give the German nightclub circuit a try. She had been singing in a Macon, Ga., band, Danger Zone, pulling down $50 on a good night. However, Bob Chisolm told her that on a bad night in Germany she would make $150.
Thornton tried it and soon found work in studios recording demos. It was her recording of the song "Sweet Dreams" that caught the attention of producer Frank Farian, the mastermind of the infamous 1980s duo Milli Vanilli. Farian took her under his wing, teaming her with rapper Lane McCray in the duo La Bouche, which is French for "The Mouth". La Bouche went on to become one of the biggest Eurodance groups of the 90s, wi