Connie Champagne

Biography by

Connie Champagne (born Kelly Gabriel) grew up and lives in the Bay area. The bombastic vocalist has been singing since she was eight (when she jumped on a stage and started singing with Bob Ringwall's…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Connie Champagne (born Kelly Gabriel) grew up and lives in the Bay area. The bombastic vocalist has been singing since she was eight (when she jumped on a stage and started singing with Bob Ringwall's jazz band). In high school, she sang rock then punk, bouncing around with various groups, singing background for Romeo Void and lead for Clocks of Paradise. She also replaced a singer for a while in another Bay Area band. This period was also the low point of the singer's life; she got beat up by her boyfriend's new girlfriend and got hauled off to central booking, battered and bruised because she was still on the scene of the scuffle, all punk looking with no identification. Leaving that scene, she ventured into acting and soloing in clubs. Her acting forays took Gabriel into researching for a part where she came upon an ex-con (female) who used the name Connie Champagne; from that point on, Kelly Gabriel was Connie Champagne. She rooted back to her first love in the late '80s -- jazz -- and put together her own band, the Tiny Bubbles Orchestra, and the small ensemble performed all over the Bay area and became the resident band in some clubs. She cut her first album on Hayday Records in 1991, entitled La Strada, which was nominated for a Bammie and a Wammie. The singer was a forerunner of interactive videos in the Bay area via Media Band. A legend in the San Francisco area, the little singer with the grandiose voice befriended Morty Orkin in 1994 and the two formed the New Morty Show. The talented singer/actress/songwriter (Jeff Trott is her main collaborator) has also ventured into voice-overs. The warbler also appears on Beth Custer and Electric Chairmen's albums as well as Market Street, a various-artist compilation.