Her father is Richmond Shepard, a mime and improv actor. Vonda has three sisters: Rosetta, Luana, and Brianna. Her mother left the family when Vonda was ten, and her father raised the four girls by himself. After performing as a backing singer for many years she was eventually given her own recording contract. Shepard's first chart appearance was in 1987 when she recorded a duet with Dan Hill entitled 'Can't We Try'.
She released her first self-titled album in 1989 with little fanfare. The album did yield one chart single, Don't Cry Ilene, a mid-tempo, piano-driven jazz-RnB flavored song dealing with the break-up of a relationship between a black woman and a white man, arising from adult peer pressure. The track is sung from the perspective of the woman's white female friend, who harbors a desire to have the man for herself, but keeps her distance out of respect for her friend. The song peaked at 17 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart and stayed on the charts for 12 weeks. After her third album, Shepard was signed up to appear on Ally McBeal after being spotted by the show's creator David E Kelley.
While on the show she recorded two full soundtrack albums and was featured on two other Ally McBeal compilations. The songs Shepard recorded for Ally McBeal soundtrack albums were mainly covers of old songs with lyrics that paralleled what was happening in the title character's life onscreen. Since appearing in the show, Shepard has released two more studio albums and a live album. Shepard is married to music producer Mitchell Froom and they had their first child, Jack Froom, on 15 April 2006. Read more on Last.fm.
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