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Marlena Shaw (born Marlina Burgess, September 22, 1942, New Rochelle, New York, United States) is an American singer. Shaw began her singing career in the 1960s and is still singing today. Her music has often been sampled in hip hop music, and used in television commercials.
She was first introduced to music by her uncle Jimmy Burgess, a jazz trumpet player. In an interview with The New York Times, she told the reporter “He [Jimmy Burgess] introduced me to good music through records - Dizzy [Gillespie], Miles [Davis], a lot of gospel things, and Al Hibbler, who really knows how to phrase a song.” In 1952, Burgess brought her on stage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to sing with his band. Shaw's mother did not want Marlena to go on tour with her uncle at such a young age. Instead, she enrolled Shaw into the New York State Teachers College in Potsdam (now known as the State University of New York at Potsdam