Born Madeline Bell Brodus on 23 July 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, USA, and raised by her grandmother, who was originally instrumental in encouraging Madeline's natural singing talent at the age of five. She sang gospel music in church and at school, approximately eight years later Madeline became aware of pop music, inspired by Sam Cooke.
During her High School years Madeline met singers at school who targeted their gospel music towards pop music. In addition Madeline sang on corners of streets, local clubs, and talent shows. Madeline was a prominent member of the local gospel choir and at the age of fourteen her voice was unique and powerfully penetrating, with such range it could be distinctly heard above a one hundred and fifty strong gospel ensemble.
Madeline was sixteen when she joined her first gospel group The Glovertones and sang in church halls all over New Jersey and New York. This superb group toured America's Deep South with Madeline's illuminating voice impressing audiences everywhere. Madeline stayed with The Glovertones for two years until her involvement with the Alex Bradford Singers.
Alex Bradford who formed and pioneered America's most famous gospel group was immediately magnetised by Madeline's compelling and creative voice. He instantly recruited her to the group being acutely aware that Madeline's presence in the Alex Bradford Singers would enhance their vocal performances. The Alex Bradford Singers sang all over America and toured Europe as part of the off-Broadway hit show Black Nativity written by Langston Hughes. The musical was also recorded for television. Madeline played an integral part in the show projecting her magnificent voice to the full. Such artists as Cliff Richard and Chris Barber acclaimed Black Nativity when it was staged in London in 1962. After completion of the Black Nativity tour Madeline decided to make her home in England.