Bobby McFerrin, an American Vocalist and composer famous for his extraordinary ability to imitate not only the sound of single instruments but also entire ensembles using only his voice. His tremendous vocal control and improvisational ability made him sing without fixed lyrics, and he could imitate the sounds of various musical instruments with great skill. A ten-time Grammy Award winner, McFerrin ranks among the most distinctive and original singers in contemporary music equally adept in jazz, pop, and classical settings.
He issued his self-titled debut album in 1982 and it was followed by The Voice, which was unusual because it featured no accompaniment. He made jazz history, recording the first-ever solo vocal album to be released on a major label. His Blue Note debut, Spontaneous Inventions, which featured music by Herbie Hancock and Manhattan Transfer, and comic Robin Williams. McFerrin also earned mainstream exposure through his unique performance of the theme song to the television hit The Cosby Show, as well as a number of commercial spots. With 1988's Simple Pleasures, he scored a chart-topping pop smash with "Don't Worry, Be Happy", it became the first a cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it held for two weeks. Around that time, he also formed the ten-member a cappella group Voicestra, featured on 1990's Medicine Music.
As a vocalist, McFerrin often switches rapidly between modal and falsetto registers to create polyphonic effects, performing both the main melody and the accompanying parts of songs. He makes use of percussive effects created both with his mouth and by tapping on his chest. McFerrin is also capable of multiphonic singing.
McFerrin was perhaps best known for his spontaneity in concert he might wander through the auditorium singing, make-up songs on listeners’ names, conduct his audience in choirs, or burst into a condensed version. He proved how the true musician is to bring light into people's hearts. According to him, audiences are his colour palette and his instrument.