Robbie Nevil burst onto the music scene in 1986 with the infectious "C'est la Vie," which climbed into the Top Five on the American pop charts. However, Nevil had actually been a working songwriter prior to making a name for himself as a solo artist. Having played guitar since the age of 11, Nevil cut his teeth in a series of cover bands, eventually progressing to performing his own, original material. In 1983, he signed a publishing deal and managed to place tracks on albums by artists including the Pointer Sisters, El DeBarge, and Earth, Wind & Fire (whom had been an early influence on him). By 1986, Nevil had signed a recording deal with Manhattan and proceeded to record his debut with producers Alex Sadkin and Phil Thornalley. Buoyed by the lead single "C'est la Vie," his self-titled debut sold well enough to push into the Top 40 and spawn two more hits, "Dominoes" and "Wot's It to Ya" (which became his second Top Ten single). It would be four years before Nevil would release his sophomore effort, A Place Like This, and its sales failed to come close to his debut, although he did manage to scratch his way into the Top 40 when "Back on Holiday" peaked at number 34. Day 1 followed a year later, but received even less attention. His own recorded output since then has been limited to compilations, but he has continued to write and produce for artists like Babyface, Jessica Simpson, and Destiny's Child, focusing on the development of the careers of others.
Robert S. "Robbie" Nevil (born October 2, 1958, Los Angeles, California) is an American pop singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist. He is perhaps best known for his 1986 Billboard Hot 100 #2 hit, "C'est La Vie".
Nevil began playing guitar at age eleven and played in a series of cover bands. He began performing his original music and signed a publishing deal in 1983, writing songs for the Pointer Sisters, El DeBarge, and Earth, Wind & Fire.
In 1986, he obtained his first recording contract, signing with Manhattan Records, for whom he recorded his debut album with the producers Alex Sadkin and Phil Thornalley. His debut single "C'est La Vie" reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, propelling the album into the Top 40 on both the US pop and Billboard R&B chart. His second single "Dominoes" hit #14 on the Hot 100 and #22 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, while the third single "Wot's It To Ya" peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 and Dance Club/Play charts, and #69 on the R&B chart.
In 1988, Nevil released his second album, A Place Like This (#118), and hit the Top 40 a fourth time, with the single "Back On Holiday" (#34). A second single, "Somebody Like You", failed to build on that success, peaking at #63.
In 1991, Nevil's third album, Day 1, was released to fewer sales, with lead single "For Your Mind" stalling at #86. The second single release, "Just Like You", became his biggest hit since 1987, and his fifth and final Top 40 single, peaking at #25 on the Hot 100.
Nevil turned to writing and producing for acts such as Babyface, Jessica Simpson, Destiny's Child and Japanese pop singer Seiko Matsuda. In 2006, he collaborated with Matthew Gerrard on the Smash Mouth album Summer Girl. Gerrard had been writing for Disney for some time and their work led to a partnership working on Disney projects including The Cheetah Girls, High School Musical, and Hannah Montana franchises.