Lori Ruso (Lori M. Ruso), is a singer and songwriter from the greater Los Angeles, California area. Ruso is known for her 1990 album, Show Off, with two songs landing in the Top 20 on Adult Contemporary charts, leading the warm up band for Michael Damian's "Rock On" tour, and was the voice of the opening theme-song, "Never Gonna Be the Same Again" for the 1989, Halloween-classic film, Teen Witch.
Ruso was born in Santa Cruz, California, and grew up in California and Arizona, attending High school in Culver City, California, her interest in writing music began as a child, evaluating situations which arose in her life and responding in lyric, this interest evolved from singing for church functions to paid wedding performances. Working her way through her Bachelor of Science in Social Cultural Anthropology, at Santa Clara University Ruso was finding work as a backup singer for contemporary artists and doing advertising jingles. Upon graduation, also worked as a teacher in Los Angeles and has completed post-graduate coursework in Elementary and Secondary Education, at UCLA, and collegiate level voice coursework in Vienna, Austria.
Grammy Award winning mixer, Tom Weir and producer Larry Weir encountered Ruso singing at a church performance. Ruso's musical influences are, Karen Carpenter, Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand. Streisand's influence has prevalence in Ruso's work, but there is also a note-hitting precision found in Ruso's a cappella offerings that suggests she also studies Celine Dion. The Weir brothers approached Ruso and included her in their production of the film Teen Witch (1989) where Ruso opens the film with "Never Gonna Be the Same Again".
Billboard Magazine selected "I'm Gonna Be", which was written by Michael Parnell and Lori Ruso, as a Critic's Choice, "Ruso's sparkling delivery on this mid-tempo, inspirational number is beautifully enhanced by an exquisite saxophone arrangement."
"A thoroughly entertaining set mixing energetic dance-pop numbers with ponderous adult contemporary ballads, Show Off stands out for two reasons: one, Lori Ruso's simultaneously rockin' and gorgeous vocals; two, solid arrangements that don't strictly adhere to normal protocol of late-'80s/early-'90s Top 40 material. True, the melodies have "1989" written all through them -- in fact, many seem like they would fit perfectly into silver screen flicks of the time. But Ruso has a classically tinted belting style that gives each tune a distinctive stamp, and she is consistently in tandem with the equally vibrant backing musicians."