The brother of singer/songwriter Nora Payne, who has worked with such superstars as Michael Jackson, Brandy, Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez, says his sister has been missing for two weeks and was last seen at O’Hare Airport.
On Oct. 2, Julian Payne posted on Facebook: “Saddens me to post this. I’ll be short … if anyone sees my sister Nora Payne please reach out to us. We just want to make sure she is safe. We have not been able to locate her once her travel day last Thursday. We think she may be in Los Angeles Maryland or NY.”
The next day, he posted: “Instagram and Facebook family and browsers, we pass people everyday but she’s special to me…my only sister.” He wrote that on Sept. 27, she flew on an American Airlines flight with a layover at Midway Airport.
But on Oct. 4, he updated that to say: “Good news is we have narrowed her last city down to Chicago O’Hare Airport! Please share this if you know people in Chicago.”
The 44-year-old Nora Payne is described as a 5-foot-6, 117-pound black woman with long brown hair and brown eyes. She has a birthmark on her waist/hip area and pierced ears, according to a missing person alert posted by the Black & Missing Foundation. She was last seen wearing a white and gold metallic pullover shirt, black jacket jacket, black jeans, and a dark brown studded leather belt. She was carrying a pumpkin brown Hermes purse and a black carry-on bag.
The alert said she may be in need of medical attention, but did not specify.
She was on a flight from Buffalo, New York, on her way to visit her brother, president of The Original Mobile Barbershop Co. in Los Angeles, when she disappeared. That flight made a layover at O’Hare.
Born in Washington D.C., Payne began performing in church at age 5, later performed as a cheerleader and dance troupe member, then worked as a runway and print model. She also wrote poetry, which eventually led to her work as a songwriter, first for her band Praise, and then for other acts in D.C. and suburban Maryland, where she grew up.
Her big break came in 2001 when she co-wrote “You Rock My World” with Michael Jackson, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III and LaShawn Daniels. It became the lead single on Jackson’s “Invincible” album and reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also sang background vocals on the song.
That catapulted her into the ranks of the most sought-after writers and background singers in the business. Among her notable projects was singing backup on Toni Braxton’s Grammy-winning “He Wasn’t Man Enough” and co-writing three songs for Brandy, “What About Us?” “WOW” and “When You Touch Me”.
She both wrote and sang on Jennifer Lopez’ “That’s The Way”; Britney Spears’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”; Will Smith’s “Block Party” and “Men in Black” movie soundtrack; Mary Mary’s “He Said” and “Incredible”; and Tamia’s “Protect My Heart.” She released her first solo album, “Pandora’s Box” in 2006.
Anyone with information or who may have seen Payne is asked to call Black & Missing Foundation at (716) 286-4568 or (877) 972-2634.
Chicago Police said they had not been contacted by the family and was unaware of a missing person with that name.