Murdock started out singing gospel music in her native Toledo. Singer/musician Roger Troutman hired Murdock as a backing singer for his family's band Zapp, who had several hits on Warner Bros. (or its Reprise Records imprint). Based on this success, Troutman began recording tracks with Murdock and lead singer Sugarfoot of the Ohio Players, among others, at his Dayton-based recording studio, Troutman Sound Labs. Murdock and Troutman's first chart single was a Warner single issued as Roger (featuring Shirley Murdock), "Girl, Cut It Out," which charted at number 79 R&B in early 1985.
Her hits include "No More," "As We Lay," "Go on Without You" and "Be Free."