Monday, March 31, 2014
For some reason a piece of Jazmine Sullivan's "In Vain" came into my head earlier tonight and I had to revisit this classic cut from the contralto songstress as I eagerly await her forthcoming third album, which is slated for release later this year!
Back in 2010 Jazmine Sullivan released her sophomore album Love Me Back and while the disc didn't receive the same commercial success as her debut album, it is just as good, if not better than its predecessor.
With that said, the set boasted a ton of great vocal performances and lyrical creations from Sullivan and the iTunes pre-order bonus track "In Vain" is one of the numerous standout joints from the set. Therefore, as Sullivan is hard at work on her forthcoming third album, take a listen below to "In Vain" from Jazmine and Enjoy!
It's been a minute since Jazmine Sullivan did a full on live show, but last night in Camden Town in London, Jazmine took the stage by storm on a Sunday night and brought all of her powerhouse alto pipes and then some.
Struck with a new confidence on stage, Jazmine's vocals have only improved since the last time she's stepped to the microphone and while she joked with the crowd that she was a bit rusty, since she hadn't performed live in some, her scats and contralto husky vocals proved to be nothing further from that.
In addition to wooing the crowd with songs from her debut album Fearless as well as Love Me Back, Jazmine even previewed a new song and offered some brilliant covers.
With that said, my favorite song from her hands down has to be her slept on ballad "In Love With Another Man" which she of coursed performed for the aw-struck Londontown audience. Watch her powerful performance of "In Love With Another Man" below and Enjoy!
"Wrong Side of a Love Song" - Melanie Fiona
- Writers: Melanie Hallim, M. Kahane, G. Soule
- Producer: Jack Splash
- Record Label: SRC, Universal Republic
- Featured on 2012's The MF Life
- Nominated in 2013 Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance
Earlier today, the Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar collaboration "It's On Again" hit the net. Produced by Pharrell, "It's On Again" is the first joint lifted from the forthcoming soundtrack to The Amazing Spiderman 2, which is due in theaters May 2nd.
While the soundtrack is slated for release on April 22nd, if "It's On Again" is any indication of what we can expect from The Amazing Spiderman 2 LP, I feel like it could become the latest soundtrack to top the Billboard Top 200 Album charts following Frozen's groundbreaking run.
With that said, take a listen to "It's On Again," which kicks off with Kendrick Lamar and Enjoy!
Originally recorded for and released from Disney's The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, "Love Will Find a Way," eventually found its way onto Kenny Lattimore's 1998 album From The Soul Of Man where it gain even more visibility.
Though the duo have never performed this duet with each other live to my knowledge, it is one of the most slept on duets of the 1990s in my opinion. With that said, this duet with Heather Headley is a rather forgotten musical gem and it's worth at least a second listen below!
When did the Dixie Chicks get back together? I repeat when did the Dixie Chicks get back together? While I am clearly several months late as the Grammy-winning trio kicked off a "reunion" tour of sorts at the end of 2013 in Canada with the Long Time Gone Tour and just recently finished it up in Europe, it's nice to known they are back.
With that said, during their recent performance at The O2 Arena in London for C2C: Country to Country, the Dixie Chicks covered Miley Cyrus' #1 hit "Wrecking Ball" and easily transformed the pop power ballad into a a country/pop ballad.
While it remains unclear if the Dixie Chicks are reunited and working on new music, or if they are just doing some spot dates during Long Time Gone Tour, I hope the come to the States for a few dates later this spring or summer.
Either way it turns up, watch the Dixie Chicks performance of "Wrecking Ball" below and Enjoy!
Sam Smith is primed to make a splash in both the UK and here in the States and with the preorder already out for his debut album and I am sure an impressive promotional schedule in place for the next few months, by the time his album rolls out, you will definitely be aware of him.
With that said, for his 'Nirvana' EP, which he released at the top of this year, Sam included an acoustic live rendition of his breakout hit collaboration "Latch" that he did with Disclosure. Offering a smooth take of the 2012 hit single, Sam's acoustic version of "Latch" is brilliant in my opinion and you can take a listen to it below.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Back in 1997, Celine Dion released, what I would deem her biggest single to date, "My Heart Will Go On," which was the main theme song to Titanic.
With music by James Horner, lyrics by Will Jennings, and production by Simon Franglen, James Horner and Walter Afanasieff, it was recorded by Céline Dion. Originally released in 1997 on the Titanic soundtrack album and Dion's album Let's Talk About Love, the romantic song went to number one all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom and Australia.
"My Heart Will Go On" was released in Australia and Germany on December 8, 1997, and in the rest of the world in January and February 1998. It became Dion's biggest hit, and one of the best-selling singles of all time, and was the world's best-selling single of 1998. With that said, watch Celine's performance of "My Heart Will Go On" from the 1998 Oscars below as we celebrate her birthday today!
"The Power of Love" - Celine Dion
- Writers: Gunther Mende, Candy DeRouge, Jennifer Rush, Mary Susan Applegate
- Producer: David Foster
- Record Label: Columbia, Epic
- Released in 1993 The Colour of My Love
- Peaked at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and
Back in 1989, my born year, Vandross recorded a potential live album that seems to of been scratched. With that said, take a listen to "Promise Me," which a fan lifted through some connections to Vandross.
As always, Luther's vocals are flawless and are even better then the studio version. Let Vandross take you to that smooth mellow place below and Enjoy!
Earlier this week, Janelle Monáe appeared on American Idol to help promote the forthcoming animated film Rio 2 and during her time on the FOX reality singing competition, Janelle performed her new joint "What Is Love," which is featured on the official soundtrack to the animated sequel to Rio.
Featuring colorful vignettes from the film and a splash of color confetti at the end, Janelle's uptempo joint "What Is Love?" electrified the American Idol stage earlier this week and if you missed it like me, or want to catch it again, watch it go down below!
Katy Perry is a certified hit-maker these days taking a lot of her songs to the summit of the Billboard Hot 100 single's chart and towards the end of 2013, Rebecca Ferguson covered Katy's #1 hit anthem "Roar."
Offering a soulful take of the uptempo bubblegum pop anthem "Roar," Rebecca Ferguson's husky vocals and her sublime background singers really transform this song while keeping the heart of the record the same.
It also almost feels as though Rebecca and her background singers have really added some gravitas to this Air Studios' performance of "Roar" and you can watch it all go down below!
Back in 1985 after the success of his first single "Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)," Freddie Jackson released his second single "You Are My Lady," from his debut album Rock Me Tonight.
Like his debut single, "You Are My Lady" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart, and would become Freddie's most successful song on the Hot 100 peaking just outside the top ten at #12.
With that said, the song would go onto garner Jackson a 1986 Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. Therefore, take a second listen below to Freddie Jackson's classic "You Are My Lady" and Enjoy!
Last night, I was reminded of my guilty pleasure NBC's cancelled Smash and Jennifer Hudson's character and her riveting performance of a song entitled "I Can't Let Go."
While Hudson prerecorded the song for Smash, these are the songs I think her powerful voice warrant and hopefully her forthcoming third album will feature some powerhouse joints like "I Can't Let Go."
With that said, for those who remember Smash or are just fans of Jennifer Hudson's powerhouse vocals, let's all take a listen below to her cut "I Can't Let Go" and Enjoy!
Saturday, March 29, 2014
It will be eight years since Dreamgirls hit theaters this year and during the promotional circuit for the film the entire cast of the then buzzed about film visited The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote it and Beyoncé laid down one of her most iconic performance to date in my mind.
Opting to perform the new ballad "Listen," which would go onto be nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song, Beyoncé blew the roof off of Harpo Studios in Chicago in my opinion even with a hoarse voice. Watch Beyoncé's powerhouse rendition of "Listen" below and Enjoy!
"Take Me to the King" - Tamela Mann
- Writer: Kirk Franklin
- Producer: Kirk Franklin
- Record Label: Tillymann Music Group
- Released in 2012 from Best Days
- Peaked at #1 on the Billboard Gospel Songs chart
- Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance
Back in 2010 during BET's Black Girls Rock, Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius, Jill Scott and Ledisi joined forces to perform a riveting rendition of the Nina Simone classic "Four Women."
While it has been over three-and-a-half years since their riveting performance, this quartet's powerful rendition of "Four Women" still seems as if they gathered on that stage just a few days ago in my mind.
Either way you feel, watch their powerful performance of "Four Women" below and Enjoy!
One of my favorite joints from 2011 was Raphael Saadiq's "Good Man." Lifted from his fourth solo studio album Stone Rollin', "Good Man" was such a welcomed song in my book that shined lyrically, sonically, and vocally.
Nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance, "Good Man" was one of the sonic highlights for me in 2011 and still goes for me as if it was released just yesterday. With that said, take a second listen after the jump to "Good Man" and Enjoy!
Last year, Sevyn released her her debut EP 'Call Me Crazy, But...' and you'll be hard pressed to find a bad review of her phenomenal introductory set that lays out the cycle of a typical relationship.
While the EP for me rides out from the first track "Come On Over" all the way to it's seventh and last track "nEXt," one of my favorites has to be her sensual jam "Sex on the Ceiling," which I am sure will be added to quiet a few midnight mixes.
With that said, take a playback or first listen to "Sex on the Ceiling" below and if you like what you hear, go and support Sevyn Streeter and cop her debut EP 'Call Me Crazy, But...,' which is in stores now!
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Jessie J is at her best when it is just her and a guitar. Jessie J's vocals really shine and take center stage when the production behind her vocals is limited and it really allows them to come alive.
Since she, Mariah Carey and I share the same birthday, I thought it would only be right to revisit one of Jessie J's acoustic live audio moments.
With that said, listen to this amazing live acoustic audio of Jessie J performing "Big White Room" which is lifted from her solid debut album Who You Are as we eagerly await her sophomore followup Alive here in the States!
I went to the movies and saw Divergent last night and Ellie Goulding's take on "Hanging On" played during one of the scenes and I thought I would bring it back for a playback for those who missed it the first time or heard it in the fil and wanted to know more about it.
Almost two years ago, Ellie Goulding released her take on Active Child's "Hanging On" with the assistance of Tinie Tempah and while Ellie's vocals and the track are on point, Tinie's verse just seemed a bit out of place on the whole production.
With that said, versions of "Hanging On" hit the net without Tinie Tempah's verse and while her newly released Halcyon Days (Deluxe Edition), that was released features her "Hanging On" version with Tinie Tempah, below you can listen to her solo version!
Friday, March 28, 2014
The latest blue-eyed soul UK crooning sensation to find his way over here in the States is Sam Smith and while he's already made a name for himself being featured on Disclosure's "Latch" as well as Naughty Boy's "La La La," Sam is stepping out solo and has released a music video for his brand new single "Stay With Me."
Featured on his debut album In The Lonely Hour, which is slated for release on May 26th, Sam takes a reflective stroll in the UK in this colorful visual for his powerful ballad.
Watch Sam's new video below for "Stay With Me" and Enjoy!
Last night, John Legend appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote his latest album Love In The Future, which has started to build more momentum after its release thanks to his single "All Of Me," which has gone onto become his biggest of al time.
Currently peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, time will tell if it can become John's first #1 Hot 100 single though who knows when the fire of Pharrell's "Happy" will let up. With that said, watch John Legend's powerful performance of "All Of Me" below and Enjoy!
As we celebrate Ledisi's birthday today, I wanted to take it back to the beginning with her debut album 2000's Soulsinger. Released independently in January 2000 by Ledisi's label, LeSun Records, and was produced by members of Anibade, Soulsinger is hands down one of my favorite albums of the 2000s and hopefully as more and more people discover Ledisi, they will get into her debut.
With that said, the whole Soulsinger album is one you should play all the way through and while it's hard to pick a favorite song, one of them has to be the Ledisi, Sundra Manning and Nelson Braxton co-written gem "Take Time."
Therefore as we continue to honor and celebrate Ledisi's special day, take a listen to "Take Time" below!
Last night on We TV's breakout hit reality show Mary Mary based on the Grammy-winning Gospel duo, the Marys brought it down to the Bahamas for a show and the whole family arrives as the sisters celebrate their birthdays.
In addition, Erica and Tina agree to fire Mitchell as their manager and use the space and time in the Bahamas to form further distance before the official break. In addition, GooGoo has some trouble with her glam squad, Tina's marriage troubles might get worse and some shocking news is revealed right before Mary Mary's main show.
Peep the latest episode of Mary Mary below and Enjoy!
Been getting back into Rebecca Ferguson as of late and while she has yet to officially release her sophomore album Freedom here in the States, she did release a new song this year, "Light On" overseas.
A powerful ballad, the instrumentation on "Light On" fits Rebecca's powerhouse husky vocals perfectly and allows her best asset, her vocal prowess take center stage. Written by Alexander Geringas and Nikki Leonti and produced by Geringas, it was released at the tail end of 2013 in German and is such an underrated gem in my book.
Take a listen to "Light On" below and Enjoy!
Back in 2002, Heather Headley released her debut album This Is Who I Am and the album would go onto garner her two Grammy Award nominations one for Best New Artist and the other for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
With that said, her second single "I Wish I Wasn't" became her breakout hit, "He Is" was the song that started it all and is highly underrated just like Headley and her musical discography in my book. Take a second listen to "He Is" below and Enjoy!
Thursday, March 27, 2014
It's my birthday here on the West Coast but Ledisi's on the East Coast so I thought it would be appropriate to revisit one of my all time favorite performances that is often played during this day.
With that said, Ledisi's rendition of the jazz standard "My Funny Valentine" from "Soul of Rogers" a few years back is the perfect gem from her live collection vault to help honor Valentine's Day as her vocals on this icon joint are aw inspiring each and every time I revisit it. Watch Ledisi knock this song out of the universe below and Enjoy!
It's my birthday so I'll play what I want to! :)
You can't find a bad Luther Vandross performance, it is just impossible as Luther is a vocal master with the ability and depth to continually find something new and different with each performance of his classic hits.
With that said, Luther's performance at the NAACP Image Awards of "A House Is Not A Home" is one of his most, if not most legendary performances on video as the then young crooner gives veterans and peers in the industry a singing 101 lesson. Watch his iconic performance below and Enjoy!
"Never Too Much" - Luther Vandross
- Writer: Luther Vandross
- Producer: Luther Vandross
- Released in 1981 from "Never Too Much"
- Peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard's Hot Soul Singles
- Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1982
Following the success of Carey's previous two albums and the growing critical commentary on her lack of concert tours and unsubstantial televised performances, Sony BMG organised a performance show at the Kaufman Astoria Studios, New York on March 16, 1992.
The show, titled MTV Unplugged, originally aired on MTV to help promote Carey's then album Emotions, as well as help shun critics who deemed Carey a possible studio artist. With that said, the lead single from Carey's MTV Unplugged album was her riveting cover of the Jackson 5 classic "I'll Be There" with the assistance of Trey Lorenz.
As we celebrate Mariah Carey's birthday aka anniversary I thought it would be nice to revisit her iconic performance below!
Luther has always been a singer's singer and to me his live material was always better then his recorded albums due to the fact that his live albums always let him show off his phenomenal vocal prowess. With that said, take a listen below to Luther's sublime set from his Live Radio City Music Hall album and Enjoy!
Been getting back into some Mariah Carey as of late and her 2005 "comeback" album The Emancipation of Mimi has been on repeat. The album brought Mariah Carey much commercial and critical success, and one of the standout cuts from the album for me has to be her James "Big Jim" Wright co-written and produced joint "I Wish You Knew."
The throwback vibe of the record mixed with Carey's Grammy-winning vocals and pen crafted a timeless joint and my book and you can take a listen to it below as we continue to celebrate Mariah Carey's birthday and await the release of her forthcoming album The Art of Letting Go!
Yesterday, BET's 106 & Park premiered the official video for Sevyn Streeter's second single off of her debut EP 'Call Me Crazy, But...," which is fan favorite "nEXt."
Opting to give it a fresh interpretation, Sevyn enlisted Kid Ink and takes her visual inspiration from the breakout hit BET show Being Mary Jane as references to the show are seen throughout the official video.
During her video release yesterday, Sevyn also announced on 106 & Park that she has another surprise in store for “nEXt” that will drop next month. Until then, peep the official Derek Blanks helmed video for "nEXt" below and Enjoy!
Back in 1990, Mariah Carey made a promotional appearance on SNL to promote her debut album Mariah Carey. During a rehearsal, fans were lucky enough to get this live audio of the vocal diva warming up her pipes on her classic and first number one hit "Vision Of Love." Take a listen to this live audio of Mariah practicing below and Enjoy!
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Back in 1972 the Billie Holiday biopic "Lady Sings the Blues" was released as well as the accompanying soundtrack which boasted numerous Holiday classics interpreted by Diana Ross.
Though the pairing of these two iconic voices may seem odd on paper, Diana Ross channeled the spirit of "Lady Day," and the accompanying soundtrack to Lady Sings the Blues would go onto become one of Ms. Ross' most successful solo records. With that said, what I would regard as Ms. Ross' best recorded live performance to date would be her 1979 Caesar Palace performance of the classic "My Man."
Dripping with emotion and a sublime vocal performance from Ross, her live cover of this standard is my favorite performance from Diana Ross hands down. Watch it below and as we enter Ms. Ross's birthday month.
As we continue to celebrate the boss Ms. Ross' 70th birthday, I thought it would be nice to revisit Ahmed Sirour sublime Heavy D and The Supremes mashup of their respected joint "Nuttin But Love" and "Reflections." T
hough a Heavy D and The Supremes mashup seems odd on paper, Ahmed brilliantly weaves these two hits and classics in their own rights into a phenomenal mix. Take a listen below and Enjoy!
Diana Ross's discography of hits is so vast that it'd be impossible to encompass all of her solo glory and The Supreme years in just one day. With that said, "Missing You" was the third 45 release from her album Swept Away, the song was written, composed, and produced by Lionel Richie as a tribute to Marvin Gaye, who had died earlier that year.
Ross and Gaye were lifelong friends and label mates, having both joined Motown in 1961, and recorded a duet album together, Diana & Marvin, in 1973, later recording two more duets in 1978. Gaye appeared at Ross' 1982 Brussels concert while Gaye was living in Belgium, recording the Midnight Love album.
The song was built during conversations about Gaye shared by Ross and Richie, who came up with a song shortly after the conversations. Released in late 1984, the song became Diana's last major hit on the US pop singles chart, hitting the Top 10 in the spring of 1985 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also her last song to reach number one on the Hot Black Singles chart.
Yesterday brought another previously unreleased joint from R&B songstress Tiffany Evans as she continues with her #TiffanyTuesdays music releasing series to revitalize her fan base after taking a little hiatus to tend to her family.
Following "Thank God You Lied," Tiffany released "Footprints" yesterday and while Tiffany is already back in the studio working on her follow-up project to her '143' EP, I hope that some major label interest is shown her way as her vocals really warrant worldwide recognition in my book.
Therefore, take a listen below to "Footprints" and Enjoy!
As we celebrate Diana Ross' 70th birthday today, I thought it would be appropriate to play some of her classic jams and cuts in honor of her legendary and groundbreaking career.
Back in 1970, Diana Ross recorded and released the Ashford & Simpson written and produced joint "Remember Me" and while the song would go onto become her third top forty pop hit within a year peaking at #16 on the Pop charts and even becoming a top ten hit (peaking at #10) on the Soul charts, this is an often forgotten joint from Ross' vast discography. With that said, take a listen below to this "cut" from Ms. Ross that would lead her 1971 album Surrender below and Enjoy!
Tamar Braxton has all the jobs as she is not only gearing up to hit the road with R. Kelly this spring, but is also setting out on her own headlining tour shortly after wrapping up her dates with R. Kelly in addition to getting ready to shoot her syndicated talk show The Real, which is slated to air nationwide this fall.
With that said, the three-time Grammy-nominated songstress will support R. Kelly on his forthcoming arena tour kicking off April 19th in Montgomery, Alabama through May 11th in Louisville, Kentucky. Just five days later, Tamar will kick off her Love and War Tour in Miami, Florida where she will hit large clubs and small theaters wrapping in San Francisco, California on June 23rd.
Hopefully, a Los Angeles date will be announced sooner rather than later, because I am definitely trying to see Tamar during her extensive touring in 2014.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Following her breakout success with "It Won't Stop," Sevyn Streeter is back and is getting ready to officially release the second single off of her debut EP 'Call Me Crazy, But...' with this official remix of "nEXT" featuring Kid Ink.
With that said, Sevyn and Kid Ink recently shot a steaming visual for "nEXt," which features Sevyn in the tub pondering who will be next dip. Peep the trailer for the Derek Blanks helmed visual which is due out tomorrow via BET's 106 & Park.