Thursday, August 18, 2022

CeCe Peniston Talks Musical Legacy, Staying True and Remaining Relevant (Watch)

cece peniston

*CeCe Peniston is a legend in her own right.

That’s right, let those words marinate for a moment.

Specifically, the word LEGEND.

Though the term is now tantamount to so much hyperbole with the excessive and flippant manner that it is used, and the rather unspectacular impact some pseudo-legends have had on their respective artistic medium, you really can’t front on stats.

Next year it will have been 25 years since CeCe burst on to the scene with her seemingly eternal house music hit “Finally.” For those who recall, house music was the signature sound of the 1990s and had bled over into hip-hop, R&B and certain elements of popular music. However, its roots remained firmly within the rhythms, drums, bass and beats that are indicative of most music genre birthed from the African Diaspora.

Finally was also the name of Peniston’s debut album as well. It sold over 3 million copies worldwide. The album also brought us such hits as Keep On Walkin’, We Got a Love, and the summer slow jam of ’92,  Inside That I Cried.  Though her debut album was largely up-tempo, and house music infused, CeCe followed that up with Thought ‘Ya Knew in 1994. It was an album that was far more diverse than her initial offering but wasn’t as commercially successful.

Her continued attempts to crack the R&B charts resulted in her third album from A&M Records, I’m Moving On. It’s most successful hit was her rendition of Jocelyn Brown’s 80s dance classic “Somebody Else’s Guy.” CeCe and her music were a tremendous part of the lives of Geneation X. However, a new generation of fans has been flocking to Ms. Peniston as the result of increased interest in old school house and dance music. CeCe adds her signature vocals to the “Believe”alongside Chaos. Released on September 5th, it is already being heard in night spots throughout the Big Apple.

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with CeCe to discuss her musical legacy, her new work, appearing on TV One’s Unsung, ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap and much more.

Ricardo A. Hazell began his career in journalism in 1996 as a Research Intern for the prestigious Editor & Publisher Co. His byline has appeared in The Root, Washington Post, Black Enterprise and he helped define culture within the African Diaspora as Senior Cultural Contributor at The Shadow League. Currently working on the semi-autobiographical novel "Remorse".




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