*“Started…really writing a couple years ago,” said Grammy-nominated Candi Staton about her new music and recently released single titled “Just Breathe” featuring Rapper Yo-Yo. “It’s like what’s going on in the world today? One mountain after the other…people getting killed, police officers not being charged…fake news coming from the powers-to-be.”
The single was released on the Beracah/MRI/TheOrchard imprint. Currently 80 years old, but still very youthful, Candi has been providing us with inspiring music for over 60 years. Her first release via a group called The Jewel Gospel Trio was in 1953 – she was a teenager touring with Sam Cooke and Mahalia Jackson, and I wasn’t even born yet! In the 60’s she garnered two Grammy Award nominations for her R&B singles “Stand by Your Man” and “In the Ghetto.” In the 70’s she became a “disco-queen” with her “Nights on Broadway” and “Young Hearts Run Free” singles. In 1971 her single “He Called Me Baby” was covered by Rock band One EskimO for their debut album “Kandi” and the single peaked at #1 on Billboard’s “Triple A” Chart. Her 1972 single “Best Thing You Ever Had” was sampled by Christina Aguilera and a remix of the single was used for a Twitter Superbowl commercial. In the 80s she released two songs that went multi-platinum, “You Got the Love” and “Hallelujah Anyway,” meaning each single sold over two million records. The single “You Got the Love” was covered by Joss Stone in 2010. Since then she has recorded not only Gospel, R&B and Disco, but Blues and Pop. Still going strong Candi Staton’s music has amassed over 100 million audio streams.
“You watch the news and get a knot in your stomach,” Candi pointed out about why she released the “Just Breathe” single. “I’ve been in the house for two months…didn’t know what’s going on. I said I need to take a break.”
Candi said watching the news of one after the other being killed by police and all saying “I can’t breath” because of the police choke-hold and she thought about that song “Just Breathe” because she felt it fit with the current times.
“We started writing and we got three songs,” she continued. “‘Where We Go From Here,’ we are working on that now… It’s a great time for prayer. God got us. He has us in the palm of his hand.”
Candi is about to cross-over to Hip-Hop by enlisting Yo-Yo as a featured artist on the “Just Breathe” single. Yo-Yo came into the Hip-Hop spotlight in the 90s garnering placement on Billboard’s “Hot Rap Songs” Chart. Her debut album “Make Room for the Motherlode” peaked at #5 on Billboard’s “R&B/Hip-Hop Albums” Chart in 1991. That same year her single “You Can’t Play with my Yo-Yo,” off of her the debut which featured Ice Cube, reached #1. That success led to major collaborations with Brandy, Queen Latifah, Snoop Dogg and MCLyte. In 1993 she hit the top of the charts again with “Bonnie & Clyde/IBWin’ with my Crewin’.” In 1995 she earned another Grammy nomination for “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group” for her contribution to the Quincy Jones track “Stomp,” which also featured Chaka Khan, Coolio and Shaquille O’Neal. She also ventured into acting having starred in Boyz in the Hood, Sister Act: Back in the Habit, “Martin” and “New York Undercover.”
“People are afraid to come out,” Staton stressed emotionally. “I began to talk to the Lord. I began to remember…God is on my side. I said God protect them (protestors).”
Candi Staton wants her fans and the protestors to “Just Breathe” and to know that God got you. www.Candi-Staton.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]
‘Blackish’ Star Miles Brown Releases Video for ‘Kid’ from Debut Album ‘We The Future’ (Watch)
*”Blackish” star Miles Brown released a new music video for “KID” featuring hip hop legend Slick Rick and singer/songwriter Angelo Arce today. The song appears on Miles’ debut hip hop album “We the Future,” out now via Acme Music Co.
On the fun and upbeat bop, which is accompanied by a playfully animated video, Miles rhymes about wanting to stay a kid and enjoy every minute of his childhood.
Miles recent stopped by The Tamron Hall show to perform “We the Future Rmx.”
Rooted in his desire to champion positivity, family ties, strong mental health, equality, and the fight against racial injustice, We the Future – produced by Madlib, Mic Checkmate, and Deliv – calls out to the next generation of leaders to recognize and own their strength and budding authority. The album features an eclectic roster of guest artists including NBA All-Star and rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A..; singer, songwriter and record producer Jidenna; legendary songwriter Seidah Garrett, as well as Miles’ rapper father WildChild of Lootpack. The album also features shout-outs from artists including Redman, Method Man, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Flava Flav, Post Malone, and Macklemore who show love on the track “Feeling Inspired.”
Watch the animated video for “Kid” and his “Tamron Hall” performance below:
Ianthe Jones: Producer of ‘STEVE on Watch’ Talks Joy of Working with Harvey / EUR Exclusive (Watch)
*From “Dr. Phil” to BET and more, Ianthe (I-Ann-Thee) Jones is a seasoned producer as far as reality/talk shows are concerned.
She has now taken her talents to an OG King of Comedy to produce the hit internet show on Facebook Watch, “STEVE on Watch!” hosted by Steve Harvey.
EUR Correspondent Briana Wright had the chance to talk to her about how she has adapted to this new form of reality TV that is very much virtual and what fans can expect from “STEVE on Watch!”
Ianthe describes how she went from casting to producing reality television.
“I fell in love with storytelling. It wasn’t so much the booking of the person; it was the story that came with the person.”
Jones then went on to work at the “Dr. Phil” show for 10 years, which provided her with enough experience to move on to produce reality shows featuring guests such as Queen Latifah, Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker and more!
Now, she is working as the executive producer and showrunner for “STEVE on Watch!” which she describes as “real life stories from real people.” She says their goal is to give a voice to people who wouldn’t normally be heard, not only because it’s relatable, but because of Steve’s eagerness to help.
“The man has a big heart. He is extremely generous…and it’s like he hears something about someone and then he automatically wants to help,” says Ianthe about Steve.
She says this contributes a lot to the intention of the show among other things like highlighting issues in Black community.
Check out their Facebook page, facebook.com/SteveHarveytv for the latest of “STEVE on Watch!”
Memorable December 2s for Michael, Mariah, Cooke, Jay-Z, Birdsong, Temptations, Odetta & More [EUR Video Throwback]
*Oh where to begin with you, December two? This day saw some eventful things happen within R&B and hip hop, so settle in as we go through them in chronological order from the eldest to the most recent.
Dec 2, 1957: Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me,” written by his brother, Charles “LC” Cooke, hits No. 1 for the first of three weeks. Cooke was signed to gospel label Specialty Records when his producer, Bumps Blackwell, brought this song to label owner Art Rupe. Rupe was unwilling to include the choir on the track fearing they were too secular and would alienate the label’s gospel fans. According to Songfacts, Rube offered Cooke a release from his contract in exchange for outstanding royalties. The song was passed on to the Keen label where it eventually sold over 2 million copies.
Dec. 2, 1969: The Rolling Stones, en route to what would be their deadly Dec. 6 concert at the Altamont Speedway in Northern, CA, make a pit stop at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama where they recorded “Brown Sugar.” The lyrics are clearly about enslaved women from Africa who were sold in New Orleans and raped by their white masters. But the chorus appears as if the song is just Mick Jagger’s mindless ode to interracial sex. Here’s what he had to say about the verses in 1995.
“God knows what I’m on about on that song. It’s such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go. […] I never would write that song now. I would probably censor myself. I’d think, ‘Oh God, I can’t. I’ve got to stop. I can’t just write raw like that.'”
The chorus was inspired by the group’s African American background singer, and Jagger’s one-time girlfriend, Claudia Lennear.
Dec. 2, 1969: While the Stones were in Alabama trivializing the rape of Black women in bondage, Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes was being kidnapped in Los Angeles. As the story goes, she was approached by a knife-wielding maintenance man at her apartment building as she returned home with her then-boyfriend (later husband) Charles Hewlett and their friend, Howard Meek. The man forced her to tie up the two men, then walked her downstairs into her car. As the vehicle was moving, Birdsong managed to unlock the door and jump out onto the highway in Long Beach. She was treated and released from the hospital for minor knife wounds and abrasions. The maintenance man, Charles Collier, contacted police four days later and turned himself in. More details are in this newspaper article of Collier’s arrest:
Dec. 2, 1972: The Temptations single “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” hit No. 1 on this date with a marathon running time of 6 minutes and 58 seconds, and that was the scaled down version. The album version came in at 11:46. Motown split the track in two for the single release: the A-side was the 6:58 “vocal” version and the B-side, at 4:49, was dubbed “instrumental.” The A-side, although bifurcated, is still among the longest chart-toppers in Hot 100 history. (Don McLean’s “American Pie” was the only longer song of 1972, clocking in at 8:33.)
Below is an even shorter 4-minute version for the Temps’ 1972 performance on “Soul Train.”
Dec. 2, 1983: Michael Jackson’s 14-minute “Thriller” video debuts on MTV. Directed by John Landis, the video held the door open for Black acts to be played on the cable channel after years of resistance. Network brass had insisted that MTV be reserved strictly for rock acts. Jackson’s record label CBS basically told them, “If you don’t play Michael’s videos, you won’t get videos from any of our artists,” which at the time included MTV staples Rolling Stones, Kansas, Frank Zappa, The Clash and more.
Dec. 2, 1995: “One Sweet Day,” Mariah Carey’s duet with Boyz II Men, hits No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stays there for a record 16 weeks. The record stood for the next 24 years with “Despacito” tying the 16-week run in 2017. Last year, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” took the crown when it spent its 17th week at No. 1 on Aug. 3, 2019. Carey and Boys II Men’s Nathan Morris penned “One Sweet Day” together. Carey was writing about her pain over the death of David Cole, the co-writer and co-producer of C+C Music Factory. Morris was writing a similar ode to their road manager Kahlil Roundtree, who had just been shot and killed following a dispute with a promoter. Morris said in the book “Chicken Soup For the Soul: The Story Behind The Song” that Roundtree was “like a surrogate father on the road. Our parents trusted him to handle everything, including us, which he did very well.”
Regarding “One Sweet Day,” Morris continued: “We got a call from Tommy Mottola asking if we’d be interested in doing a duet with Mariah Carey. We went to the studio she was recording in at the Hit Factory in New York, to hear the song they had in mind. She played us the melody and the hook, and it was amazing. It was almost the same song I was writing. I told her that I was working on a song with a similar melody and, while the lyrics were, of course, different, the premise was the same. They complemented each other. I sang to her the melody and lyrics of what I had written, and we merged the two. We switched things around to make them work and wrote it that day. The other guys in the group filled in the holes to complete it.
“We came back to the studio to record it a week or so later and we only had a few hours to do everything, since we squeezed this in between dates on tour. The photo on the album cover was shot in the elevator on the way up to the studio and the video was shot during the recording session, all in those few hours that day.”
Dec. 2, 1999: This is the night that Jay-Z’s career nearly ended when he stabbed record executive Lance “Un” Rivera during a party at Manhattan’s Kit Kat Klub. Hov thought that Rivera bootlegged his album “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter” and took matters into his own hands, literally. Rivera, the CEO and co-founder of Untertainment with Notorious B.I.G., was treated at New York’s St. Vincent Hospital for wounds to his shoulder and abdomen. Jay-Z would turn himself into the NYPD Midtown South Precinct in Manhattan where he was charged with felony assault in the second degree. His bail was $50,000 and he was out within a few hours. It’s widely assumed that “Un” gave Jay-Z’s name to police investigating the incident. The rapper was facing a 15-year prison sentence if convicted. He proclaimed his innocence and was looking forward to his day in court. But after watching the obscene media attention given to similar court cases at the time involving Sean “Puffy” Combs and Shyne, Jay decided to take a plea deal that involved just 3 years probation.
Dec. 2, 2008: Blues legend Odetta Holmes, known professionally by just her first name, died of heart disease on this day at age 77. Known as “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement,” Odetta was a vital force in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, and influenced key artists in the genre, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin.
Time magazine placed her recording of “Take This Hammer” on its list of the 100 Greatest Popular Songs, stating that “Rosa Parks was her No. 1 fan, and Martin Luther King Jr. called her the queen of American folk music.”
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