*“Shout-out to the City Council and Mayor – doing a great job,” said Grammy winning living legend Howard Hewett to his home town Akron, Ohio’s leaders who re-named Cadillac Blvd, where he lived for 20 years growing up, to Howard Hewett, Jr. Way. “We moved into that house when I was like 3 years-old up ‘til I left for Los Angeles. Left a year later and went back home.”
The City of Akron held the street renaming ceremony at Buchtel High School during his alma mater’s football game half-time show. The mayor of Akron is Dan Horrigan and the Council President is Margo Sommerville.
“Akron is my foundation…a solid middle class through our rubber factory,” he said about his upbringing and city life. “When I went over to the R&B side, I had their (his parents) approval.”
You see Howard’s mother was a well known Gospel concert promoter who let her talented children, called the Hewett Singers, open up for all the big-name Gospel acts at the time that came to Akron, such as The 5 Blind Boys and James Cleveland.
“I was 10 or 11…it was me and my three sisters,” Howard said about the Hewett Singers. “My mother put the Hewett Singers in every show she brought in. We were opening up.”
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During this time he was playing football for his high school too. By the time Howard was 15 he decide to sing R&B as well as Gospel. He then joined the Lyfe Band, but he didn’t get mainstream America’s attention until he joined the R&B group Shalamar with Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley. His tenor vocals became the signature-sound of the group, with Jody’s vocals a second runner-up. The Shalamar’s hits, “Second Time Around,” “Make that Move” and “This is for the Lover in You,” provided the opportunity for Howard to go solo based on that signature sound. As a solo artist Hewett signed with Elektra Records and became a living legend and Platinum selling artist in mainstream America with his signature hit single “Amen” – an Inspirational/Gospel song on an R&B album “I Commit to Love.”
“I was the entertainer in my neighborhood and all the time a receiver on my high school football team – for a short time – at 10 years-old,” Howard said. Also a pianist and guitarist, he added that, “The Hewett Singers had a show, and my coach…said I had to pick, so… When I was 15 I was at cabarets with the Lyfe Band doing shows that sold alcohol. We played from 10p.m. to 2a.m. in the morning.” www.HowardHewettMusic.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 22nd year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 6, 2021 via Zoom Video Conferencing and Baltimore Saturday April 16, 2022 at via Zoom Conferencing presented by Security Square Mall and The Baltimore Times. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Business Management Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $16,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email info@ThePulseofEntertainment.com.