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Jeffrey Osborne is undoubtedly the voice of the 80s, with major hits such as "On The Wings Of Love", "We're Going All The Way", "Every Time I Turn Around, plus many, many more! .
Singer, songwriter, record producer, actor and syndicated radio host, Keith Sweat known for songs like "Nobody", "Make It Last Forever", and "Twisted".
Regina Belle is an American singer-songwriter and actress who first started in the mid 1980s with several major hits
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Keith Sweat (born in Harlem, New York), is an R&B and soul singer. Sweat once worked an ordinary 9-to-5 job for the commodities market in the New York Stock Exchange. He sang at nightclubs until he was discovered in 1987. On November 25, 1987, Sweat released his debut album Make It Last Forever, which sold four million copies. The biggest hit from this album was "I Want Her" (#1 R&B/#5 Pop), and the title track from the album hit #2 on the R&B charts. Sweat continued to chart fairly well with his sophomore album I'll Give All My Love To You, which hit #3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and Keep It Comin debuted in the Top 20 of the album chart. Sweat released his fourth album Get Up On It in the summer of 1994. He followed with Keith Sweat, his self-titled fifth album, in 1996, which hit #5 on the Billboard 200. The single "Twisted" hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Nobody" hit #3. In 1992, Sweat discovered the group Silk, and helped craft their debut album, Lose Control, which hit #7 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Sweat also formed the R&B super group LSG with Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill, and released their self-titled debut Levert.Sweat.Gill in 1997. That album featured the hit "My Body", which became a huge hit single. Keith Sweat has produced songs for artists such as Men At Large - Don't Cry, Dru Hill - Love's Train, Dru Hill - Share My World, Immature - Extra, Extra, Ol Skool - Am I Dreaming (feat. Xscape), The Isley Brothers - Slow Is The Way, The O'Jays ft Keith Sweat - Baby You Know. Sweat’s most recent album, “Til the Morning” released in 2011 and reached #8 on the Billboard R&B Charts.
Born in Washington, D.C., Johnny Gill was discovered by singer Stacy Lattisaw after singing in his family's group Wings of Faith from age five. His solo career began in 1983 with the Top 30 R&B single "Super Love." In duo with Lattisaw, he scored an R&B Top Ten hit in 1984 with "Perfect Combination." In 1988, Gill joined New Edition, replacing Bobby Brown. In 1989 he sang on two R&B hits: "Where Do We Go from Here," a #1 by Stacy Lattisaw, and "One Love," by George Howard.
Gill finally scored as a solo singer in 1990 with the release of his album Johnny Gill, which sold a million copies, topped the R&B chart, and made the Top Ten in the pop chart. Following his 1993 album Provocative, Gill reunited with New Edition in 1996. A month after New Edition released Home Again in September of 1996, Gill released Let's Get the Mood Right.
In 1997, he collaborated with Gerald Levert and Keith Sweat to form the supergroup LSG (Levert/Sweat/Gill), which yielded the multi- platinum debut album, Levert.Sweat.Gill, and a follow-up album in 2003 titled LSG2.
In 2011 Johnny Gill released his sixth studio album, Still Winning, and it reached #4 on the R&B charts.
Years from now when it’s all said and done, music historians will surely debate the contributions of those who majorly impacted the genre of R&B. Icons guaranteed to be mentioned are industry stalwarts such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, The O’Jay’s, The Jackson Five, New Edition, Guy, Jodeci, and Boyz II Men. However, any list that does not include the incomparable Dru Hill is grossly inaccurate. The torch bearers responsible for carrying R&B music into the new millennium was the labor of love for four immensely talented young singers who were and remain the quintessential example of superior entertainers.
From their first single that asked the ever important question, “Tell Me” (what you want), Dru Hill has been giving fans what they need in the form of numerous classic love ballads and infectious dance songs that have provided countless beautiful memories for millions upon millions of music lovers the world over. Named after a popular Baltimore park, Dru Hill is comprised of Tamir Ruffin a/k/a Nokio, Mark Andrews a/k/a Sisqo, Larry Anthony a/k/a Jazz, and Antwuan Simpson a/k/a Tao, the newest addition the group replacing original member James “Big Woody” Green who left the group to pursue a solo gospel career. In a career that spans nearly two decades, Dru Hill, under the steadfast leadership of their long time and trusted manager Kevin Peck has accomplished literally everything an R&B/Pop group could dream of achieving.
From having a string of Top 40 #1 hit singles, multi-platinum selling albums, movie and television appearances, headlining sold out concert tours around the world, to selling an eye-popping 30 million records worldwide, their star power has never been in question. Proof of their immense global following was most evident when their reality show entitled Keith Sweat’s Platinum House became the highest rated series in the Centric network’s history, proving their critics wrong that even after a significant absence from the public eye, fans still can’t get enough of Dru Hill. With a music library fit for royalty, that boasts some of the biggest selling and most popular R&B songs of all time to include “Tell Me”, “5 Steps”, “In My Bed”, “Never Make a Promise”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “These are the Times”, and “We’re Not Making Love No More”, that are considered by many music experts to be standards that help define the 90’s. Additionally, the group’s music has helped tremendously to bolster the sale of movies and soundtracks with their songs often having been the lead single for block buster films like “Eddie” starring Academy Award winning actress Whoopi Goldberg (Tell Me), “How to be a Player” starring comedian Bill Bellamy (She’s a Bad Mama Jama), “Rush Hour” starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker (How Deep is Your Love), Wild Wild West starring mega superstar Will Smith (Wild Wild West), and “Soul Food starring former Miss America Vanessa Williams (We’re Not Making Love No More).
As their lead single “Back to the Future” off their fourth studio album “Indrupendence Day” heats up the clubs, radio, and the internet, the group’s vocal capabilities is greatly enhanced by the arrival of Tao. The Annapolis, Maryland native whose incredible singing range has him poised to do for Dru Hill what Johnny Gill did for New Edition, and that’s help take the group to new levels of greatness. All while Nokio continues to prove his genius as a songwriter, producer, and singer. Jazz supplies vocal versatility through his amazing voice and his unique ability to play an array of musical instruments. Rounding out the soon to be hall of fame foursome is none other than the Blonde/Silver haired rebel Sisqo, whose dancing and singing brilliance is timeless. Busier than ever performing at sold out venues around the globe for a whole new generation of adoring fans, is the life of Nokio, Tao, Jazz, and Sisqo who prove superior singing + undeniable talent + first rate showmanship = Dru Hill.
Silk's ride began with the monster success of their single "Freak Me", which took the music world by storm in 1993. The song was one of many nuggets from their smash 1992 debut album Lose Control. The singles “Happy Days” and “Girl U For Me” helped the album reach double platinum status.
The fivesome later had success with singles such as "I Can Go Deep", "Hooked On You", "Don't Rush", "If You" (1999), "Meeting In My Bedroom", and "We're Calling You."
Silk was discovered by the musician Keith Sweat and Andrea Ryans. The group was originally a quintet made up of Tim Cameron, Jimmy Gates, Gary "Big G" Glenn, Johnathen "John John" Rasboro, and Tyga Graham, who was replaced by Gary "Lil G" Jenkins before they recorded their debut album.
In 2003, Silk released their fifth album Silktime, on their own label Silk Music Group. The album featured the songs "Silktime", "My Girl", "Alibi", "More", "You (The Baby Song)", "Check My Story" and a cover version of Blue Magic's "Sideshow". That song reunited them with their mentor Keith Sweat.
In 2006, the group returned with their sixth release, a cover album entitled Always And Forever on Shanachie Records. Silk brings their vocal artistry to a hand-picked selection of songs that have inspired them as simultaneous homage to artists who they respect and musical statement of the ultimate quality of Silk's music.
"It all comes full circle on this album," relates Gary Glenn. "A lot of these songs were ones we were already familiar with so it was easy for us to step in and emulate people we have a lot of respect for. It's a chance to show off our own artistry. If someone has the audacity to do a Michael Jackson number or a Prince tune and do it well, or to really do justice to "The Secret Garden", then they walk away with respect from the audience. That's what we want."
The album featured covers of R&B songs including "Adore" by Prince, "Always and Forever" by Heatwave, and the single "Secret Garden" by Quincy Jones.
He is one of the premier male vocalists in contemporary music and with over thirty years of music-making to his credit, Peabo Bryson is expanding his creative horizons as a producer and songwriter. As witnessed by his outstanding debut for Windham Hill Records, this two-time Grammy-Award winning legend is reaching new heights with a set of exceptional material, much of which he wrote and produced with musical partner Regina Troupe. To a collection of tailor-made original songs which showcase Bryson’s rich, soulful vocal style, this internationally-renowned performer adds an emotive reading of Leon Russell’s classic “A SONG FOR YOU” and an infectious cover of the 1979 Rufus and Chaka Khan hit “AINT NOBODY.”
Regina Belle (born July 17, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter from Englewood, New Jersey. At a young age she began performing at Englewood's Mount Calvary Baptist Church. She was introduced to the Manhattans by New York radio DJ Vaughn Harper and began working as their opening act. She recorded the 1986 duet, “Where Did We Go Wrong,” with the group which helped to attract the attention of Columbia Records. They eventually signed her to a record deal.
In 1987, she released her debut album, “All By Myself.” It included her first hits “So Many Tears” and “Show Me the Way.” Her follow-up album, “Stay with Me,” was then released in 1989.
Belle recorded a duet in 1991 with Johnny Mathis, “Better Together,” which appeared on his album “Better Together: The Duet Album.” Continuing her tradition of duets, Belle teamed up with Peabo Bryson for the songs “I Can't Imagine,” “Without You” and “A Whole New World,” which was the featured pop single from the soundtrack to the 1992 Disney movie “Aladdin.” The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and won the Grammy Award in 1993 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal as well as the Academy Award for Best Song in later that year.
Also in 1993, Belle released her platinum selling third album, “Passion.” The album featured the Disney hit “A Whole New World,” “Dream In Color” and “If I Could, “which reached # 9 on the Billboard R&B chart. Belle released “Reachin' Back” in 1995 followed by “Believe in Me” in 1998.
In 2001, Regina Belle's cover of “Just the Two of Us” from the tribute album “To Grover, With Love” made a surprising return to the Billboard charts, and within months Belle would sign with the jazz oriented independent label Peak-Concord Jazz. That same year she released the album “This Is Regina!, “which featured the R&B hit single, “Ooh Boy.”
In 2004, she released a jazz standard album, “Lazy Afternoon,” which was produced by George Duke. The album included covers of the Isley Brothers' “For the Love of You” and Tony Bennett's “If I Ruled the World.” In 2007, she collaborated with smooth jazz saxophonist Paul Taylor, co-writing and singing on his album, “Ladies Choice.”
Belle released her debut gospel album, “Love Forever Shines,” in 2008 via Walker Davis Records The 14-track collection featured guests Melvin Williams (of the Williams Brothers) and Shirley Murdock.
In 2009 Belle suffered a Brain Tumor and under went 2 surgeries that left her deaf in one ear.Belle Faith was tested and she stood on God's word that she would be healed. Now When Belle sings "God Is Good" she knowns God as a healer. Belle in June 2012 released her Testimony album ," HIGHER", Regina Belle has a simple but powerful message. “I pray that each listener has an experience. My whole objective in doing this record is to bring people into the presence of God. Some of us don’t always get there through the preached word. The music is only second to that, but I want to be able to know that I did my job and if you don’t have words to say, then use my words. If you don’t have a voice, then use my voice. If you don’t have the music or the setting, use mine. I believe that my music helps people get to a special place.” That place is a closer walk with God, one that is sweeter, deeper, richer and HIGHER!
The youngest of 12, Jeffrey Osborne spent his childhood patiently waiting for a turn to play his favorite records on the family turntable. Hours would go by, listening to Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, Gloria Lynne, Della Reese, Joe Williams and Billy Eckstine spun by his brothers and sisters. Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Clifford Brown poured from the speakers when it was his father’s turn. “So despite my love for Motown and doo wop,” laughs Osborne, “I really grew up listening to jazz and standards.” “It’s funny,” he continues. “I don’t think any of my family would have ever envisioned me doing a record like this. It’s always been R&B for me, but I don’t think any of them would be surprised to hear it. And because this music is in my roots, I actually feel more comfortable doing this than I do R&B.” With the release of A Time For Love, Osborne shows that it is his time, indeed, to finally record the songs he has long adored.
“This album is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Osborne says excitedly. “I had a pretty clear idea of what songs I wanted to record because I’ve liked them so much over the years. But there are so many that it was difficult narrowing it down to just 12.” So much so that he jokes A Time For Love will be the first in a trilogy of albums so that he can get to all of the songs on his wish list. In the end, most of the classics he selected were ones he began singing in Rhode Island nightclubs back when he was just 13 years old.
Though Osborne knew most of the songs like treasured old friends, he wanted to explore interpretations of them in ways he hadn’t before. To help guide him through the new journey, Osborne turned to legendary jazz and R&B producer George Duke. The two were musical alchemists during the early days of Jeffrey’s solo career, turning out hit after hit together on his first three albums including “On The Wings of Love,” “Stay With Me Tonight,” “We’re Going All The Way,” and more. “I knew there was no one else I would want to do this with other than George,” says Osborne. “I just love George. I mean, he produced my first three solo records and so it was beautiful to come together for this project. And his arrangements are unbelievable.” “When we recorded the album,” adds George Duke, “all we did was laugh most of the time. It was really like no time had passed between then and the last time we worked together. It was a wonderful experience…the most fun record I’ve done in a long time.”
The album was recorded live, much like the songs originally were. Duke brought in the acclaimed jazz musician Christian McBride on upright bass, John Roberts on drums and personally helmed the keyboards. Tenor saxophone player Kamasi Washington joined in for “A Time for Love” and “My One and Only Love,” while guitarist Paul Jackson Jr, trumpet player Walt Fowler and saxophonist Everette Harp were added to select songs for extra layers. Jeffrey brought in Rick Braun to play trumpet, a poignant tip of the hat to Osborne’s father, a popular Rhode Island trumpet player.
“I sang right while they were playing and that’s not done anymore,” reflects Osborne. “We started it up and they played and I sang and you can feel that it has a flow. You can tell that there are songs where I was leading and George was following me, and you can really feel the connection on the record. It’s probably the best experience I’ve ever had recording a record. The vibe was great. I would sing a lick and Christian would play behind me and complement what I sang, and John would take it somewhere else…it was just amazing. You could feel that we were listening to one another while we were doing it and we were complementing each other as we went along. It was kind of magical and I think what’s missing it today’s music. And I think you feel that in the record. It’s like there’s something different happening all the time.”
That sentiment would turn out to be an understatement when it came to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” “George was doing a show at the United Nations with Chaka Khan,” Jeffrey explains, “and he mentioned that he was working with me. She immediately said, ‘I want to be a part of that,’ and this is the song that she wanted to do, that she’d always wanted to record it. My first reaction was ‘isn’t that a Christmas song?’ But it’s not necessarily. It never mentions Christmas. We had a lot of fun recording it.” Duke adds, “We used the original as the basis but thought it would be nice if it was a little funnier with some dialogue in the middle. She does an incredible job and it’s such a different take on the song. And I can’t tell you how much fun we had recording it. It’s a totally unique thing and she and Jeffrey worked so well together.”
Osborne pays homage to his R&B past with his take on “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” “We made sure it fits within what’s going on with this project,” he explains. “It just has a little groove to it that puts it in both worlds. This is the only song on the album that George played an old Wurlitzer on and it just has a great feel to it.” It was always part of the plan to deliver a couple of surprises refashioned as standards. “(They Long To Be) Close To You” was another. “Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote this amazing refrain,” says Osborne, “”so I really wanted to stick with it. I didn’t try to oversing the song with a lot of riffs. I wanted to sing it very whole.”
But the album’s creative beauty is most evident when it comes to the standards. “My One and Only Love,” with its incredible melody, takes a detour into swing for a moment. “Smile” is punctuated by melancholy optimism in the form of a Bossa Nova beat and Osborne’s emotion-laden delivery as the haunting strains of a harmonica drift by. Saxophonist Everette Harp helps coax soul and blues out of “Teach Me Tonight.” Osborne discovered blues elements in “You Don’t Know What Love Is” as well. “It’s got some classic jazz runs, too, although it’s almost a blues song because it’s sad,” and worked with Duke to give it a more sensual interpretation than most fans would expect.
“When I Fall In Love,” one of Jeffrey’s all-time favorites, gets the biggest arrangement of all the songs on the album. “It’s very orchestrated,” he explains, with a special appearance by trumpet player Rick Braun. Later, Duke gave the eerie lyrics of “Nature Boy” an equally haunting and deliberate arrangement, replete with the sound of a pensive, muted trumpet from Walt Fowler.
When it came to “What a Wonderful World,” the producer found inspiration in an unlikely place. “I thought ‘what the heck am I supposed to do?,’ remembers Duke. “All I could think about was Satchmo. Coincidentally, I was Musical Director of an International Jazz Day concert at the United Nations around that time, and Herbie Hancock – who put it together – said ‘I want someone to do ‘Wonderful World’ in the show.’ So I called Esperanza Spalding and said ‘do whatever you want’ and she took it so far outside of what it started out as that it cleared my mind of what it’s always been. I sat down and started playing these chords and came up with an idea for a groove and called Jeffrey to see if he liked it and he loved it.”
For “A Time For Love,” the duo opted to build a very sparse arrangement. “It has a really intimate feeling,” reflects Osborne. “I know my brother used to always sing this song and my mother used to really like it so whenever I hear this song, I think of my musical days back when I was growing up.”
“I thought of my whole family while I was recording this,” says Jeffrey wistfully. “I had an older brother, Clay, who was a great jazz singer in Providence, Rhode Island. This is the kind of record that he would do,” he adds, quietly.
The Classic R & B Crooner Freddie Jackson is ranked amongst Billboard’s top 20 R&B recording artists of the 80s-90s. Mr. Jackson has enjoyed 12 #1 Billboard hit records and 30 charted singles. He has sold over 50 million albums, nominated twice for a Grammy and is internationally recognized as an R&B icon. Jackson can credit such well-known hits like "Rock Me Tonight For Old Time's Sake”, “Jam Tonight," "Do Me Again," and "You are My Lady” for his incredible success. These songs stormed the R&B charts and made him an instant sensation. "You Are My Lady" gave Jackson a second straight R&B chart-topper, and also proved to be his highest-charting single on the pop side, peaking at number 13. With "He'll Never Love You (Like I Do)" and "Love Is Just a Touch Away" also hitting the R&B Top Ten, “Rock Me Tonight” topped the R&B album charts and went platinum. “Just Like the First Time” continued Jackson’s dominance of the R&B singles charts; "Tasty Love," "Have You Ever Loved Somebody," and "Jam Tonight" all hit number one.
From early on many believed Freddie Jackson was born to sing; his mother went into labor with him while singing in the church choir. The third of five children, growing up poor in New York's Harlem, Jackson got his musical start as a gospel singer at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church. A child soloist, the singer sometimes moved the congregation to tears--learning early how to captivate an audience.
Later discovered by singer Melba Moore while performing in a New York nightclub, Jackson toured with her as a back-up vocalist in the mid-1980s, his cameo solos sparking the interest of industry heavyweights and audiences alike lead to his solo career.
Today Freddie Jackson has hit a new stride and here are a few things that can be added to his credits: A 2010 CD entitled “FOR YOU”. “It is a tribute to my loyal fans.” Jackson says. The first single “I Don’t Wanna Go” charted one of most added singles during its first week of airplay and is featured on television music shows VH1 Soul and “Centric” network.
Freddie Jackson continues to perform as a member of the “Men of Soul Tour” and also as a solo artist playing to sold-out houses in the United States and around the world. In addition to performing, he is the author of a cookbook entitled “Tasty Love” and continues to lend his voice to support numerous charitable organizations.
Howard Hewett is one of the most talented soul singers of the past two decades. In group settings, as a guest vocalist and as a solo singer, Hewett's virtually irresistible voice has wrapped itself around material of various qualities - turning good songs into great records and doing his best to save some of the lesser material with which he has sometimes been saddled as a solo artist.
Raised in Akron, Ohio, Hewett moved to Los Angeles and, after a period as a dancer on Soul Train, became a member of Shalamar, the centerpiece of Dick Griffey's SOLAR (Sound of Los Angeles) label. His mellifluous tenor voice mixed beautifully with the bright vocals of Jody Watley and the writing and production of Leon Sylvers III, resulting in such top hits as "The Second Time Around," "Full of Fire," "Dead Giveaway" and "A Night to Remember," as well as a number of underappreciated ballads, such as "You Can Count On Me" and "You're the One for Me."
When Shalamar broke up in the mid 1980s, Hewett went on to pursue a solo career. He signed with Elektra Records and recorded 1986's I Commit To Love (R&B #12), a relatively solid urban album that yielded two R&B hits, "I’m For Real" (R&B #2) and "Stay" (R&B #8). The album also included "Say Amen", a gospel tune that became a surprise hit on the Gospel charts and is Hewett's signature song. Hewett contributed vocals to La Toya Jackson's Hot 100 hit single "Heart Don't Lie" in 1984.
In 1990, Hewett released a self-titled album, which included the hit "Show Me" (R&B #2), and 1992 saw the release of the LP Allegiance, which was not received as well as previous albums. He contributed to the second season theme song of "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper" which was a remake of Sam & Dave's R&B Top 10 hit "Soul Man". This recording was produced by singer Steve Tyrell.
After 1995's It's Time, Hewett stopped recording solo, spending much of his time providing wonderful guest vocals on albums by jazz artists such as Joe Sample, Brian Culbertson, George Duke and Everett Harp and on several gospel albums. Then in 2001, he recorded his first all gospel album, The Journey, on Sony, followed a year later by The Journey Live: From the Heart. It was six years before his long-awaited R&B return on the album, If Only. He continues to tour in multi-artist shows around the world and to provide guest vocals on the albums of others.
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