Jerome Benton is a performer, backup dancer and lender of comedic antics to various musical acts. He is the inspiration for today's "hype man." He can be seen in music videos by Janet Jackson and Prince, but he is mostly known for his association with The Time.
Benton is the half brother to Time bassist, Terry Lewis and worked closely with the band behind the scenes in its initial stages.
During one performance, lead singer Morris Day asked for someone to bring him a mirror. Benton responded by ripping a mirror out of the club's restroom and bringing it on stage for Day to comb his hair. This act elevated Benton's integration into the band as a comic foil to Day, along with his dancing and providing backing vocals. In 1983, when Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis missed a concert in San Antonio, Benton was asked by Prince to pretend to fill in for Lewis on stage with his bass unplugged, while Prince provided the bass line backstage. The two (Jam & Lewis) were eventually fired after the tour.
Benton appeared in the 1984 film "Purple Rain" with the rest of The Time, and assumed the role of Morris Day's bodyguard and valet. The chemistry between Day and Benton was well-received, and although The Time soon dissolved after Day pursued a solo career, Prince retained Benton, as well as Jellybean Johnson and Paul Peterson for the short-lived project, "The Family."
Peterson soon left the project, once again leaving Benton without a group. Prince brought him into the extended 'Revolution' as part of a dance trio and to provide the role of comic foil as he had in The Time. Prince also gave Benton a large role as "Tricky" in his film "Under the Cherry Moon."
Although "The Revolution," dissolved in 1986 and Prince retained several of the expanded members (and long-time member Doctor Fink), Benton did not participate in the stripped-down Sign 'O' the Times band. By this time, however, Jam and Lewis has begun to produce Janet Jackson, and Benton participated in some of her recordings and videos.
The Time re-formed for the "Graffiti Bridge," album and film and the accompanying Time album "Pandemonium," and Benton reprised his former role with Day. The reunion, however, was short-lived, and the group soon dissolved again.
Despite this, Benton and Day have worked together in the years since, acting on stage and screen.
A partially new lineup for The Time formed in 1996 and the group has toured on and off since then, with Day and Benton continuing to entertain longtime fans.
Benton currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and childre
Jesse Johnson (born Jesse Woods Johnson) is a musician best known as the guitarist in the original lineup of The Time. Johnson was born in Rock Island, Illinois on May 29, 1960. Johnson moved to St. Louis at the age of 9 and was raised by foster parents after his parents split up. At age 16 he moved back to Rock Island to live with his father. Johnson began playing guitar when he was 15, honing his chops in local rock bands such as Treacherous Funk, Pilot, and Dealer, throughout his teens and early twenties. On a friend's recommendation, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1981, where he met Morris Day and played briefly in Day's band which was called Enterprise. He then became the lead guitarist for the city's funk-rock group, "The Time."
Although Prince basically recorded the first two Time albums on his own with Morris Day, Johnson did contribute to the Vanity 6 project with a song called "Bite The Beat" co-written with Prince. On The Time's third album, "Ice Cream Castle," Johnson contributed to the smash singles "The Bird" and "Jungle Love" (the group's most memorable and highest-charting single), which were helped by the popularity of the "Purple Rain" film.
However, at the height of The Time's popularity, Johnson left the band and signed a solo deal with A&M Records in 1984 and released "Jesse Johnson's Revue" the following year.
Four songs were released from the album, the first being "Be Your Man" followed by "Can You Help Me" which was backed with the popular funk outing "Free World."
His second album, "Shockadelica," contained the hit "Crazay," a duet with Sly Stone, and "Every Shade of Love," building on the inventive, elaborate sound he forged with The Time. Throughout the late eighties and early 1990's Johnson was also featured on the soundtracks to "The Breakfast Club," contributing "Heart Too Hot To Hold," a duet with Stephanie Spruill, "Pretty In Pink," "Another 48 Hours" and "White Men Can't Jump." Johnson has produced a wide variety of artists, most notable are TaMara and the Seen, Da Krash, Kool Skool, Janet Jackson, Debbie Allen, Cheryl Lynn, and Les Rita Mitsouko. By 1990 The Time reformed and issued "Pandemonium," which was even more of a group effort than "Ice Cream Castle." The album allowed Johnson to contribute his heavy hard rock guitar sound to several tracks.
After the band dissolved once again, Johnson remained in the background for several years, quietly contributing to soundtracks and other artists. He recorded music for the film "A Time To Kill." Finally in 1996, Johnson released another album, "Bare My Naked Soul," on the Dinosaur Entertainment label. The album was a departure from his funk-filled albums from the 1980s and instead verged into blues and hard rock.
Four years later, the highlights of Johnson's solo albums were collected on 2000's Ultimate Collection, the album includes b-sides, 12" versions, album tracks and one previously unreleased song called "Vibe."
When Jesse Johnson reunited with "The Time," to record "Pandemonium," he was allegedly kicked out of the group for reasons unknown.
Jesse Johnson made headlines following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.
During his reign as a solo artist, band members allegedly complained of non-payment.
Johnson's favorite color is pink, similar to Prince liking purple. Johnson always performed in pink.
After Johnson collaborated with Sly Stone, rumors of drug abuse surfaced but these rumors have never been proven.
When Prince toured with the Time, the band was so tight, they were stealing the show from Prince. Rumors emerged that Prince became so threatened that the band was kicked off marquee dates.
Karyn White (born October 14, 1965) is a Grammy Award-nominated Pop/R&B singer who became popular during the late 1980s.
Karyn Layvonne White was born in Los Angeles, the youngest of five children. She sang in a church choir and worked as a backing singer, then sang on Jeff Lorber's single "Facts of Love" before signing to Warner Bros. Records and, after graduating from Howard University, released her self-titled debut album in 1988. Produced by Babyface, Karyn White went Platinum, and contained the hit singles "The Way You Love Me," "Secret Rendezvous," "Superwoman" and "Love Saw It", a duet with Babyface. Her follow-up album was Ritual of Love in 1991. It had songs produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and featured the hit single "Romantic", which hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Other singles from the album include "The Way I Feel About You," "Walkin' the Dog," and "Do Unto Me." The photographer and director Matthew Rolston directed the video for the hit single Romantic. Michael Walls, who is credited as stylist on the Ritual of Love album, worked closely with Karyn White on the look for the Ritual of Love cover and 3 of the music videos released for the album. Walls brainstomed the idea for the Chanel inspired simple pearls and black dress used on the album cover, the french maid look and multiple wardrobe changes for the "The Way I feel About You" video, and the colorful "Walkin' the Dog" video, which was based on a scene from the film Sweet Charity.
White married Terry Lewis in 1992 and together they had a daughter, Ashley Nicole. After divorcing Lewis, White has since remarried to producer/musician Bobby G, a virtuoso guitarist who has played in her band and with such artists as Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire. After the divorce, Karyn downsized from a 25,000 square foot mansion she helped design to a 2-bedroom apartment with her daughter.
Her next album was Make Him Do Right in 1994. The album did not sell particularly well, although she did chart with the singles "Hungah" and the Babyface-penned "Can I Stay with You," which became her final U.S. R&B top-ten hit thus far in early 1995. "I'd Rather Be Alone" was a moderate hit peaking at #50 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. White left Warner Bros. Records in 1995 and dropped out of the music public eye for many years to start a family.
She currently resides in Sacramento, California and runs a successful Interior Design business.
In 2006 she recorded a new album, titled "Sista Sista;" which was slated for release in 2006, but has since been shelved. Two tracks from the shelved album, "All I Do" and "Disconnected," were later released on the Best-Of compilation Superwoman: The Best.
Freddie Jackson (born October 2, 1956, in Harlem, New York) is an R&B singer. He was an important figure in R&B during the 1980s and early 1990s. Among his well-known hits are "Rock Me Tonight (For Old Time's Sake)," "Jam Tonight," "Do Me Again," and "You are My Lady."
Jackson was trained as a gospel singer from an early age, singing at the White Rock Baptist Church. There he met Paul Laurence, who would later become his record producer and songwriting partner. After completing school, Jackson joined Laurence's group LJE (Laurence-Jones Ensemble) and played the New York nightclub scene. During the early 1980s, Jackson moved to the West Coast and sang lead with the R&B band 'Mystic Merlin,' but soon returned to New York to work with Laurence at the Hush Productions company. He sang on demo recordings of Laurence's compositions, and also served as a backing singer for Melba Moore after she saw his nightclub act.
In 1985, Jackson landed a recording contract with Capitol Records, and issued his debut album, Rock Me Tonight. The Laurence-penned title track stormed the R&B charts, spending six weeks at number one, and made Jackson an instant hit on urban contemporary radio. "You Are My Lady" gave him a second straight R&B chart-topper, and also proved to be his highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, 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 chart and went platinum. Jackson issued the follow-up Just Like the First Time 1986, on the heels of a number one R&B duet with Melba Moore, "A Little Bit More" (from her album A Lot of Love). Another platinum seller, 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, while "I Don't Want to Lose Your Love" went to number two.
The pace of Jackson's success slowed with the 1988 release of Don't Let Love Slip Away, which nonetheless featured another R&B chart-topper in "Hey Lover," plus further hits in "Nice and Slow" and "Crazy (For Me)". The title track of 1990's Do Me Again duplicated that feat, and "Main Course" just missed, topping out at number two. Even so, Jackson's earlier placements in the lower reaches of the Hot 100 had long since disappeared, and some critics charged that his albums were growing too similar to one another. Perhaps it was a lack of distinctiveness in his material that hurt Jackson's chances for a pop breakthrough; whatever the case, 1992's
Time for Love failed to duplicate the crossover success Luther Vandross was belatedly enjoying, despite a hit cover of the soul classic "Me and Mrs. Jones."
Seeking a new beginning, Jackson parted ways with Capitol in late 1993, and signed with RCA. His label debut, “Here It Is,” appeared the following year, with diminished commercial returns -- in part because his straightforward romantic ballad style was increasingly out of step with the sexually explicit, new breed of R&B crooner. Following a Christmas album, Jackson split with RCA and recorded “Private Party,” for the much smaller Street Life imprint in 1995. Several years of silence ensued, until Orpheus issued “Life After 30” in late 1999; the equally low-key release “Live in Concert’ followed in 2000. After returning to the charts with It's Your Move in February 2004, Jackson released his tenth studio album, “Transitions,” in September 2006 under the record label “Orpheus Music.”
Philip Michael Thomas (May 26, 1949 in Columbus, Ohio) is an actor. Thomas' most famous role is that of detective Ricardo Tubbs on the hit 1980s TV series Miami Vice. His first notable role was opposite Irene Cara in the 1976 film Sparkle. Following his success in Miami Vice, Thomas appeared in numerous made-for-TV movies and advertisements for telephone psychic services. He served as a spokesperson for cell phone entertainment company Nextones, and he supplied the voice for the character Lance Vance on the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. He is mixed race, being of German, Native American, African American and Irish ancestry.
In person, Thomas is a beautiful man with flawless glowing skin and eyes that change colors from green to blue right before your eyes.
Thomas’ personal life made headlines when it was revealed that he had fathered ten children with eight different women. Thomas was also rumored to be involved with singer Dionne Warwick for a brief period.
In 1985, Thomas recorded a music album entitled Living the Book of My Life. It sold poorly and failed to produce a single. Thomas' Miami Vice co-star Don Johnson recorded an album shortly afterward entitled Heartbeat. Although Johnson's album was more successful, producing a top-five single, both albums are commonly regarded with ridicule and are considered prime examples of the hubris of successful performers.
Thomas followed up in 1988 with a second album, Somebody. It also failed to produce a single and sold poorly. In 1993, Thomas teamed with Kathy Rahill to compose My, My, Miam...i, which was chosen as the city of Miami's theme song. That same year, Thomas teamed with Jamaican fitness instructor Sandi Morais to compose songs for a family-friendly musical entitled Sacha, which enjoyed runs in south Florida and New York. The two formed the Magic Cookie Production Company. Thomas also produced the music for Morais' fitness videos in 2001 and 2006.
Thomas has announced plans to release a new CD in 2007 with music from Morais' workout video, Tune-Up. According to Thomas, the CD "will feature an eclectic array of music from exotic Reggae sounds, Latin rhythms and sensual R & B sounds."
In 1994, Thomas signed an agreement with Florida-based Psychic Reader's Network (later known as Traffix, Inc.) to become the spokesman for the Philip Michael Thomas Psychic Connection. He appeared in television spots and claimed to have met the planet's premier psychics through his "world travels". He dressed similarly to his Miami Vice alter ego, even opening the ads with the phrase, "From Miami Vice to world advice!"
Traffix replaced Thomas as spokesman in favor of Miss Cleo. Thomas sued, alleging breach of contract, and won. In 2002, a New York arbitrator awarded Thomas $1.48 million for improper use of his name and likeness, and an additional $780,000 in interest. Thomas also lives quite comfortably off the residuals from “Miami Vice.”
I can honestly say that singer Lisa Fischer is the nicest and classiest person I have ever met in the entertainment industry. When I was starting out as a entertainment reporter, she was so kind, she always made sure I had tickets and all-access backstage passes to interview her or Luther Vandross in or out of the bay area.
In the industry, Lisa Fischer is known as the ‘Diva-For-Hire.’ Her background vocals were in such demand that she did background vocals for Luther Vandross and Mick Jagger simultaneously. On one occasion, Vandross chartered her a private plane at a cost of $60,000 to whisk her from Chicago (where she was touring with the Stones) to join him on tour in London.
Fischer is best known for her 1991 hit single "How Can I Ease the Pain." Fischer was born in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. Before pursuing a solo career, she accompanied R&B singer Luther Vandross on several of his tours and also provided backing vocals for artists including Billy Greene and Melba Moore.
She reached her career peak when she released 1991's "How Can I Ease the Pain" from her only album "So Intense," which won her a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1992. Fischer will be remembered best for her powerful vocals from the Power ballad Colors of Love from the Motion picture soundtrack Made in America. Fischer vanished in the mid 1990s from mainstream attention.
She is currently a session vocalist for both Atlantic Records and GRP Records and has toured as a backup vocalist with the Rolling Stones for the past 17 years. She has also toured as a backup vocalist with Tina Turner.
Source: "Luther: The Life and Longing Of Luther Vandross," by Craig Seymour
Keith Sweat (born Keith Crier on July 22, 1961 in Harlem, New York), is a popular R&B/soul singer, songwriter, record producer and a major contributor to the New Jack Swing era. Before becoming a recording artist, Sweat worked for the commodities market in the New York Mercantile Exchange. He sang at nightclubs throughout New York City until he was discovered and offered a recording contract with Elektra Records in 1987.
Sweat started his musical career as a member of a well-known Harlem band called "Jamilah" in 1975. With the help of Jamilah, Sweat was able to hone his craft as a lead singer by performing regionally throughout the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The group was started by Larry Peebles, a talented bass player from 116th Street and Lenox Avenue, Michael Samuels, guitarist out of the Bronx, and drummer Walter Bradley from 125th in Harlem. Jamilah included several members who came in and out of the group. On November 25, 1987, Sweat released his debut album Make It Last Forever, which sold three million copies. The biggest hit from this album was "I Want Her" (#1 R&B/#5 Pop), and the title track from the album was 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 #6 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, which made them Sweat's biggest hits to date. The song "Just A Touch," with Kut Klose providing background vocals, was also on the album and, although it didn't take off and become a top 3 hit like the two aforementioned songs, it has earned a more regular spot on radio playlists. "Just A Touch" was a cover of the song "Just a Touch of Love" from a 1979 Slave album titled Just a Touch of Love. That would mean the people who were 30 or younger at the time of the Keith Sweat version may have thought of the song as a new pop tune. But the key demographic for pop music is under the age of 30 and in late 1996, early 1997, most of those people were likely unfamiliar with the original. Having two bona fide hits already on the album it seems like the name recognition would have helped "Just A Touch" do better on the music charts. Keith Sweat obviously liked what he did with the track. "I re-made a great Slave song on this one," he says.
Sweat's success on the charts started to diminish in 2000, when he released the album Didn't See Me Coming. None of the singles managed to make it to the Top 40. They were moderate hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. On August 13, 2002, Keith Sweat released his ninth album, Rebirth. Only one single, "One on One," charted on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #75 and at #44 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. His next album due sometime in 2007 has fared better with its first single, "How Deep Is Your Love" being played on Urban radio stations for about a year before the albums' release.
Keith Sweat has been as successful as an entrepreneur as he was as an artist, he owned a successful nightclub in suburban Atlanta and has recently opened Hotel S in Midtown Atlanta, a high end luxury hotel which caters to business travelers. He has recorded and produced on a song by Keyshia Cole for her upcoming album Tears from a Soldier's Heart
On February 26, 2007, Keith Sweat launched his new R&B/slow jams radio show on 12 stations across America, including WMXD-Detroit, WMIB-Miami, WRBV "V-1017"-Macon and WKUS-Norfolk. Called the Keith Sweat Hotel, Sweat is broadcasting live from his Premiere Radio Networks studio in Atlanta, and will be playing an mélange of cuts from the '70s on through to today.
Al B. Sure! (born Albert Brown on June 4, 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an singer, songwriter, and producer. He grew up in Mount Vernon, New York and during the late 1980s, Al B. Sure! enjoyed a brief run as one of New jack swing's most popular romantic singers and producers.
Brown was a star football running-back in high school, who later turned down a scholarship at the University of Iowa to pursue a career in music. Al's debut album, In Effect Mode, sold more than 2 million copies, launching the double platinum-plus LP to the top of the Billboard charts at the #1 position (R&B) for seven straight weeks. The album included his memorable "Nite and Day" single. In 1987, Quincy Jones selected Al as the first winner of the Sony Innovators Talent Search in a blindfold contest. Subsequently, Al would go on to work with Quincy on several projects; most notable, the platinum single "Secret Garden" from the album Back on the Block, a double platinum CD. Accompanying Al on this quartet were Barry White, El DeBarge, and James Ingram.
Al B Sure! received numerous Grammy nominations, American Music Award nominations as well as an AMA for Best New R&B Artist, several Soul Train Award nominations and STA for Best New Artist, several New York Music Awards, more than thirty ASCAP Awards for writing and composition performance. In addition, Al's 900 phone line was third in generating revenue following boy band New Kids on the Block and Russell Simmons unprecedented discovery and hip-hop legends Run-DMC.
In 2000, ABS Entertainment launched a television development division by being the co-executive producer of the HBO Comedy Special with Jamie Foxx filmed at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California. Al participated in the Bless the Children Foundation celebrity auction along with NFL stars Charles Woodson and Anthony Dorsett. Al was presented with the key to the city of Oakland by Mayor Laurence E. Reid's for his participation through ABS Ken-Struk-Shen in refurbishing the magnificent and historical city of Oakland, making October 19th Al B Sure! day. As a writer and producer, Al has generated some of today's most inspired and innovative music, including his music industry introduction of the multi-platinum group Jodeci, and teen R&B sensation Tevin Campbell, one of Quincy Jones's former protégé's. Al's introduction of Jodeci and production on its multi-platinum debut launched Al B. Sure! as one of the premier and decorative producer-songwriters in the history of the American music business. Al was also credited with introducing many R&B artists such as Faith Evans, Dave Hollister, Case, and Usher Raymond to the music scene.
Al has three sons, a son named Albert Brown IV; a son, Quincy, with Kim Porter; and a son by a woman, thought to be named Tanya in Atlanta.
Currently, Al has teamed up with ABCRN radio mogul and executive vice president Darryl Brown in addition to his Power House syndication team of experienced radio executives Edward Pearson, Hector Hannabal, and Vern Catron. They launched a new nighttime, celebrity-intense, romantic radio show titled "The Secret Garden" hosted by Al B. Sure! Al's vision for the Secret Garden Xperience is a journey into the soul of the listener, supplying non-stop, blazing-hot, romantic, current, and classic music, taking the captive audience wherever it desires to travel, as well as introduce them to the inside of the their favorite celebrity through intriguing yet stimulating conversation (reminiscent of NYC's legendary radio personalities Vaughn Harper and Frankie Crocker).
Angela Winbush (born on January 28 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA) is an R&B/soul singer-songwriter and record producer who rose to fame first as one half of the eighties R&B duo, Rene & Angela and then later as a solo artist and collaborator with The Isley Brothers and she was once married to Ron Isley. Winbush formed a bond with singer Rene Moore, whom she had met at Howard University. The two became a couple and also began writing songs together.
In 1984, they released their breakthrough album, A Street Called Desire the following year. Among the hit singles included on the album was their first R&B number one with the dance single, "Save Your Love (For #1)", which included guest vocals from rapper Kurtis Blow, making it besides Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You", one of the first songs to prominently featured a rapper. Other hit singles included "I'll Be Good", the mostly Winbush-led "Your Smile" was another number one hit while the subsequent "You Don't Have to Cry," hit number two in the beginning of 1986. Eventually A Street Called Desire sold over a million copies going platinum but on the brink of their biggest album, tensions between Winbush and Moore had grown and by the end of the album's promotion, the duo split both personally and professionally. Moore would continue to find success as a songwriter, most notably for Michael Jackson, but he would never again find success as a singer like Winbush.
Winbush also wrote exclusively for Stephanie Mills, with whom she forge a close friendship with. Winbush wrote Mills' 1985 classic, "I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love", which gave Mills her first-ever #1 R&B single. Winbush would later write another Mills number one hit with "Something in the Way You Make Me Feel.”
In 1987, Winbush was introduced to future husband Ronald Isley, lead singer of the influential Isley Brothers after Benny Medina had agreed to ask Winbush to be involved with the Isleys' next record after Isley had proposed plans to work with Winbush. Producing, writing and arranging the Isleys' Smooth Sailin' album, Winbush helped the group, now including just Ronald and Rudolph (eldest brother O'Kelly had passed away in 1986), score a top 10 R&B hit with the title track.
In 2002, Winbush and Isley quietly divorced.
Since starting out with Rene & Angela, Winbush has played an influence on various R&B and hip-hop acts. In the latter genre, Winbush has heard her music being sampled by acts such as The Notorious B.I.G. (who featured her and Jay-Z on his Rene & Angela-sampled "I Love You More" for the song "I Love the Dough"), Foxy Brown (who sampled her "I'll Be Good" for her 1997 top ten hit, "I'll Be") and singer Avant re-recorded the Rene & Angela ballad, "My First Love," with singer Keke Wyatt in 2000.
Since debuting as one-half of Rene & Angela in 1980, Winbush has sold ten million albums and singles worldwide, and has had twenty top forty R&B singles and three number-one R&B singles.
During a 2006 interview on the Christian TV show, Gospel of Music, hosted by Jeff Majors, Winbush disclosed that she'd overcome Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer after 6 months of chemotherapy in 2003. Her undying faith in God also got her through having a cyst (benign) removed from her breast, and she admitted to bouts with depression.
Winbush is working on a brand new album with producer Kaygee, formerly of the group, Naughty by Nature, on his Divine Mill Recordings imprint. A release date has yet to be announced.
When Winbush isn’t producing songs for artists, she lives quite comfortably off her songwriting and producing royalties.
Even though a decade has passed since the end of his professional career, Bo Jackson is still widely regarded as the “benchmark for multi-sport athletes." Not only did he succeed at the highest levels in both football and baseball, he became an icon around the world with two words “Bo Knows." Bo has continued to succeed in life since his premature retirement due to injury with several successful business ventures, including N’Genuity Enterprises.
Born in 1962, in the steel town of Bessemer, Ala., Bo was the eighth of ten children. About his childhood, Bo remarked in his autobiography, Bo Knows Bo, “We never had enough food. But at least I could beat on other kids and steal their lunch money and buy myself something to eat. But I couldn’t steal a father. I couldn’t steal a father’s hug when I needed it.” Because of a crippling stuttering problem, Bo did not show his talents in the classroom, but on the athletic field as an exceptional baseball and football player. After accepting a scholarship from Auburn University, Bo was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 1985 after rushing for 1,786 yards. When Bo Jackson came out of college as the best football player in the country, he shocked the sports world by deciding to play both professional football and baseball. This was unheard of, but not only did he play two sports, he starred and excelled in both sports.
Bo made a national name for himself as a Major League Baseball player from 1986-1995 for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels. He ended his baseball career with a .250 batting average, 141 homeruns, and 415 RBI in 2,393 at-bats. As a running back for the Los Angeles Raiders from 1987-1992, after the MLB season concluded, Bo averaged an impressive 5.4 yards per carry and dazzled television audiences with his many highlights.
Unfortunately, at the height of his stardom Jackson’s football career was cut short and his baseball career hindered by a serious hip injury caused in an NFL game. Bo’s hip was eventually replaced and his career as a marquee, all-star athlete was virtually over, although he did play two more baseball seasons with an artificial hip.
However, Bo was just beginning his new life, a career in business and as one of the nation’s most sought after motivational speakers, amazing considering his childhood stuttering problem. Keeping a promise he made to his mother before she died of cancer in 1992, Bo went back to Auburn and earned a college degree in family and child development in 1995.
Since that time he has helped to found N’Genuity, opened a motorcycle shop outside of Chicago and partnered with Charles Barkley in an Alabama restaurant. Bo has continued to show that perseverance, determination, and vision are the key ingredients to succeeding in any venture, athletic or otherwise. Bo currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago, IL with his wife Linda (a doctor) and their two sons, Garrett and Nicholas, and daughter, Morgan.
Source: “The Connecticut Forum.”
*I met Grace Jones a few years ago at her birthday party. She is outrageous and she's shorter than you expect. Few people know, when Jones first arrived in New York to model, she roomed with another model. That model was Jerry Hall (the future Mrs. Mick Jagger). Jones also allegedly posed in a risque layout with another woman in “Hustler Magazine in the 1970's.”
Grace Jones (was born Grace Mendoza on May 19, 1948, in Spanish Town, Jamaica).
The daughter of a preacher, her parents took Grace and her twin brother, Bishop Noel Jones, to relocate to Syracuse, New York. Before becoming a successful model in New York and Paris, Grace studied theatre at Syracuse University.
Jones secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance club hits and a large gay following. The three disco albums she recorded — Portfolio (1977), Fame (1978), and Muse (1979) — generated considerable success in that market. During this period, she also became a muse to Andy Warhol, who photographed her extensively. Jones also accompanied him to famed New York City nightclub Studio 54 on many occasions.
Towards the end of the 1970s, Jones adapted the emerging New Wave music to create a different style for herself. Still with Island, and now working with producers Alex Sadkin and Chris Blackwell, she released the acclaimed albums Warm Leatherette (1980) and Nightclubbing (1981). These included re-imaginings of songs by Sting, Iggy Pop, The Pretenders, Roxy Music, Flash and the Pan, The Normal, Ástor Piazzolla and Tom Petty, as well as originals like the Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 single "Pull Up to the Bumper" and the Top 40 hit, "Demolition Man."
Jones' work as an actress in mainstream film first began with the role of Zula, the amazon in the 1984 film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain. Prior to this she appeared in low-budget films, often with sexually explicit content. She next landed the role of May Day, in the 1985 James Bond movie A View to a Kill.
She appeared in a number of other motion pictures including the 1986 vampire film, Vamp (wherein she used her Keith Haring body paint as part of her role as a vampiric exotic dancer) as well as the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang - for which she recorded the title song - in 1992. In 2001, she appeared alongside Tim Curry in Wolf Girl (aka Blood Moon), as a transvestite circus freakshow performer named Christoph/Christine. She also appeared in an episode of the Beastmaster television series as the Impatra Warrior.
In 1981, Grace Jones slapped chat show host Russell Harty across the face live on air after he turned to interview other guests. This topped a 2006 BBC poll of the most shocking TV chat show moments.
She was featured in the September 1987 issue of Playboy magazine with Dolph Lundgren.
In September 1998, Jones was banned from all Disney properties worldwide after baring her breasts in a concert at Walt Disney World.
In April 2005, Jones was accused of verbally abusing a Eurostar train manager in a quarrel over a ticket upgrade and was either escorted off the train or left on her own accord, later saying she was mistreated.
Jones dated Dolph Lundgren in the 1980s. In February 1996, Jones was married to a bodyguard named Atila Altaunbay. She has a son named Apollo from her previous relationship with Jean-Paul Goude. As of August 18th, 2006 she was engaged to Ivor Guest, the 4th Viscount Wimborne.
Grace Jones continues to perform. In November 2004, she sang her hit "Slave to the Rhythm" at a tribute concert for Trevor Horn at Wembley Arena. She received rave reviews, despite being absent in the music scene for some time. In February 2006, Jones was the celebrity runway model for Diesel's show in New York. Producer Ivor Guest has confirmed that Grace has completed recording her new album, due out in 2007.
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Keith Washington hails from Detroit and is one member of a large family. He, actually, has 17 brothers and sisters! He was among the up-and-coming ballad stylists in the '90's Urban Contemporary generation.
Signed to Quincy Jones Qwest label, Washington rode to fame with his 1991 LP 'Make Time for Love'. The album was enormously popular on the British soul scene.
The song 'Kissing You' was an R & B smash, and later was heard as background music on an NBC soap opera.
Washington issued the follow-up LP 'You Make It Easy' in 1993, the title track being very popular. The album featured production chores by George Duke and the late Gerald LeVert.
After a lengthy absence, he resurfaced in 1998 with "KW."
Little is known about Washington’s personal life but we do know that he was married to a black flight attendant at one time.
Shortly after the release of “Kissing You,” Washington was summoned by Aretha Franklin to perform at her birthday celebration, which has featured performances by the Temptations in the past.
Washington has a Billy Dee Williams look but surprisingly, in person, he is of very small statue but that didn’t stop him from gaining a reputation as a dapper Casanova. Women became considerably attached to him over the years, when he was single.
Washington allegedly sold the publishing rights to “Kissing You” to a soap opera for an astronomical sum, allegedly, he rarely performs this song in concert to avoid paying a publishing fee.
Washington is currently appearing in a play based on Marvin Gaye’s life, titled “My Brother Marvin.”
Source: Soul Walking.com
Raised in New York by a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother, Angela Bofill was a student of many styles of music, from the latin sounds played regularly by her family to the soul and jazz sounds of her neighborhood in the Bronx. She began singing professionally as a teenager as a member of New York’s All City Voices and as featured lead soloist for the Dance Theater of Harlem.
After completing her studies in California, Bofill was introduced by her friend, jazz flutist Dave Valentin, to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen of GRP records, and they signed her for her 1978 debut, "Angie" (produced by Ashford & Simpson). The album was a breakout smash on contemporary jazz radio and the tastefully arranged jazz vocal disc showed a gifted young artist with a rich voice beyond her years. Featuring a number of great cuts, including most notably a cover of “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter,” Angie became one of the year’s biggest jazz albums. She followed it in 1979 with the even better "Angel of the Night," a more muscular album that showed she had the chops to handle upbeat material like the title cut and the fantastic “What I Wouldn’t Do” as well as softer tracks such as “I Try” (later beautifully remade by Will Downing).
Sensing a star in the making, Clive Davis and Arista Records bought out Angela’s GRP contract and teamed her with hot writer/producer Narada Michael Walden for "Something About You," an attempt at a more straight-ahead pop/soul album. While some of Bofill’s jazz fans balked at the new album, it was undoubtedly a critical success, providing her with some of the best material of her career, including the stepper “Holding Out For Love” and the wonderful ballads “Break It To Me Gently” and Earl Klugh’s “You Should Know By Now.” It was one of 1982’s best albums and still sounds great today (it was reissued in expanded form in 2002). Unfortunately, Arista pulled a rare blunder in its choices of singles to be released from the album, and the disc never received the props it deserved.
She teamed up again with Walden in 1983 for "Too Tough," which was even more directly aimed at the urban market, with a funk-laded title cut and very little resembling her earlier jazz stylings. And while it became her highest charting album on the R&B charts, it was at the expense of her loyal jazz following, which never really came back. She again teamed with Walden for Teaser, which featured the nice ballad, “I’m On Your Side.”
Whether singing jazz, soul or funk, and regardless of the quality of material she worked with, Bofill always got the most out of her material and made even poorly produced work sound better than it should.
She recorded two more modestly successful albums for Arista (with the help of the System and George Duke) before moving to Capitol and producer extraordinaire Norman Connors for "Intuition," in 1988. It was her last notable chart success. She recorded three more albums over the next eight years of varying quality, and provided backing vocals on a number of other albums, most notably Connors’ excellent "Eternity" in 2000, where she sounded as wonderful as ever.
She’s appeared in a number of stage plays over the last few years, including “God Don’t Like Ugly” and “What A Man Wants, What A Man Needs.” She's also regularly toured the US and Europe in multi-artist jazz artist shows.
In January, 2006, Bofill suffered a massive stroke that left her paralyzed on her left side. It's doubtful she will ever perform or record again.
Bofill, 53, was eventually released from intensive care and will require speech and physical therapy. She was uninsured, so many of her friends organized benefit concerts to raise money for her medical treatment. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington. Source: Soul Tracks.com
Leon Preston Robinson, IV (born March 8, 1963 in Manhattan, New York) is an actor and singer. Robinson, usually credited as simply Leon, made his professional debut on the CBS Afternoon Playhouse production "Journey to Survival" in 1981. He became a part of popular music history when he was cast as Jesus in Madonna's controversial 1989 music video "Like a Prayer." Leon first made an impression on movie audiences as Derice Bannock, the exuberant captain of the Jamaican bobsled team in Cool Runnings in 1993.
Leon was born in Manhattan, but raised in the middle class suburb of Mount Vernon. The only son of a transit authority executive and a teacher, Leon migrated to Los Angeles to play basketball for Loyola Marymount University before moving into acting. Early roles included a football teammate of Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves (1983) and as Fortune Smith, the Notre Dame-bound basketball playing co-worker of Matt Dillon, in The Flamingo Kid (1984). It was only after his exposure in the Madonna video that Leon's roles became more substantial. He was a member of a singing group trying to give up his womanizing ways while his brother becomes distant in Robert Townsend's The Five Heartbeats (1991). In 1993, he co-starred as John Lithgow's British henchman out to get Sylvester Stallone in Renny Harlin's Cliffhanger and followed with a turn as a disillusioned ex-jock in Above the Rim (1994). Leon was also memorable as Lela Rochon's married lover in Waiting to Exhale (1996) and co-produced as well as co-starred in the romantic drama The Price of Kissing (1997).
Before striking it on the big screen, Leon amassed numerous small screen credits, notably in a 1989 episode of the NBC series Midnight Caller in which he played an athlete who falls victim to crack cocaine. He also co-starred in the 1989 ABC miniseries "The Women of Brewster Place," as the boyfriend of a suburbanite (played by Robin Givens). Leon has received critical acclaim for his portrayal of two legendary singers in made-for-TV movies: David Ruffin in the 1998 NBC miniseries The Temptations and Little Richard in the self-titled 2000 NBC movie based on the life of the rock-and-roll pioneer. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his performance as Little Richard. Leon has also had recurring roles on television series such as Oz and Resurrection Blvd. and briefly hosted his own late-night talk show, "The L-Bow Room,” on BET.
Currently, Leon is devoting most of his time to singing. Leon is the lead vocalist of his own band, Leon and the Peoples. He recently performed at The Canal Room in New York City with "The Peoples," and the group released an album, titled "The Road Less Traveled"
Leon is very private about his personal life but this is what we do know: He was involved with black model Cynthia Bailey and they have a daughter together. It’s unclear on whether they are still together.
When Leon isn’t spending time with his family or band he enjoys hanging out with best friends Denzel Washington, Bob Johnson (BET founder) and Butch Lewis (boxing promoter). These four men have been best friends for years.
O'Bryan (Born O'Bryan Burnette II in September 10, 1961 in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina) was known as a singer, dancer, songwriter, and producer that managed to cut up to nine singles that made the Billboard R&B top 40 throughout the first half of the 1980s, as well as record four full-length albums for Capitol Records. He also known for making the theme song for the popular urban music performance show Soul Train in the early 1980s.
O'Bryan got into the business after a female friend (whom he met in the choir that he sang in with as a young adult in Southern California) married Ron Kersey. Kersey who had worked in Philadelphia with music groups such as the Trammps in the 1970's, was looking for members for a new group he was forming. Kersey accepted O'Bryan into a group. The group quickly fell apart, but Kersey introduced O'Bryan to Soul Train impresario Don Cornelius, who helped O'Bryan land a deal with Capitol Records in 1981. He also was chosen to perform the theme song for Soul Train called "Soul Train's a Comin'" in 1983 which was used in the introduction sequence from 1983 to 1987.
O'Bryan began recording tracks for Capitol and finally released his debut effort Doin' Alright in 1982. As a multi-instrumentalist, his uptempo tracks resembled the tracks produced by the mainstream Prince, though he treads far closer to the urban contemporary mainstream on ballads such "Slow Jams." Although he had similarities in music to African-American R&B pop stars such as the early solo Michael Jackson and Prince, his music was considered "too black" by many listeners and felt he could not experience the crossover success his popular counterparts did. His first album's biggest track and hit, 'The Gigolo,' made number five on the R&B top 40 and but only scraped the bottom of Billboard top 50.
After experiencing more than moderate success in the African-American soul and funk music circuit as well light success in the popular music front, he quickly released his second album You and I in 1983. Although it was considered by some fans not as 'soulful' and 'classic' as his debut album, it still managed to produce and Be My Lover in 1984 which included the hit "Lovelite," which the video music included former Penthouse pet Monique Gabrielle as a topless dancer in a power plant.
He released his fourth and final album album on Capitol called Surrender in 1986 which spawned the signature latter-mid 80s dance soul hit "Tenderoni", which reached the R&B Billboard top 40 and was considered a club hit in early 1987. He hasn’t released any new material since then.
It has always been an unsubstantiated rumor that O’Bryan and Don Cornelius had a falling out and his career was blackballed from the point on.
O’Bryan reportedly lives in the Midwest and allegedly works in retail. He shares custody of a teenaged daughter with a black model.
Howard Hewett (Born October 1, 1955 in Akron, Ohio) is an R&B and gospel singer and former lead vocalist of the R&B group Shalamar. Hewett was discovered in a club, he was slow dancing with a girl and singing along to the record. His singing caught the attention of an “Earth, Wind & Fire,” member.
Raised in Akron, Ohio, Hewett moved to Los Angeles and, after a stint as a dancer on Soul Train, became a member of Shalamar, along with fellow Soul Train dancers Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel. The trio is best known for songs such as "Second Time Around," "A Night to Remember," "Dancing in the Sheets" and the ballad "This Is For The Lover In You." Hewett was the group's lead singer from 1979 until 1985.
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," a relatively solid urban album that yielded two R&B hits, "I’m For Real" and "Stay." The album also included "Say Amen," a gospel tune that became a surprise hit on the Gospel charts and is Hewett's signature song. In 1990, Hewett released a self-titled album, which included the hit "Show Me," and 1992 saw the release of the LP "Allegiance," which was not received as well as previous albums.
After 1995’s It’s Time, Hewett stopped recording solo, spending much of his time providing guest vocals on albums by jazz artists such as Joe Sample, Brian Culbertson, and George Duke, among others. In 2001, Hewett recorded his first full gospel album, The Journey, followed a year later by The Journey Live: From the Heart.
Shalamar was trying to reunite for a reunion tour but Jody Watley refused and the plans were scrapped.
Hewitt currently resides in Los Angeles with his fourth wife. He also has seven children from his marriages. His son Christopher is by former wife Nia Peeples.
Hewitt also collects royalties on hits he co-wrote for Shalamar (For The Lover and You) and hits he wrote for his solo career.
Hewett continues to tour and perform throughout the country, at R&B festivals and Jazz festivals.
In October 2006, Hewett released a new single, "Enough" (with jazz legend George Duke), which has received substantial play on urban contemporary and R&B radio stations. Hewett is signed to "The Groove Records," an independent label based in Los Angeles.
Alexander O'Neal was born in Natchez, Mississipi, but moved to Minneapolis when he was 20. He joined a group called "The Mystics" and played the local cover band circuit. O'Neal spent a short time in a group "Enterprise," before being recruited into "Flyte Tyme,” a band that included Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Monte Moir. They would later sign to Prince's “Paisley Park,” label with their name changed to “The Time,” a disagreement with Prince led to O'Neal leaving the band and being replaced as lead singer by Morris Day.
O'Neal immediately formed a rock and roll band called "Alexander,” and recorded a 12" single "Playroom" for a Chicago-based independent label.
Three years later in 1984, O'Neal signed a deal with Clarance Avant's “Tabu Records.” He did some backing vocals for other artists on the label, including:
The SOS Band – He can be heard on one their most famous hits "The Finest."
Cherrelle – He also did numerous duets, including hits “Saturday Love,” and “Never Knew Love Like This.”
In 1985 O'Neal released his self-titled album, filled with streamlined grooves, including the funk jam, Innocent. The song was a funky Jam/Lewis groove, featuring The Secret - (Monte Moir, Cherrelle, Jellybean Johnson, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis). The song lasts 10 minutes and consists of some exceptional guitar and keyboard solos.
Alex's 1987 release, titled “Hearsay,” includes the smash hit “Fake.” Fake is arguably one of the best songs ever made to feature the "Minneapolis Funk" sound, the song was also nominated for a Soul Train Music Award for Single of the Year (Male).
The biggest single from the album was “Criticize,” which was his biggest hit in the UK peaking at number four in the singles charts. "Hearsay" sold over 700,000 copies in the UK alone.
The 1988 album, "My Gift to You," was a successful holiday release.
In 1989 “Hearsay,” was released once again but in the form of a remix album "Alex All Mixed Up".
In 1990 he went on a world tour and is still to this day the ‘only black singer to ever sell out 6 straight nights at London's Wembley Arena.’
One of these performances was put out on VHS Video called "Live In London." His raunchy on stage antics provided the inspiration for Madonna’s controversial bed scene during her "Blonde Ambition Tour," some years later.
Based in Minneapolis, he frequently commutes to Britain, which he sees as his "second home.” His six albums have charted both in the UK and the US and he has enjoyed numerous sell-out tours. Unlike in the United States, O’Neal has a very lucrative overseas career; he is considered a superstar in Europe and he is paid handsomely.
At present, O'Neal is signed with the UK based Eminence Records. In 2005, he recorded his first live album, Alexander O'Neal Live at Hammersmith Apollo. It's a collection of his favorites and biggest hits from his career. With his personal love of performing on stage and constant tour support from his fans it was a clear progression for him to deliver the live experience in the form of an album. He has handpicked tracks that traverse the success of his career singing alongside a 12-piece band.
O'Neal's first Live DVD, taken from a performance at London's Hammersmith Apollo in March 2006 in due out in January 2007. It includes a duet with J.C. Bentley who substitutes for Cherelle on “Saturday Love.”
O'Neal has eight children, Carlton, Catrice, Harmoneey Lee, Alexandra, Luise, Seanna, Al and Faith. He is married to Cynthia (his third wife).
Prince needed an outlet for his R&B. The music was funky and easy to dance to but he couldn't put it out himself. He couldn't be labeled strictly R&B and alienate his pop fans. He needed a band to play this funky music so Prince created the “Time.” Prince would start working on the first album for “The Time,” before the band ever set eyes on each other. During two weeks in April of 1981, the album, “The Time,” was recorded in Prince's basement studio. Prince's voice is audible on the final mix of the album. The album went platinum. The Time’s second album, “What Time Is It?” was released in 1982. “What Time Is It?” would go on to sell over 750,000 copies. As done previously, the band would go out and tour with Prince on his “1999,” tour, also dubbed the Triple Threat Tour due to the presence of “Vanity 6,” a girl group Prince had constructed. With the success from “777-9311,” and “The Walk,” not to mention their undeniable funk and crazy on-stage antics, Prince was beginning to feel upstaged by “The Time.” On December 16, 1982, Prince decided to modify their performance. This caused increasing tension between the two camps.
In1983, Prince demoted the band and cut back their tour dates. They didn't play in Los Angeles, New York and Detroit.. The band would eventually breakup . With the breakup of his band, that same year, Morris Day began his solo career. The modest to mediocre sales of his solo albums such as “Daydreaming,” and his most commercially viable solo album, “Guaranteed,” was a terrible blow his career. Around this time, Day married Judy (a background singer for Lou Rawls). The couple had a son, Jason. They are now divorced.
It wasn't until 1990, when the Time scored a #1 R&B hit with "Jerk Out" (a dance cut) from their reunited fourth album: “Pandemonium.” This album also featured the original members of the band. The same year, Day formed his own girl band (not unlike Prince's Vanity/Apollonia 6) called The Day Zs. The group's first and only album release was produced by Day and he sang on one of the tracks called "Green Acres." From that high point, Day's success began to wane in the1990’s. The general decline of Prince's popularity soon after did not help and Day's public visibility and creative output waned considerably.
Today, he remains a popular concert draw, fronting a revamped lineup of The Time. Day continues to employ Jerome Benton in his stage shows and the comic scenes the two act out together are typically the highlight of a Time performance. He has also appeared regularly in local television commercials for a Toyota dealership in the Atlanta, Georgia area where he currently resides. Source: Everything2.com
Vocalist/bassist Michael Henderson has enjoyed successful careers as a singer, musician, songwriter and producer. He moved from Yazoo City, Mississippi to Detroit in the early '60s, and was a session player. As a 13-year-old, Henderson played bass with the Fantastic Four, Detroit Emeralds, Billy Preston, and other Motown acts in 1964 and 1965. Behind bassist James Jameson (The Funk Brothers), Henderson was considered the second best bass player to ever come through Motown and he was only 13 at the time.
He later toured with Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin before joining Miles Davis. Henderson played and toured with Davis for seven years. When he met drummer/producer Norman Connors, Henderson pitched him some songs. Connors recorded "Valentine Love" on his "Saturday Night Special," featuring Henderson with Jean Carne. This was his vocal debut, and it reached number ten on the RB chart. Henderson wrote two other hits for the LP, "We Both Need Each Other" and "You Are My Starship," which peaked at number four.
Those successes landed Henderson his own Buddah deal in 1976, and in 1978 he got his first Top 10 RB hit with "Take Me I'm Yours" for Buddah. Henderson recorded for Buddah from 1976 to 1983, earning his biggest hit in 1980 with "Wide Receiver," a number four hit. He moved to EMI in 1986. Henderson also recorded "Can't We Fall in Love Again" with Phyllis Hyman on her own LP, and sang with Bobby Womack and Johnnie Taylor, as well as producing the Dramatics (Be My Girl).
He also helped discover Cherrelle, who was his next door neighbor in the late '70s. She sang background and toured with him for four years. Women use to faint at his concerts, he stood 6'5, had a sexy voice and he was extremely handsome. In the 80's, he was the opening act for Ashford & Simpson.
Henderson retired in 1986. Although known primarily for ballads, he was an influential funk player whose riffs and songs have been widely covered. To date his solo recordings have sold well over one million albums.
In recent years, he has experienced a resurgence in popularity as many of his bass riffs have been imitated by players seeking the fat, deep grooves of the Motown sound. His bass riffs, from such hits as "Valentine Love" and "You are my Starship," have been sampled by the likes of Snoop Dogg and L.L. Cool J, and his songs have been covered by Rick James, Wayman Tisdale, and Sugar Ray, among others.
He currently lives in Las Vegas and plays shows intermittently of his solo material as well as that of other Motown and soul musicians. He has also played reunion concerts with other former members of the Miles electric bands.
(THE COPS WHO BEAT RODNEY KING)
Sergeant Stacy Koon served two years in federal prison. Shortly before his parole in 1995, an unsuccessful attempt was made on his life. Koon continues to believe that his actions may have saved Rodney King’s life, huh? Looking back, Koon says, “I wouldn’t change what happened one iota.” Surprisingly, fellow black officers considered Koon to be committed to racial equity. One black officer on the force said, “Stacey is a guy you can walk up to and he’ll give you the shirt off his back.” In recent years, Koon-ineligible as a convicted felon to serve on a police force-sought satisfaction in part-time paralegal work and in being a “house husband.”
Laurence Powell was convicted of violating the civil rights of Rodney King. As a result of his conviction, Powell served two years in Federal Prison. After serving his time, Powell had difficulty finding work and chose instead to enroll in school. He continues to keep a low profile.
Theodore Briseno always insisted he stepped in between King and the baton-swinging Laurence Powell. Briseno said he did so to stop the beating. Powell claimed he did so to warn him to get back so that he wouldn’t get struck by Koon’s electric stun gun. Despite his two acquittals, Briseno was dismissed from the LAPD because his testimony against fellow officers violated the “code of silence.” Briseno found obtaining work as a police officer difficult. He took a job as a private security officer.
Timothy Wind was tried twice, once in Simi Valley on state charges and once in federal court. He was acquitted in both trials. Wind’s connection with the King case made his life very difficult. He faced large debts, joblessness, personal threats and three stress-induced surgeries. Fired in 1994, Wind took work as a community service officer in Culver City, California.
Source: King Key Figures & The Faculty Projects.
MARY JANE GIRLS:
Just as Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6 wouldn't have existed without Prince, the Mary Jane Girls were created by Rick James and were very much a product of the funkster's imagination. The group's name was coined in the late '70s, when James hired them as background singers for his Stone City Band. The Mary Jane Girls (whose name underscored James' fondness for marijuana) soon became an actual group, and in the early '80s were signed to Motown (the R&B powerhouse for which James and his protégée Teena Marie had been recording). With a lineup consisting of Joanne "Jojo" McDuffie (the main singer), Candice "Candi" Ghant, Kim "Maxi" Wuletich, and Ann "Cheri" Bailey, the Mary Jane Girls portrayed various characters James had developed -- while JoJo was the tough street chick and Candi was the glamorous supermodel, Cheri was the cutesy Valley Girl and Maxi was the whip-toting, handcuff-carrying dominatrix in black leather. In 1985, Ann "Cheri" Bailey was replaced by Yvette "Corvette" Marine.
James did all of the writing and producing on the Mary Jane Girls' self-titled debut album of 1983 (which boasted such hits as the infectious "Candy Man" and the sexy, irresistible "All Night Long") as well as on the group's sophomore effort of 1985, Only Four You. That album contained the number three R&B hit "In My House" and the number ten R&B hit "Wild and Crazy Love." The only song James didn't write for the group was a 1986 cover of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons' "Walk Like a Man," which was included in the comedy film A Fine Mess.
Regrettably, the Mary Jane Girls never recorded a third album. James had a major falling out with Motown in the mid-'80s, and this would lead to the group's breakup. When Ghant was working at the music-industry trade magazine Black Radio Exclusive in 1986, she told On the Scene magazine that she hoped to see the Mary Jane Girls continue and work with hit producers/songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. But that never came about. By 1987, the group had officially broken up. Allegedly, The girls returned to doing backup vocals for various artists the following year.
In 2001 Jojo, Candi & Maxi appeared on daytime talk show Jenny Jones. They announced that they still toured with James & the Stone City Band, and they were involved (as strictly singers) in various Burlesque shows. They did let viewers know that they wanted to make a comeback, but were waiting for the perfect opportunity.
The group reunited in 2002, but for unknown reasons Jojo decided not to return. She was replaced by 80's singer Val Young. Young (also known as Lady V) had originally recorded "In My House,” but the song didn't make the final cut of her 1985 album "Seduction.” But yet another setback occurred when James died in his sleep in 2004. Talks of a reunion were once again cut short.
Jojo is currently a songwriter and works behind the scenes. Maxi Is a "Soulfood" cook who caters to celebrities. Candi owns a production company where she manages and produces her own artists. Cheri formed her own music group "Miss Lady.” Corvette has her own U.S. television show "In The Mix with Yvette, which Profiles the lives of today's hottest celebrities.
~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide
Peabo Bryson (born Robert Peabo Bryson on April 13, 1951) is an R&B and soul singer, born in Greenville, South Carolina. He is well known for singing soft-rock ballads, often as a duo with female singers, and his contribution to several Disney animated feature soundtracks.
Bryson won a Grammy Award in 1992 for his performance of the song "Beauty and the Beast" with Céline Dion and another in 1993 for "A Whole New World" (Aladdin's Theme) with Regina Belle.
Peabo's greatest solo hits include 1978's "Feel The Fire" and "I'm So Into You" and the 1985 hit "If Ever You're In My Arms Again". In 1985, he appeared on the soap opera One Life to Live to sing a lyrical version of its theme song. Bryson's vocals were added to the regular theme song in 1987 and his voice was heard daily until 1992.
Bryson has also performed in theater and operatic productions, most notably the tenor role of "Sportin' Life" in the Michigan Opera Theater of Detroit's version of Porgy and Bess.
One evening, Peabo went on a double date with Sugar Ray Leonard and his wife Juanita. Although Juanita was with Sugar Ray and Peabo was with another woman, he made a mental note, "If Juanita and Sugar ever divorce, he would make it a point to contact Juanita."
When the couple divorced, Peabo and Juanita dated for a few years and broke up. During this time, Peabo occupied a lavish penthouse in Atlanta and owned a few radio stations. He was also a clotheshorse who once purchased a sweater in San Francisco for nearly $1,000 dollars but everything came crashing down.
His tax problems caught up with him on August 21, 2003, when the Internal Revenue Service seized property from his Atlanta, Georgia, home. He is reported to owe $1.2 million in taxes going back to 1984. The IRS auctioned off many of his possessions, including both Grammy Awards, electronic equipment and grand piano.
Despite this, Peabo continues to tour across the country performing in small venues.
Total is an R&B girl group and one of the signature acts of Diddy's "Bad Boy Records," during the 1990s.
Total made their first appearance singing the hook on The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut single, "Juicy." Garnering attention for the new group, they were also featured on the rappers "Hip Hop Remix" of his next single "One More Chance." They then immediately hit the studio with Bad Boy Records CEO Sean "Puffy" Combs and began work on their debut album. The first single "Can't You See?," had The Notorious B.I.G. returning the favor with a guest rhyme. Despite collaboration with their now big-star labelmate and the track's appearance on the "New Jersey Drive Soundtrack," the single only peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their self-titled debut album was released shortly thereafter, however, and produced four top ten singles, "No One Else" (and its remix featuring Foxy Brown, Lil' Kim and Da Brat) and '"Kissing You" (and its remix featuring Sean "Puffy" Combs). The album was certified platinum by the RIAA.
While recording their second album, they appeared on numerous top ten singles, including LL Cool J's "Loungin'/Who Do U Love?," Foxy Brown's "I Can't," and Mase's "What You Want" and Pam sang the chorus to the massive "Hypnotize" by The Notorious B.I.G. The group also released another single, the Missy Elliott and Timbaland track "What About Us" from the "Soul Food" soundtrack.
Their follow-up album, Kima, Keisha, and Pam, debuted to strong reviews, sales, and was certified gold by the RIAA. The first single, another Missy Elliott collaboration, "Trippin'" reached the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their next release, "Sitting Home," sampling The Whitehead Bros., "Forget I Was A G," didn't garner the same attention. Despite this, in Bad Boy tradition it did get a second life in the hip hop community when a remix of the track featured controversial artist Shyne.
After the release of Kima, Keisha, and Pam, in 2000, the trio were featured on the track "(I Wonder Why) He's the Greatest DJ" for Tony Touch's album "The Piecemaker." They also contributed to a few soundtracks (Crave, Quick Rush, Let Me Breathe) and in their last official appearance together were thanked in the credits for their collaboration with Da Beatminerz and Talib Kweli - Anti-Love Movement in 2001. After no output from the group for four years, in 2005 Pam released a solo track on the Syncity "2AM Heat, Vol. 2" mixtape called "Lose Control," announcing she was "doing it big right now." Her claims were unfounded however, as the track did not go beyond this mixtape release.
Most recently, it is reported that Kima has rejoined the group and an additional fourth member has been added. Keisha (Now known as Keisha Epps) is happily married to actor Omar Epps, and is living in California. Pamela Long still lives in New Jersey and she is a faithful member at Agape Family Worship Center located in Rahway, NJ. Total is currently at work on their new album.
Terence Trent d'Arby emerged in 1987 amid a storm of publicity. Claiming his debut record was the best since Sgt. Pepper and he compared his musical talent to Prince. His brash arrogance captured headlines throughout the U.K., eventually winding their way back to America -- which, ironically, is the exact opposite of how d'Arby conducted his career.
During the early '80s, d'Arby was a soldier for the United States Army. While posted in Germany, he joined a funk band called Touch, which marked the beginning of his musical career. After leaving the Army, he moved to London, where he recorded the demo tape that led to his record contract with CBS. D'Arby's first single, "If You Let Me Stay," rocketed into the U.K. Top Ten upon its release. Its accompanying album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent d'Arby, was also a massive success, hitting number one and spending over a year in the top half of the chart.
D'Arby didn't have a major hit in the U.S. until 1988, when the sparse funk of "Wishing Well" hit number one. The ballad "Sign Your Name" followed it into the Top Five and Introducing ended up selling over two million copies.
All of the success -- both commercial and critical -- had d'Arby poised as a major act, artistically and popularly. D'Arby's mix of soul, rock, pop, and R&B recalled Prince in its scope and sound, yet his sensibility was grittier and earthier. At least they were at first. By the time of his second album, 1989's Neither Fish nor Flesh, his ambitions were more nakedly pretentious. The record carried the weighty subtitle "A Soundtrack of Love, Faith, Hope & Destruction" and attacked many self-consciously important themes, including homophobia and environmental destruction. In addition to the self import of the lyrics, the music added a variety of new textures, from Indian drones to straight-ahead '50s R&B.
All of the added baggage was too much for his audience and Neither Fish nor Flesh dropped off the charts quickly, without so much as one hit single. It took d'Arby a full four years to record a new album. When Terence Trent d'Arby's Symphony or Damn -- an album containing many of the same ideas as Neither Fish nor Flesh, only better executed -- was released in 1993, it received favorable reviews, as well as some airplay on modern rock radio stations and MTV. It was enough for d'Arby to regain some credibility, yet it wasn't enough to make the album a hit. Two years later, he released TTD's Vibrator, which received the same fate as Symphony or Damn.
Though d'Arby didn't make his commercial return until the early 2000s with Wildcard!, he remained active during the intervening years. He extracted himself from Sony and signed on with Glen Ballard's Java; an album titled Terence Trent d'Arby's Soular Return was recorded but never released. In 1999, he fronted INXS for the group's performance at the opening of Sydney's Olympic Stadium; later that year, he could be seen on TV as Jackie Wilson in the mini-series Shake, Rattle and Roll. After obtaining the rights to his Java album, he went about starting his Sananda label and eventually issued Wildcard! through the Internet. D'Arby had his name legally changed to Sananda Maitreya and, by the end of 2003, Wildcard! had received official release in most territories. ~
Source: Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ready for the World is a R&B / funk / dance band from Flint, Michigan, who scored several big pop, soul, and dance hits in the mid to late 1980s. Founded by Melvin Riley and Gordon Strozier in Flint, Michigan.
They had performed throughout Flint at high school talent shows and were discovered by WJLB Detroit Radio personality The Incredible DJ MOJO in 1982. They gained regional notoriety with their first release "Tonight" in 1983. "Tonight" was an underground hit in Flint and Detroit which helped garner them national prominence shortly after their signing under the MCA label.
Ready for the World recorded their album "Ready for the World," during 1984 in Flint, Michigan under the production of Bernard Terry. The album showed influences by, and is often compared to the work of Prince from around the same period - in particular the vocal style of Melvin Riley shared many similarities with the aforementioned.
The group consists of vocalist/keyboardist Melvin Riley with Gordon Strozier (Guitar), Gregory Potts (Keyboards), Willie Triplett (Percussion), John Eaton (Bass),and Gerald Valentine (Drums). They are best known for their hit "Oh Sheila," which went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Dance Club Play charts in 1985. The song "Digital Display" followed and hit number 21, and the group returned to the Top 10 in 1987 when "Love You Down" climbed to number nine.
"Oh Sheila," sounded so much like Prince, when Sheila E. first heard it on the radio, she assumed Prince had made a song dedication to her.
When the band later separated in the early 1990s, lead singer Riley went on to record solo albums, one in 1994 and one in 2000. A Ready for the World reunion album followed in 2004, featuring mostly urban ballads.
The group hasn't been heard from since, musically.
Rumors persist that a few of the members are still affiliated with music and the others went back to civilian life.
Cheryl Lynn (born Lynda Cheryl Smith, 11 March 1957, in Los Angeles, California) is a known disco, R&B and soul singer, who scored fame then success beginning in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s.
Lynn's singing career began when she was a young girl in her church choir. But her professional singing career started in 1976 when she landed a job as a backing singer in the national touring company play, The Wiz, before landing the role of Wicked Witch of the West.
Probably the most famous contestant to appear on the maligned The Gong Show, she won the competition in 1976 while singing Joe Cocker's You Are So Beautiful. Lynn later told Dick Clark during her appearance on American Bandstand that record industry executives were calling about her soon after the win.
After signing with Columbia Records, Lynn released her self-titled debut album, Cheryl Lynn. Produced by Toto keyboardist David Paich, the LP featured her first and biggest hit, Got to Be Real which was penned by Paich and Lynn, and has since been called one of the defining moments in disco. The song peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the R&B chart. Lynn would score subsequent successes with such songs as 1979's Star Love, 1981's Shake It Up Tonight, If This World Were Mine - a 1982 duet with Luther Vandross that covered a Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell song, 1984's Encore (#1 R&B hit) - which was written and produced by the Minneapolis funk duo, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and 1989's Every Time I Try To Say Goodbye.
During the new millennium Cheryl has kept herself busy touring Japan and doing the occasional gig in the U.S., performing at charity events in her hometown of Los Angeles. In 2000 she worked with Hip-Hop artist J Supreme on his single Your Love (Encore'), which was an update of her #1 1984 hit Encore. She performed on ABC's The Disco Ball...A 30-Year Celebration, which aired in January 2003. In 2004 she recorded the song, Sweet Kind Of Life, which was also written and produced by Jam & Lewis, for the animated film and soundtrack to Shark Tale.
On September 19, 2005, Lynn's signature song Got to Be Real was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. On May 23, 2006 Collectable's Record Label released Cheryl's 1981 album In The Night and 1982's Instant Love, in a 2-in-1 CD package. It was the first time ever that either album was released as a CD in the U.S. Today Cheryl is preparing a comeback and is in the process of working on a brand new album, currently scheduled to be released before the end of 2007.
Case Woodard was born in New York City and was signed to Def Soul records. He first started working in the R&B industry as a backup singer, working with big name R&B artists like Usher.
In 1996, Case released his self-titled debut album. The album featured "Touch Me Tease Me" with rapper Foxy Brown and R&B singer Mary J. Blige, the hit single from "The Nutty Professor". The single went gold, reaching #4 on the R&B charts and #14 on the Hot 100.
Case's second album, Personal Conversation, was released in 1998 and went gold. The album featured the hit single "Happily Ever After" which reached #3 on the R&B charts and #15 on the Hot 100. The album's other single, "Think Of You" failed to do well on the charts, managing to only reach#50 on the R&B charts.
"Open Letter," Case's most well-known album was released in 2001. The album went gold, likely a result of the single "Missing You." "Missing You" is Case's only #1 single to date as it topped the R&B charts and reached #4 on the Hot 100.
A fourth album from Case, "The Blaxl Rose Xperience," was expected to be released in 2004. However, Case was dropped from the label and talks of the album stopped. Case's most recentsingle, "Shoulda Known Betta (Featuring Ghostface)," reached #87 on the R&B charts in 2004.
The single appeared on the Johnson Family Vacation soundtrack, and was produced by The Neptunes.Case continues to tour, performing on the Ladies Night Out Tour in 2006 with Ginuwine, Jagged Edge and Donnell Jones.
A great deal of Case's success has been due to his appearance on movie soundtracks. Many of Case's most popular tracks appear on the soundtracks for Nutty Professor, Rush Hour, Nutty Professor II and The Best Man. These singles were "Touch Me Tease Me" (Nutty Professor), "Faded Pictures" (Rush Hour), "Best Man I Can Be" (The Best Man) and "Missing You" (Nutty Professor II).
On February 5th 2002, Case was moving his cousin's registered handgun, when it accidentally discharged striking him in the throat nearly missing his spine by a half inch. Case suffered no vocal damage. He remembers looking at his throat in a mirror and trying to sing old negro spirituals. Specifically "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Wade in the Water" which was rumored to be Case's favorite song since youth. He continues to write songs hoping to resurrect his current down sliding career.
On October 4 2006, Skeleton Key Entertainment, the mainstream entertainment division of Mega Media Group, Inc. announced today the signing of a recording contract with R&B sensation, Case. As, he will release the album that he made just before he got dropped by Def Jam records, The Blaxl Rose Xperience. With the help of Blue Williams, the veteran manager who has managed the likes of Outkast, Jagged Edge and Lyfe, he started a record label Indigo blue, with the distribution of Skeleton key records.
Case announced on his website, that we will be releasing a fourth studio album. He's currently working with Timbaland, T-Pain among others. He would like to collaborate with T-Pain, Timbaland, Jill Scott, Michelle Williams from Destiny's Child and probaly Tom DeLonge from Angels and Airwaves. The album is expected to be released sometime in 2008.
Atlantic Starr were a 1980's R&B band. Their biggest hits were: "Always" and "Secret Lovers."
The group was started in 1976 in White Plains, New York by three brothers: David Lewis (lead vocals and guitar), Wayne Lewis (keyboards and vocals), and Johnathan Lewis (percussion and trombone). Other members of the band were lead singer Sharon Bryant (who was later replaced by Barbara Weathers), trumpeter William Sudderth, saxophonist Damon Rentie (who was replaced by Koran Daniels), bassist Clifford Archer, drummer Porter Carroll Jr., and percussionist and flautist Joseph Phillips.
Throughout the late 70's and early 80's, Atlantic Starr scored several hits on the R&B charts. However, significant crossover success (onto the pop charts) didn't come until halfway into the 80's, with the release of their As the Band Turns album, and the single "Secret Lovers." By this time, the band had pared itself down to a quintet, consisting of the three Lewis brothers, Phillips, and Weathers. In 1987, the band solidified their pop success by scoring a #1 pop hit with "Always," a slow jam off their album "All in the Name of Love." Following this success, Weathers left for a solo career, and she was replaced by Porscha Martin for the band's next album, 1988's We're Movin' Up. The band would continue to score hits on both the R&B and Pop charts into the early 90's.
When the original female lead singer Sharon Bryant left the group to pursue a solo career. She was offered material by Jam & Lewis. She declined. That same material was used for Janet Jackson's debut album "Control."
Also, it's always been rumored that the original group split up because their was resentment that the Lewis brothers were reaping big songwriting royalties unlike other group members.
The group disbanded in the mid 90's.
Lonette McKee (born July 22, 1954) is an film and television actress. Mckee is currently in pre-production on her feature film, "Dream Street", which she penned and will direct
McKee's career began in the music business in Detroit, Michigan as a child prodigy, where she started writing music/lyrics, singing, playing keyboards and performing at the age of seven. At fourteen, she recorded her first record, which became an instant regional pop/R&B hit. McKee wrote the title song for the film Quadroon when she was fifteen. She had written and produced three solo LPs, the most recent, "Natural Love", for Spike Lee's Columbia 40 Acres and A Mule label. McKee scored the music for the well-received cable documentary on the lower Manhattan African Burial Ground, as well as numerous informercials. She had toured extensively throughout the world in concert performances, including the JVC Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall. McKee continues to write and produce music, as well as mentor and help young musical talent. She offers consultation and coaching to young performers. She won critical acclaim for her tragic portrayal of Julie on Broadway in the most recent revival of the musical "Show Boat" directed by Hal Prince.
Her feature film credits include: Sparkle (1976), Cuba (1979), Which Way is Up (1977) and Brewster's Millions (1985) - both opposite the legendary Richard Pryor; The Cotton Club (1984) and Gardens of Stone (1987) for Francis Ford Coppola; Lift (2001), for which she earned a Black Reel nomination. Other films include Honey (2003), Men of Honor (2000), Round Midnight (1986) for the great filmmaker Bertrand Tavenier, Jungle Fever (1991), Malcolm X (1992), He Got Game (1998), and She Hate Me for Spike Lee. Television miniseries and films include, The Women of Brewster Place (1989), for which she received an NAACP nomination, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First 100 Years (1999), Queen (1993) with Halle Berry, To Dance with Olivia (1997) and For Love of Olivia (2001) - both opposite Louis Gossett Jr. for CBS Television Network and Blind Faith for Showtime Cable Network. Lonette also received an NAACP nomination for her appearances on the long-running CBS soap opera As The World Turns.
Recently, Lonette did a recurring role on the NBC hit drama "Third Watch." She was recognized in People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful" issue. She studied film directing in New York and apprenticed film directing with Spike Lee. She teaches a master acting workshop at Centenary College of New Jersey, where she serves as an adjunct professor in the theater arts department. Lonette is currently producing her first film "Dream Street," with Spike Lee, which she wrote and will direct.
Lisa Nicole Carson (born July 12, 1969) was a popular actress. Carson was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent her adolescence in Gainesville, Florida, attending F. W. Buchholz High School and graduating in June, 1987. Carson was noted for her talented singing voice, which contributed largely to her placing as a runner-up in the 1986 America's Junior Miss scholarship/talent pageant for the state of Florida. After she graduated high school, she moved back to New York to pursue a career as an actress, where she began her career by appearing in a number of 'After School Specials' and Home Box Office made short films.
Carson appeared on two critically acclaimed prime time shows, in some cases simultaneously. She had a recurring role on ER from 1996 to 2001, and a supporting role on Ally McBeal as Ally's best friend Renee from 1997 to 2001. Carson received press notice for both roles, and in 2000, she was voted by readers of Black Men Magazine as one of "The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year." In 2001, she was fired from roles on both shows, because of her "unpleasant attitude and her mood swings and the frequent amount of times she came into work while inebriated.
In 2000, she was arrested for 'interfering with a lawful business establishment' and 'not leaving the premises' after a disorderly conduct incident at a luxury hotel. Shortly after, she was hospitalized in a mental health facility which was reportedly due to a drug-related incident. However, in recent years her family and friends have acknowledged that Carson's aberrant behavior was actually due to her developing schizophrenia.
Little has been known of her life since she made her last on-screen appearance on the series finale of Ally McBeal. Carson has since withdrawn from acting and public life while suffering from schizophrenia. Currently, Carson is being cared for by family and mental health specialists-who are treating her debilitating disease.
*This wonderful information is courtesy of MYRA PANACHE