Janelle Monáe Robinson (born December 1, 1985), is an American psychedelic soul and R&B singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer signed to Wondaland Art Society, Bad Boy Records and Atlantic Records. After making a mark with her first unofficial studio album, The Audition CD release, Monáe debuted publicly with a conceptual EP: Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). The EP had limited commercial impact, peaking at number 115 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
On April 14 2014, Monáe was the recipient of the inaugural Harvard College Women's Center Award for Achievement in Arts and Media for her achievements as an artist, advocate and feminist. She tweeted earlier that day, "Headed to #Harvard to meet the beautiful ladies in the Women's Center. Can't believe I'm the honoree today. Just So thankful". She was also recognized as the 2014 Woman of the Year by the Harvard College Black Men's Forum at their annual Celebration of Black Women gala.
In mid-2014, Monáe had an interview with Fuse where she teased a follow up to The Electric Lady. "I'm working on a new, cool creative project called 'Eephus'," she said. "It's a big concept and you're not going to see it coming. It'll just land."
Montell Jordan (born December 3, 1968) is an American former R&B singer-songwriter and record producer, best known for his 1995 single "This Is How We Do It". Jordan was the primary male solo artist on Def Jam's Def Soul imprint until leaving the label in 2003.
Jordan's first single was the 1995 #1 hit "This Is How We Do It," which sampled Slick Rick's earlier Def Jam hit "Children's Story". Jordan followed up his success with "Somethin' 4 Da Honeyz", which peaked at #21. Later hits would include "Let's Ride" with Master P and Silkk the Shocker. He co-wrote, produced and sang back-up on Shae Jones's 1999 album Talk Show. The Jordan single Get It On Tonite peaked at #4 in the same year.
Cassandra Wilson (born December 4, 1955) is an American jazz musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Jackson, Mississippi. Described by critic Gary Giddins as "a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack [who has] expanded the playing field" by incorporating blues, country, and folk music into her work, Wilson has won two Grammy Awards.
Like fellow M-Base artists, Wilson signed to the Munich-based, independent label JMT. She released her first recording as a leader Point of View in 1986. Like the majority of her JMT albums that followed, originals by Wilson in keeping with M-Base dominated these sessions; she would also record material by and co-written with Coleman, Jean-Paul Bourelly, and James Weidman as well as a few standards. Her throaty contralto gradually emerges over the course of these recordings, making its way to the foreground. She developed a remarkable ability to stretch and bend pitches, elongate syllables, manipulate tone and timbre from dusky to hollow.
Keri Lynn Hilson (born December 5, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, and spent most of her youth working with producer Anthony Dent, as a songwriter and background vocalist for several R&B and hip hop artists. By the age of 14, Hilson had secured a record deal with the girl group D'Signe, who later disbanded. She attended Oxford College of Emory University and Emory University in Atlanta, while she continued writing songs for artists, including Britney Spears and Mary J. Blige, with the production and songwriting team, The Clutch. In 2006, Hilson signed with American rapper and producer Timbaland's record label, Mosley Music. Her breakthrough came the following year after appearing on Timbaland's single "The Way I Are", which topped charts around the world.
Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), known by his stage name Little Richard, is an American recording artist, songwriter, and musician. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for over six decades. Penniman's most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s where his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll. His music also had a pivotal impact on the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk. Penniman influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical genres from rock to rap.
Penniman's music and performance style had a pivotal impact on the shape of the sound and style of popular music genres of the 20th century. As a rock and roll pioneer, Penniman embodied its spirit more flamboyantly than any other performer. Penniman's raspy shouting style gave the genre one of its most identifiable and influential vocal sounds and his fusion of boogie-woogie, New Orleans R&B and gospel music blazed its rhythmic trail.
Lillie Arlene Nicole Jade McCloud (born December 7, 1958 in Rochester, New York), commonly known by her former stage name Nicole McCloud, or Nicole J. McCloud is an American dance and R&B singer. She has recorded four studio albums, What About Me (1986), Jam Packed (1988) (aka Rock the House), Love Town (1998), and So What? (2002). Her single "Don't You Want My Love" became an international hit. Other US singles include "Runnin' Away" and "Search'n". In the late 1990s, she was also part of a house music project Voices of Freedom.
Luckett has also made a name for herself as an actress. She was the star of the movie Preacher's Kid. She's part of the cast of the feature films Killers and From the Rough and had a recurring role on the second season of the HBO TV series Treme, and on the third season of the VH1 TV series Single Ladies.
Morris E. Day (born December 13, 1957) is an American musician, composer and actor. He is best known as the lead singer of The Time.
The Time's most prolific and visible period came in 1984, when Day played the antagonist to Prince in his feature films Purple Rain and Graffiti Bridge, which helped establish Day's playboy stage presence. Typically escorted by his valet, "Jerome" (Jerome Benton), Day won fans with his exaggerated vanity ("Jerome bring me my mirror!") and strutting bravado ("Ain't nobody bad like me!"), acting as a comic foil to Prince's romantic, sensitive lead. This persona was further exploited for comic effect on The Time's records, on songs such as "Chili Sauce" and "If the Kid Can't Make You Come" from the album Ice Cream Castle.
Michael Sean McCary (born December 16, 1971) is an American R&B singer, best known as the former bass singer of the R&B group, Boyz II Men. In 2003, Michael McCary left Boyz II Men due to chronic back problems resulting from scoliosis and personal problems. McCary plays in the film Mannsfield 12 (2007), in which he takes on the role of Herold. He has also appeared on the television game show Identity on March 24, 2007. Lately Michael has been seen in the court room as a celebrity juror on a TV show that airs daily called Jury Duty. He was also shown in the pilot for a talk show with Paula Poundstone called A Pound of Paula, which wasn't picked up.
Angela Laverne Brown (born December 19, 1961) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has been nominated for three Grammy Awards. She has been most successful on the R&B charts, with four Top 10 albums, including a number one album, and ten singles, including a Top 10. She has sold over 1.4 million albums in the U.S. and over 5 million albums worldwide.
Much of Stone's solo material has significant soul influences and features notable samples. For example, her first solo single, "No More Rain (In This Cloud)" samples Gladys Knight & the Pips' 1972 song "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)", while "Wish I Didn't Miss You" samples The O'Jays' 1972 song "Back Stabbers". In a review of a show of this material, The New York Times says it thusly: Stone "calls her music soul. Not funk, not R&B, not hip-hop, not urban, but soul, the secular pop with gospel fervor behind it."
Bessie Regina Norris better known by her stage name, Betty Wright (born December 21, 1953), is a Miami-based soul and R&B singer-songwriter, who won fame in the 1970s with hits such as "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight Is the Night". A pioneering singer-songwriter and entrepreneur, she remains one of the few black female musicians to produce a gold record on her own vanity label. She is adept at using the whistle register.
Wright appeared on the TV show Making the Band, appointed by Sean Combs as a vocal coach for new female group Danity Kane. She now mentors several young singers and has done vocal production for such artists as Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez and Joss Stone. Along with co-producers Steve Greenberg and Michael Mangini, Wright was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award in the "Best Pop Album" category for producing Joss Stone's Mind, Body & Soul LP.
Eulaulah Donyll Hathaway (born December 16, 1968) is best known as Lalah Hathaway, and sometimes referred to as the First Daughter of Soul, is a contemporary R&B and jazz and Grammy Award winning artist.
Lalah Hathaway burst onto the soul and jazz scene in 1990 with an auspicious self-titled debut album. The disc displayed a young artist who clearly had the pipes, but was also a developing song stylist, able to interpret both modern R&B and jazz. Her last name gave a lot away. She is the daughter of legendary soul performer Donny Hathaway and his talented wife Eulauhlah. However, while her name may have brought initial attention to some people, it was immediately clear that she was a true -- and distinctive -- vocal talent. With a style somewhat reminiscent of Patti Austin, but with a deeper, smokier edge, Lalah climbed to the top of the R&B charts with her debut hit "Heaven Knows" and delivered a solid, varied album.
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