Janelle Monae Robinson (born December 1, 1985), known as Janelle Monáe is an American R&B and Soul musician, composer and record producer signed to Wondaland Art Society, Bad Boy Records and Atlantic Records. After making a mark with her first unofficial EP, The Audition, Monáe debuted with a conceptual EP, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). The EP had a modest commercial impact, peaking at No. 115 on the Billboard charts in the United States.
Her success has also garnered her six Grammy nominations. In March 2012, "We Are Young", the song by the band fun. on which Monáe makes a guest appearance, reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, her first appearance in the US Top 10. In August 2012, Monáe was chosen as the newest addition to the Cover Girl spokes women lineup. On September 10, 2013, Monáe released her second studio album, The Electric Lady, to critical acclaim. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 "Janelle Monae Day" in the city of Boston in recognition of her artistry and social leadership.
Nelly Kim Furtado (born December 2, 1978) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actress. She has sold 20 million albums worldwide and more than 20 million singles, bringing her total sales to over 40 million records around the world. Furtado first gained fame with her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, which spawned two successful singles, "I'm Like a Bird" and "Turn Off the Light". "I'm Like A Bird" won a 2001 Juno Award for Single of the Year and a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2003, Furtado released Folklore, which produced three international singles— "Powerless (Say What You Want)", "Try" and "Força". Three years later she released Loose, a worldwide commercial success. The album spawned four number-one hits: "Promiscuous", "Maneater", "Say It Right" and "All Good Things (Come to an End)". After a three-year break, she released her first full-length Spanish album, Mi Plan, and Furtado received a Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. In 2012, Furtado's fourth English-language studio album, The Spirit Indestructible was released. Furtado's work has earned her numerous awardsand accolades, including 2 Grammy Awards, 10 Juno Awards, 3 MuchMusic Video Awards and a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
Montell Jordan (born December 3, 1968) is an American R&B singer-songwriter and record producer. Jordan became the main solo male artist on its Def Soul imprint until leaving the label in 2003. In 2010, Jordan left the music business to become the worship leader at Victory World Church in Norcross, Georgia.
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 also did "Talk Show" with Shae Jones in 1998 and "Get It on Tonite" in 1999.
Jordan is now a born-again Christian and can be seen at Victory World Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives and worships with the church team called Victory World Music. In late 2010, Jordan announced that he was officially leaving his music career behind to become a Worship Minister at Victory World Church.
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 country, blues 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.
Angie Stone (born Angela Laverne Brown 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 millions albums in the U.S. and over 5 millions albums worldwide.
In the early 1980s, when Stone—then known as Angie B. -- was sixteen, she formed the rap trio, The Sequence, a female hip hop/funk trio consisting of Cheryl The Pearl and Blondie. They were the second rap group signed to the Sugar Hill Records after auditioning for Sylvia Robinson backstage at a Sugar Hill Gang concert in South Carolina.
They had a hit in 1980 with "Funk You Up", which reached number fifteen on the U.S. Top Black Singles chart, and a minor hit with "Monster Jam" featuring rapper Spoonie Gee. Per Stone, regarding the royalties of the wildly popular hit, "Funk You Up": "Sylvia had sold the licensing and rights to the song over to Dr. Dre. Right now to the day Dr. Dre is collecting publishing on a song we wrote. I never had a publishing deal because I was underage. By the time I went to deal with it legally the building had burned down and there were no records or files of anything. So [The Sequence is] still being cheated. It hurts because this was our first song ever by the first female rap group worldwide."
Eric Marlon Bishop (born December 13, 1967), known professionally as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, stand-up comedian, singer-songwriter, musician, and talk radio host. As an actor, his work in the film 2004 Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a musical or comedy. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral.
In 2014, Foxx is due to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as the main antagonist Electro and appear with Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie, the update of the comic strip-turned-musical that Sony is making with producers Will Smith and Jay-Z. Foxx was also confirmed by director Oliver Stone to be cast as Martin Luther King Jr. in his upcoming biopic produced by Steven Spielberg.
Christina María Aguilera (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. Born in Staten Island, New York and raised in Wexford, Pennsylvania, she made appearances on the television series Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club in her childhood. Aguilera came to prominence with her debut studio album, Christina Aguilera (1999); its singles "Genie in a Bottle", "What a Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" each peaked atop the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Her follow-up records, Mi Reflejo and My Kind of Christmas (2000), experienced moderate success worldwide. Displeased with her lack of input in her image and music, Aguilera assumed creative control for her fourth album, Stripped (2002), which yielded the international chart-toppers "Dirrty" and "Beautiful".
Aguilera, alongside fellow musicians Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and CeeLo Green, signed on to be coaches on the American version of The Voice. Its first season premiered on April 2011 on NBC, and proved successful for the network. Aguilera was later featured on the track "Moves like Jagger" by Maroon 5, which they performed on the series. It became her fifth number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached number two on the UK Singles Chart. The song sold over eight million copies worldwide, establishing itself among the best-selling singles of all time. "Moves like Jagger" marks the first time two former Best New Artist Grammy Award winners have collaborated on a Hot 100 hit. It was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
John Roger Stephens (born December 28, 1978), better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He has won nine Grammy Awards, and in 2007, Legend received the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Legend added his voice to those of other artists, assisting in them reaching chart-topper hits. He lent his voice to Magnetic Man's "Getting Nowhere," Kanye West's "All of the Lights", on Slum Village's "Selfish" and Dilated Peoples' "This Way". Other artists included Jay-Z's "Encore", and he sang backing vocals on Alicia Keys' 2003 song "You Don't Know My Name", the Kanye West remix of Britney Spears' "Me Against the Music", and Fort Minor's "High Road". Legend played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything".
Chrisette Michele Payne (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Chrisette Michele, is an American Grammy Award-winning contemporary R&B and soul singer-songwriter. She is signed to the Island Def Jam Music Group and won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2009 for her song "Be OK".
Michele has been featured on several hip hop albums. She is on The Game's album LAX on "Let Us Live". On Jay-Z's Kingdom Come she was featured on the second single "Lost One", while on Nas' Hip Hop Is Dead, she was featured three times: on the album's second single "Can't Forget About You", the Kanye West-produced "Still Dreaming", and the final track "Hope". She also appeared on the bonus track "Slow Down", from Ghostface Killah's The Big Doe Rehab.
Chrisette Michele Payne (born December 12, 1957), known by her stage name Sheila E., is a Grammy nominated American singer, drummer, and percussionist whose notable collaborations includes Billy Cobham, Lionel Richie, George Duke, Prince, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Hans Zimmer.
In 1985, she released Romance 1600, scored another hit with the track "A Love Bizarre" (#11), and the non-album track "Holly Rock" made its way to live shows and into the film Krush Groove. She was also nominated for an American Music Award and a Grammy for "The Glamorous Life". Sheila E. recorded three albums during the '80s, The Glamorous Life, Romance 1600, and Sheila E.. She appeared in four films, Krush Groove with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and Blair Underwood in 1985, Prince's concert film, Sign "O" the Times in 1987, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Chasing Papi in 2003.
Eulaulah Donyll Hathaway (born December 16, 1968) best known as Lalah Hathaway, and sometimes referred to as the First Daughter of Soul.
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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