Monday, January 28, 2008

Mixtape Monday - "When I Loved Hip Hop"

It's Mixtape Monday!!!!

This edition is entitled "When I Loved Hip Hop".

The track listing is available under the download.

I hope you enjoy it!

Play It Here!

Download here

Track Listing

Intro By DJ Diva
Fly Girl – UTFO
Roxanne, Roxanne – UTFO
Roxanne’s Revenge – Roxanne Shante
I Ain’t No Joke – Eric B & Rakim
Criminal Minded – BDP
My Name Is D-Nice – D-Nice
Just The Two Of Us – Chubb Rock
Hip Hop Junkies – Nice & Smooth
Bedtime Story – Slick Rick
Make ‘Em Clap To This – Eric B & Rakim
Go Stetsa – Stetsasonic
Self Destruction – Various Artists.
We Got Our Thang – Heavy D and the Boys
Kiss Me And I’ll KissYou Back – Digital Underground
Punks Step Up to Get Beat Down – Brand Nubian
Who Got The Props – Black Moon
This or That - Black Sheep
Buddy – De La Soul
Sign off by DJ Diva

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

OST Artist Spotlight - Tina Turner

This week's Artist Spotlight is on Tina Turner!!!!!

She was requested by a lady at my job, who has been enjoying my excursions into the history of R&B. It wasn't a hard choice....I think all of you were shaking a tailfeather with Angela Bassett! Tina is also very special to me because she was living proof that you could leave an abusive relationship and still prosper. She did and I did too! Join me in celebrating a strong Black woman!!!!!!!

Enjoy the following playlist, the downloads are available underneath the playlist.

Download 1

Download 2

Biography after the jump!

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee on November 26, 1939 to Zelma Currie, a factory worker, and Floyd Richard Bullock, a Baptist deacon, farm overseer and factory worker. Tina is of Cherokee and Navajo descent making her one of many people of Native American and African American descent in which people over look her heritage. Turner and her elder sister, Alline Bullock, were abandoned by their father and temporarily by their mother. They moved from Nutbush, Tennessee to St. Louis to reunite with their mother in 1956. In St. Louis, Little Anna met Ike Turner, a noted pioneer of rock and roll, and later asked him if she could sing for him. Ike was initially skeptical, but after much persistence on Anna's part, Ike Turner eventually decided to let her perform for him.
Bullock first started working with Ike Turner in 1958. She began as an occasional vocalist in his show at the age of 18, but within a couple of years, not only did she have a new name - Ike named her Tina after Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, but was also the spotlight of a popular soul revue led by Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm.
In 1960, when a singer scheduled to record the song, "A Fool In Love", didn't appear, Bullock stepped in and recorded the vocals instead. "A Fool In Love" was a huge R&B hit reaching #2 crossing over to the top 30 of the US pop chart. After this, Ike changed Bullock's name to Tina Turner and his band's to the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. In 1962, the two married in Mexico.
Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, Ike & Tina rose to superstardom. As times and musical styles changed, Tina developed a unique stage persona as a singer-dancer-performer which thrilled audiences of the group's live concerts. Tina and the Revue's backup singers, The Ikettes, wove intricate and electrifying dance routines into their performances and influenced many other artists including Mick Jagger (for whose 1966 UK tour they opened).
Ike and Tina Turner recorded a string of hits in the 1960s, including "A Fool In Love," "It's Gonna Work Out Fine," "I Idolize You," and the groundbreaking "River Deep, Mountain High" with producer Phil Spector in his Wall of sound style. By the end of the decade, Tina had discovered rock and roll and the duo began including their interpretations of classics such as "Come Together", "Honky Tonk Woman," and "I Want to Take You Higher" in their act. In fact, their high-energy cover version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1968 "Proud Mary" remains Tina's signature hit and one of her longest enduring standards. "Proud Mary" was the duo's greatest commercial success peaking at number four in March 1971. The single also won a Grammy for "Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo or Group."
While many of its original recordings failed to chart, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue was lauded by The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sly Stone, Janis Joplin, Cher, James Brown, Ray Charles, Elton John and Elvis Presley. A one-night gig at a small, predominantly-black supper club in the South could be followed in the same week by a show at a major venue in Las Vegas or a national TV appearance. Ike acted as the group's manager and musical director, calling all the shots and ruling the act - and Tina - with an iron fist. While a fine musician and an early rock and roll influence, Ike's control of the Revue's management, recording contracts and performances eventually led to their decline as his drug abuse worsened. This controlling (and often violent) atmosphere caused the musicians and backup singers to come and go frequently, and Tina later reported being isolated and physically abused by Ike on a regular basis for most of their marriage.
Turner raised four sons — Ike Jr. and Michael (from her former husband Ike's previous relationship), Craig (born 1960, from her earlier relationship with Raymond Hill, a saxophone player in Ike's band) and Ronald (son of Ike and Tina; born 1961).
By the mid-1970s, Turner's personal life and marriage began to deteriorate. Ike's drug use led to increasingly erratic and physically abusive behavior. Their act was losing speed largely due to Ike's refusal to accept outside management of their recording or touring as well as the cost of maintaining a rather voracious alleged cocaine habit. Touring dates began to decline and record sales were down, their last major hit being "Nutbush City Limits", a song penned by Tina about her home town, which reached US #22 and UK #4 in 1973.
Having opened his own recording studio - Bolic Sound - following the lucrative success of Proud Mary, Ike produced Tina's first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On! in 1974. It failed to make an impact on the charts, as did the follow-up, Acid Queen (1975), released to tie in with Tina's critically acclaimed big-screen debut in the role of the same name in The Who's rock opera, Tommy.
After a final vicious beating before an appearance in Dallas over the Fourth of July weekend in 1976, Tina abruptly left Ike fleeing with nothing more than thirty-six cents and a gas-station credit card. She spent the next few months hiding from Ike, staying with various friends and relying on food stamps to exist.
Tina credits her newfound Buddhist faith with giving her the courage to eventually strike out on her own. By walking out on Ike in the middle of a tour, she learned she was legally responsible to tour promoters for the cancelled tour. Needing to earn a living, Tina decided to strike out on her own as a solo performer pulling a lounge act together and supplementing her income with TV appearances on shows like The Hollywood Squares, Donny and Marie, The Sonny & Cher Show and The Brady Bunch Hour.
Tina's divorce was finalized in 1978 after 16 years of marriage, later accusing Ike of years of severe spousal abuse and rampant drug addiction in her autobiography I, Tina which was later made into the film What's Love Got to Do with It?. To put the marriage (and Ike) behind her, Tina walked away with no money or property, retaining only the use of the stage name Ike had given her, and assuming responsibility for the huge debts incurred by the cancelled tour, as well as a significant IRS lien.
Turner ended the decade by releasing her first album since her separation from Ike. Rough (1978) was a departure from the R&B sound of the Revue, and featured strong readings of rock songs, demonstrating the direction in which she wished her musical career to progress. The record did not sell well, and 1979's Love Explosion - an attempt to attract the disco market - was similarly overlooked, leaving Tina wondering if she would ever shake off the bad reputation with which her association with Ike Turner had left her.
Turner began touring extensively around the world but her career stalled until teaming up in 1982 with B.E.F. (British Electric Foundation) for a remake of the Temptations' Ball of Confusion. The producers were so impressed by the recording, they persuaded Tina to record a cover of Al Green's Let's Stay Together.
While she was largely considered to be unmarketable by the American recording industry, her popularity as a top stage act never faded in Europe and other parts of the world. Capitol signed her to a limited deal with their UK label. She divided her time between appearing at small venues in the US in order to keep herself in the public eye but continued to sell out major venues in Europe and other parts of the world despite her problems in the United States.
When Tina Turner's version of "Let's Stay Together" was released in the United Kingdom, it became a huge hit that peaked at number six and marked a major turning point in Turner's solo career. Capitol released the record in the US where it made the Top 20. It was a major success on the R&B charts reaching number four and also reached number one on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Charts. Given this turn of events, Capitol Records was quickly forced to review their previous assessment of Turner's chart ability and put forth the resources to let her record an album.
In the spring of 1984, Turner released her fifth solo album, Private Dancer. The album was a huge success and established Turner as a credible solo artist. Private Dancer charted a total of five top forty singles and three singles reached the top ten in the states. After the success of "Let's Stay Together", Capitol issued the number-one hit " What's Love Got to Do With It", which helped Turner win Record Of The Year, Song of the Year (won by the songwriters Graham Lyle and Terry Britten) and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1985 Grammy Awards. The third single, "Better Be Good To Me" reached number five on the charts and won the 1985 Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy. Originally, Tina hated the song "What's Love Got To Do With It" because she felt it was too "Pop" and not "rough" enough. She thought that "Better Be Good to Me" should be the second single from the album but Capitol convinced her otherwise and Tina grew fond of What Love Got To Do With It after it inched up the American charts. The album's title track, written by Mark Knopfler, peaked at number seven pop in early 1985. The Private Dancer album additionally received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The fifth single, "Show Some Respect" entered the top forty and stayed there for a respectable three weeks. Private Dancer peaked at number three on the US album sales chart and sold consistently throughout the year. It also remained at number-one for five weeks on the US R&B album sales chart. Private Dancer remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. Worldwide the album has been estimated having sold up to ten to eleven million copies, but also some sources estimating it sold over 20 million copies, thus making Private Dancer Turner's most successful solo album.
In 1985, Turner released a duet with Bryan Adams entitled "It's Only Love" which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Turner also contributed her voice to the best-selling charity song "We Are the World", along with various famous musicians, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick. In July of that same year, Turner famously duetted with Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones in a performance of "State of Shock" and "It's Only Rock 'N Roll" at the Live Aid benefit concert at JFK Stadium. The same year Turner won four Grammy Awards — Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in "Better Be Good to Me", and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year (shared with Terry Britten) in "What's Love Got to Do with It."
Turner appeared as the character, "Aunty Entity" in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with Mel Gibson and scored additional hits from the movie's soundtrack: "We Don't Need Another Hero," and "One of the Living".[24] "We Don't Need Another Hero" (which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal performance, Female) was a huge success on the radio charts, peaking at number two in the US and hitting number one across Europe. The song remains one of Turner's most popular and powerful songs. "One of the Living", the second single from Thunderdome, peaked at number fifteen on Billboard's Hot 100, was also quite popular, later winning Turner a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance.
Tina's popularity throughout Europe had never faded during the tough times. She moved there permanently in 1986 to share a home with Erwin Bach, a German-born EMI record company executive 16 years her junior. In addition to a lakeshore home on the Goldküste (literally, "the Gold Coast"), the most exclusive district of Zurich, Switzerland, Turner has an estate in France at Villefranche-sur-Mer, a small town about four miles (six kilometers) east of the city of Nice. Her home there sits atop Mont Vinaigrier, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1986, Tina Turner released her sixth solo studio album, Break Every Rule. The album was another big-seller, and the accompanying world tour was a record-breaking success in tickets sales. It spawned a number of hit singles including "Typical Male", which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number two and went number-one on the United World Chart. "Typical Male" received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance. Break Every Rule garnered Turner her third consecutive Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy for the Bryan Adams-penned "Back Where You Started."
Tina entered the Guinness Book of World Records during her Break Every Rule tour when she performed in front of the largest paying audience ever to see a single performer. The audience was made up of over 184,000 fans at the Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The concert, sponsored by Pepsi, was broadcast live to a worldwide audience.
In 1988, Turner released Tina Live In Europe which brought her a fourth and final Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy Award. She shares the title for most, and most consecutive, Female Rock Vocal Grammy Awards with Pat Benatar.
In 1989, Tina Turner released her last album of the 1980s, Foreign Affair. This album sold over 6 million copies worldwide. The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal performance at 1989 Annual Grammy Awards. The following year, Steamy Windows, received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal performance. It spawned a variety of different hit singles with the most enduring being the hit "The Best" (often referred to as "Simply the Best"), originally a song on a Bonnie Tyler album. The song peaked at number 15 on the U.S. Hot 100, and peaked at number five in the United Kingdom. Also, "I Don't Wanna Lose You," peaked at #8 on the UK Charts. The album package was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Packaging Design, but lost to David Bowie.
Tina began the decade with her record-breaking Foreign Affair European Tour, which ran throughout the spring and summer of 1990. Also in that year, she contributed a song - Break Through The Barrier - to the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise film, Days of Thunder, and recorded a version of It Takes Two with Rod Stewart for use in a high-profile Pepsi advertising campaign, this song was a big success in Europe, reaching Top 5 in the UK and other countries.
During the early 1990s, "The Best" became the theme song of three athletes: the legendary boxer Chris Eubank, the Brazilian Formula One racer Ayrton Senna (Tina even called him onstage during an Australian concert in 1993, a few months before his death), and retired tennis legend Martina Navratilova. A version of the song featuring Jimmy Barnes was also used to promote Australia's professional rugby league football competition. This advertising campaign brought a great deal of interest to the game and reached its height when Turner performed the song at the 1993 New South Wales Rugby League premiership's Grand Final. A rugby league version of the song's video clip was also released at around the same time and remained in the top ten videos in Australia for a long time. The song was also used very successfully in advertisements for HBO, previewing shows and movies, unofficially becoming HBO's second theme, for years.
In 1991, Tina released her first greatest hits compilation, Simply the Best, which contained three new tracks. The compilation album went platinum in the U.S. In 1993, Tina received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal performance, Female, for her cover of Elton John's "The Bitch is Back" from the Two Rooms tribute CD. She also had a cameo in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, The Last Action Hero.
This was also the year that her 1986 autobiography I, Tina (an international best-seller) was made into a motion picture entitled What's Love Got to Do with It?. Angela Bassett won the role of Tina Turner in the movie (Whitney Houston had declined due to imminent maternity; Halle Berry had also auditioned for the role) and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance. Laurence Fishburne played Ike and also received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal.
Turner returned to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 with the film's theme song, "I Don't Wanna Fight" (which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal performance, Female) and embarked on a tour of North America and Australasia. Tina, What’s Love Live! was broadcast by FOX in the United States at the conclusion of her tour.
In 1995, Turner recorded the title theme of the James Bond movie GoldenEye, penned by Bono and The Edge of U2. Shortly thereafter, Turner released her eighth original studio album, entitled Wildest Dreams. In the same year she embarked in her record breaking Wildest Dreams World Tour becoming one of the most extensive tours ever by a single performer grossing over $100 million in Europe alone. The video, "Tina Turner Live in Amsterdam," was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Video, Long Form. After the tour ended in 1997, she teamed up with Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti to record "Cose Della Vita/Can't Stop Thinking Of You", which was a hit in some parts of Europe. In 1999, Tina recorded the theme song for "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride" called "He Lives In You". She also performed on VH1 Divas Live '99 in April 1999, alongside artists such as Cher, Whitney Houston, Elton John and Mary J. Blige.
Turner's ninth studio album, Twenty Four Seven, was released in November 1999 in usic1999]]. It produced several hits including "Whatever You Need" and "When the Heartache Is Over" which was a UK Top 10 hit and peaked at #3 on the US Dance/Club Play Charts. It was not as successful as Tina's past albums, but was still a success. It sold one million copies in the US, becoming platinum. Following the release of her album, Tina officially announced that she would embark on her last major arena and stadium promotional tour. Ending on a high note, her Twenty Four Seven World Tour grossed over $80 million in the US alone (23 international sold out stadium shows were not taken into consideration—with mid-range ticket prices) during the summer becoming the 5th biggest concert tour ever in the U.S. earning her the title of top-grossing tour in the year 2000.
Turner retired from major tours after her most recent in 2000. However, she continues to make public appearances and collaborations. In 2001, Tennessee State Highway 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush was named "Tina Turner Highway". In 2003, she teamed up with Phil Collins to record the song "Great Spirits" for the Disney film Brother Bear.
In 2004, Turner released her latest greatest hits compilation album, All the Best. The album is both her highest debut on the Billboard 200 and her highest-charting album ever in the U.S. (Private Dancer peaked at #3). The album included a new single, "Open Arms"; the song failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100 in the US but reached the UK Top 25.
In early 2005, Tina gave several live television performances in the US and Europe, and appeared at a private charity ball in St. Petersburg, Russia in November. Tina was also honoured as one of Oprah Winfrey's 25 legends - African-American women who broke barriers through their work.
At the end of the year, Tina was recognised by the Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC and was elected to join an elite group of entertainers including contemporaries Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry. Several artists paid tribute to Tina that night including Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Etheridge, Queen Latifah, Beyoncé Knowles, and the Reverend Al Green. Oprah stated, "We don't need another hero. We need more heroines like you, Tina. You make me proud to spell my name w-o-m-a-n," and "Tina Turner didn't just survive, she triumphed."
In early 2006, the All the Invisible Children soundtrack was released. Turner sang "Teach Me Again" with Elisa which charted at #1 in Italy. In April, the NRL (National Rugby League), one of the most popular sporting competitions in Australia and New Zealand, announced that Tina would return as the face and spokesperson of the rugby league in 2008 due to the overwhelming popularity of Tina's previous campaign.
In October 2006, in an interview with Billboard Magazine, Guy Chambers, Robbie Williams' former producer, revealed that his next project is Tina Turner's comeback album. At the premiere of the new Bond film Casino Royale in Zurich November 16, 2006, Tina confirmed that she has recorded several new tracks for the album. This will be her first full recording of new material in 8 years. In May of 2007, Tina returned to the stage to headline a benefit concert for the Cauldwell Children's Charity at London's Natural History Museum. This was her first full show in seven years.
Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock released an album, paying tribute to his longtime associate and friend, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, entitled River: The Joni Letters on September 25, 2007. Tina contributed her vocals to a version of "Edith and The Kingpin". On October 16th, 2007, guitar legend Santana released an album entitled Ultimate Santana, which features Tina singing "The Game Of Love" a song she recorded in 2002 but was previously unreleased.
On December 12, 2007, her former husband Ike Turner died. Turner issued the following brief statement through a spokesperson: "Tina is aware that Ike passed away earlier today. She has not had any contact with him in 35 years. No further comment will be made."


Get Personal with Me Over at BossyDiva

I've decided that it's time to take my personal posts over to BossyDiva. This includes the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives. As I grow with my podcasting, it just makes more sense. I hope you guys can follow two blogs. Thanks so much for keeping up with me!


Monday, January 21, 2008

The JayMoney Prince Workout Mix

What had happened was...

I been spending a lot of time over at Twitter. I chat with some of the best in the podcasting world : EJ Flavors, Fave, Todd Kelley, Mr. Fresh, Darren Keith and Honey Soul. That's not in any particular order but they are all at the top of their game. EJ being my mentor. By mentor I mean he had no problem reaching out to me and sending me tips and help. These guys have been giving me shoutouts and props in their awesome podcasts and I'm just as humbled as can be! I've met and reconnected with many people like Amneris and RPM. One of my newer folks is JayMoney. He's a techie and does live shows which could provide great knowledge. The Prince workout started out like this:

JayMoney- @dj_diva I think someone..hint hint should produce a mixed tap just for workouts, like so many mins of speed then slow down then 04:49 PM January 16, 2008 from web in reply to dj_diva

Anyon who knows me knows that I am the biggest Prince fan on the earth.

I own all of these songs and more so Prince bet not step to me!

Well I have been wanting to start podcasting for mad long. I have been posting mixtapes in the form of short lived radio blogs and extensive playlists. Lately I have taken the route of Imeem Playlists...and those are cool. But my wonderful husband got us a new laptop because my old one died....and lo and behold I had enough space for DJ mixing software. The request was just what I needed to try it out for something worthwhile. Because you see...JayMoney said in exchange he would give me a new layout. I think you all would agree I need one. That's why I love can connect with so many different people. Trade is a beautiful thing peoples...

I'm a little rusty and I'm working some kinks out...I'm kinda tired so I didn't record an intro..not to mention Prince is hard as hell to mix because all of his songs begin very distinctively... but here because of the @JayMoney challenge...I present to you

The Prince WorkOut Mix

Play here

Download Here.

It's my first one so please be gentle in the comments LOL

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30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives/Day 6

Challenge Day Six:
"...whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31b

Do you recognize and appreciate your husband's creativity? Or do you criticize and
demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can
help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.
Is your husband the "creative" type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that
special "knack" he has? Affirm him for his handiwork - a hobby, music, gardening,
tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn't measure up
to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.
If you have a hard time finding his "creative side," understand that men's creativity sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work...and let him know that you have noticed.
Make his day...Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

DJ Diva Comments

My husband Scribe is my biggest supporter. I am also his biggest cheerleader. My husband is one of the best writers alive. Before I met him, I met his writing. It is what drew me in and prompted me to something I never ever did on the internet. I approached him to start up a conversation. I was so drawn by his words that I needed to meet this guy! Since then he has wowed me with poems, sonnets, prose and verse. As a verbaphile myself, I live and breathe the written, spoken and sung word. My husband has dazzled my senses with his command of our craft. At every occasion, I encourage him to indulge in his love. Have created several sites for him to play with and I am always there to swoon in the magnificence of his gift. Now if I can get him to write about sports more often, which I know is his first love and a subject I know he knows better than anything and mostly anybody in the world…he would blow it out of the box. That’s coming because I would do anything to help my Daddy if he needs it. Go Giants.

Prayer Day 6
Pray that your husband will love righteousness and hate wickedness, especially the evils of the culture. Pray that he will recognize and avoid wickedness in his own life, and if necessary, take a clear, strong stand against evil. (Prov. 27:12; John 17:15; 1 Cor. 10:12-13)

Please Lord do this for him in Jesus Name Amen.

It may be hard or easy but I implore you to celebrate his talents. I’m sure he celebrates yours. When I was single and in my first marriage, I was with men who were either outwardly or quietly jealous of me. This created so much strife. Since I have been with Scribe, he has ALWAYS supported everything I wanted to do. From moving for a better life - to asking me to get back into my music because he knows how much I love it and he thinks I’m great at it. So this is for men too, support your women in your lives. There are many talented women on my blogroll and all over the country. Some of you are married to them and even those who are just dating. Be their fan and proclaim them. Single women find a man who does these things, it will increase your love for him. And don’t forget to do it for him.

DJ has left the soapbox and is putting on the headphones (side twitter joke)


30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives/Day Five

Challenge Day Five:
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for
necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph. 4:29

Another way to describe the positive side of this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" is
by using the word "edify," which means, "to build up." Negative comments only
discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build.
Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is
especially important to other family members. Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband's mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him - in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

DJ Diva Comments:

Once again, a reinforcement of beliefs that I already hold. During our courtship and engagement, there were many negative things said about Scribe. I won’t go into it, but it hurt because the person instigating it was closer than close to me. I never turned my head or agreed with this person because I knew that the things said were not only untrue but completely unfounded. This hurt me and Scribe so much. Did I eventually agree with this person? Or start to doubt my husband?


Scribe is who he was then as he is now. From the minute I met him 20 months ago, I have extolled his virtues and his actions. I’m never going to stop so folks need to be used to it by now. I praise him to everyone. People he don’t even know. His family. My family. The bloggverse. Everyone knows how much I love Scribe and I’ll never stop telling. We also made a commitment to not blog about arguments or disagreements. I have honored that and he has too. What’s the point? We always solve our minor disagreements and neither one of us is ever leaving each other so the point would be moot. I am also happy to say that after our nuptials…al the bad mouthing stopped. Now Scribe is one of the most loved in my family. They often ask for him before me. God really can work out all things!

Prayer Day 5
Pray that your husband will be faithful to his wedding vows. Pray that he will have a desire to cultivate your relationship as a sign of his loyalty and commitment to you, and as a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. (Prov. 20:6; Gen. 2:24)
Jesus I know you put this in his heart already. I pray the Enemy will not take this away from him. Amen

When I was single I had a very bad habit of discussing every negative thing that happened in my relationship. When I was unhappy, everyone knew it. Now my husband is my best friend. If I have a problem with him, I go to him. If we have an argument, I’m not on the phone telling everyone the details. Most times, people won’t even know until months later when I’m using it as an example of communication and /or conflict resolution in a specific case. I ain’t never leaving him so why does anyone besides me need to know how I felt at that moment? Single ladies and married women, if you do this, start to examine why, if at all, does anyone need to know all of the negative parts of your mate’s traits. See how it may look to the people you are telling and to your mate. Think about the fact that when you are not angry anymore, these people have now been privy to some pretty disparaging facts about a simple argument and may not be able to look at your mate the same afterwards. Is this fair?


30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives/Day Four

I took the weekend off LOL

Challenge Day Four:
"...let him labor, working with his hands what is good..." Eph. 4:28

We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have
you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others about him? Here's a suggestion that touches the core of your husband's world.
Some women take their husband's career for granted, and they show it in many ways.
Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and
encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values
and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take
opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others.
If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you'll need to be more creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part of a successful career - such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.

DJ Diva Comments:
I have embraced this challenge but it's not really a's a reinforcement. My husband and I hold very similar jobs. We carpool so in the morning we talk about our impending day and on the way home we talk about the things that happened at work. I know all of the major key players in his work life and he in mine. At the end of the day, everyday, my husband knows he has a listening ear waiting for him in the car. He can talk about details and be assured that not only can I follow what he’s talking about, I also very much want to hear it. We talk about ways of dealing with people and our positions. We are very real in the way we talk and we don’t hold anything back..even if it shows us in a negative light.

I’m happy that Scribe and I can do this. It is an opportunity to give him the praise that he won’t get at a job. But with me, he knows that I think he is awesome at what he does, I know how hard he tries, and that I know why he gets up and does it everyday. For our family! During 2007 there were times that he was out of work. Although others tried to put him down because of it, I knew that it was a matter of time and location. I never once spoke negatively about the situation to anyone or to him. There was no need to. I knew he wasn’t out of work because he didn’t want to. I also did not force him to take a job he didn’t want because others said it was what he “should do”. I was patient and we prayed. In the end he got the job of his dreams and is once again taking care of his family very well. How’s that for believing in him and in God?

Prayer Day 4
Pray that your husband will grow in leadership skills in your relationship—protecting and providing for you. Pray that he will lead you wisely and love you sacrificially, so that God will be glorified in your marriage. (Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:19)

Lord bless him with this and more in Jesus Name Amen.

There were times in my single life where I dealt with men who were out of work. I made hard choices back then, to let them go and resume my dating life. I also was able to look at each situation clearly and assisted the men in finding employment according to their skills. When I realized that working wasn’t what they wanted, I let them go. Single ladies and married women, there is never a guarantee that your boyfriend or husband may not one day be unemployed. The important thing is the work ethic that they have and this will determine whether one day they will be back on top. If you realize this, have patience and encourage him. It is God who giveth and taketh away.


Friday, January 18, 2008

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives/Day Three

Challenge Day Three:
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19

Love indeed suffers long and is kind. As you consider your Encouragement Challenge, determine today that you will not say anything negative to or about your husband. Speak kindly to him with words of genuine encouragement.
If your husband is considerate of your needs, let him know that you have noticed. Thank him for his kindness and consideration. Thank the Lord that your husband knows how to be both tough and tender.
Sometimes it's difficult for a man to be gentle, kind or tender—especially if he hasn't had role models in these areas. If he's not a considerate person, appeal to him for help without complaining. Let him know that it's hard for you to handle some things alone. Then, when he moves in to help, don't insist that he do it your way. Be glad that he is responding, and express your gratitude.
Ultimately, you can't expect your husband to make you feel more secure, loved, etc.
Remember that only God can meet the deepest needs of your heart.

DJ Diva Comments:
I have been speaking kindly to Scribe aka Flaco. Yesterday, I think he pushed me a little to see what would happen but I didn't falter LOL. I have been encouraging him and showing him lots of affection. That's what he loves the most...he loves affection! He is very considerate of my needs and those of the children. Yesterday he gave them a stern talking to...because they needed it. I sat there and listened to the lecture and just nodded my head in agreement. It was his time to lay down the law in the house and they need to see that we are of one accord when it comes to what we expect as parents. I'm so happy that he takes such an active part in parenting and that he's so eager to do it. The twins respect him and treat him as he should be treated. What kills me is when it's all over and the lecturing is done, he comes to me sad because he hates to come down on them. He doesn't relish being firm or tough, but because they are kids and it is our duty as parents to "raise them up in the way that they should go", it has to be done. I love the fact that I am no longer the only voice of discipline in the house. You don't know how hard it was for me before Scribe. It changed my character and now with the addition of my husband I am a softer, gentler Diva. I'm thankful that my husband can provide both the tender and the tough side. Even I need the discipline sometimes but he tries to be gentle even when he's scolding me. And I thank him for it! I'm also appreciative of the fact that I don't have to handle all of the decisions alone anymore. When I was single, I remember saying to myself that my next husband should be able to take care of things as well as I could. My husband can and I am finally at a point where I can trust him to do it! I'm so grateful for that.

Day 3
Pray that your husband will be humble and quick to agree with God about his sin. Pray that his heart will be tender toward the voice of the Lord. (Ps. 51:2-4; Micah 6:8)

These things I ask for my husband in Jesus name Amen.

When I was a single parent, I used to wonder if a man could actually come into my life and take an active role in my children's lives. If you are married, are you trying to take care of everything? Maybe because you don't trust your husband to get it done or you are so used to taking care of the stuff? If you are single, think about how it would feel to have someone else stand up to the insurance company or the bill collectors. Think ahead about the types of duties that you can pass on to your significant other and pray to God that he has the wisdom and authority to handle it well. It makes a lot of difference.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

OST Artist Spotlight-Earth, Wind & Fire

If you are here for the 30 Day Husband Challenge please scroll down.

This week's Artist Spotlight is on Earth, Wind & Fire!

These brothers provided the soundtrack to many a family reunion in my house. Enjoy the Imeem playlist and you can find some of the songs in the download packs that I have provided below the playlist. After the jump you can find the biography. Enjoy!
-DJ Diva


Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands of the '70s. Conceived by drummer, bandleader, songwriter, kalimba player, and occasional vocalist Maurice White, EWF's all-encompassing musical vision used funk as its foundation, but also incorporated jazz, smooth soul, gospel, pop, rock & roll, psychedelia, blues, folk, African music, and, later on, disco. Lead singer Philip Bailey gave EWF an extra dimension with his talent for crooning sentimental ballads in addition to funk workouts; behind him, the band could harmonize like a smooth Motown group, work a simmering groove like the J.B.'s, or improvise like a jazz fusion outfit. Plus, their stage shows were often just as elaborate and dynamic as George Clinton's P-Funk empire. More than just versatility for its own sake, EWF's eclecticism was part of a broader concept informed by a cosmic, mystical spirituality and an uplifting positivity the likes of which hadn't been seen since the early days of Sly & the Family Stone. Tying it all together was the accomplished songwriting of Maurice White, whose intricate, unpredictable arrangements and firm grasp of hooks and structure made EWF one of the tightest bands in funk when they wanted to be. Not everything they tried worked, but at their best, Earth, Wind & Fire seemingly took all that came before them and wrapped it up into one dizzying, spectacular package.

White founded Earth, Wind & Fire in Chicago in 1969. He had previously honed his chops as a session drummer for Chess Records, where he played on songs by the likes of Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, and Etta James, among others. In 1967, he'd replaced Redd Holt in the popular jazz group the Ramsey Lewis Trio, where he was introduced to the kalimba, an African thumb piano he would use extensively in future projects. In 1969, he left Lewis' group to form a songwriting partnership with keyboardist Don Whitehead and singer Wade Flemons. This quickly evolved into a band dubbed the Salty Peppers, which signed with Capitol and scored a regional hit with "La La Time." When a follow-up flopped, White decided to move to Los Angeles, and took most of the band with him; he also renamed them Earth, Wind & Fire, after the three elements in his astrological charts. By the time White convinced his brother, bassist Verdine White, to join him on the West Coast in 1970, the lineup also consisted of Whitehead, Flemons, female singer Sherry Scott, guitarist Michael Beal, tenor saxophonist Chet Washington, trombonist Alex Thomas, and percussionist Yackov Ben Israel. This aggregate signed a new deal with Warner Bros. and issued its self-titled debut album in late 1970. Many critics found it intriguing and ambitious, much like the 1971 follow-up, The Need of Love, but neither attracted much commercial attention, despite a growing following on college campuses and a high-profile gig performing the soundtrack to Melvin Van Peebles' groundbreaking black independent film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.

Dissatisfied with the results, White dismantled the first version of EWF in 1972, retaining only brother Verdine. He built a new lineup with female vocalist Jessica Cleaves, flute/sax player Ronnie Laws, guitarist Roland Bautista, keyboardist Larry Dunn, and percussionist Ralph Johnson; the most important new addition, however, was singer Philip Bailey, recruited from a Denver R&B band called Friends & Love. After seeing the group open for John Sebastian in New York, Clive Davis signed them to CBS, where they debuted in 1972 with Last Days and Time. Further personnel changes ensued; Laws and Bautista were all gone by year's end, replaced by reedman Andrew Woolfolk and guitarists Al McKay and Johnny Graham. It was then that EWF truly began to hit their stride. 1973's Head to the Sky (Cleaves' last album with the group) significantly broadened their cult following, and the 1974 follow-up, Open Our Eyes, was their first genuine hit. It marked their first collaboration with producer, arranger, and sometime songwriting collaborator Charles Stepney, who helped streamline their sound for wider acceptance; it also featured another White brother, Fred, brought in as a second drummer.

The single "Mighty Mighty" became EWF's first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts, although pop radio shied away from its black-pride subtext, and the minor hit "Kalimba Story" brought Maurice White's infatuation with African sounds to the airwaves. Open Our Eyes went gold, setting the stage for the band's blockbuster breakthrough.
In 1975, EWF completed work on another movie soundtrack, this time to a music-biz drama called That's the Way of the World. Not optimistic about the film's commercial prospects, the group rushed out their soundtrack album of the same name (unlike Sweet Sweetback, they composed all the music themselves) in advance. The film flopped, but the album took off; its lead single, the love-and-encouragement anthem "Shining Star," shot to the top of both the R&B and pop charts, making Earth, Wind & Fire mainstream stars; it later won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group. The album also hit number one on both the pop and R&B charts, and went double platinum; its title track went Top Five on the R&B side, and it also contained Bailey's signature ballad in the album cut "Reasons." White used the new income to develop EWF's live show into a lavish, effects-filled extravaganza, which eventually grew to include stunts designed by magician Doug Henning. The band was also augmented by a regular horn section, the Phoenix Horns, headed by saxophonist Don Myrick. Their emerging concert experience was chronicled later that year on the double-LP set Gratitude, which became their second straight number one album and featured one side of new studio tracks. Of those, "Sing a Song" reached the pop Top Ten and the R&B Top Five, and the ballad "Can't Hide Love" and the title track were also successful.

Sadly, during the 1976 sessions for EWF's next studio album, Spirit, Charles Stepney died suddenly of a heart attack. Maurice White took over the arranging chores, but the Stepney-produced "Getaway" managed to top the R&B charts posthumously. Spirit naturally performed well on the charts, topping out at number two. In the meantime, White was taking a hand in producing other acts; in addition to working with his old boss Ramsey Lewis, he helped kick start the careers of the Emotions and Deniece Williams. 1977's All n' All was another strong effort that charted at number three and spawned the R&B smashes "Fantasy" and the chart-topping "Serpentine Fire"; meanwhile, the Emotions topped the pop charts with the White-helmed smash "Best of My Love." The following year, White founded his own label, ARC, and EWF appeared in the mostly disastrous film version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, turning in a fine cover of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life" that became their first Top Ten pop hit since "Sing a Song." Released before year's end, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 produced another Top Ten hit (and R&B number one) in the newly recorded "September."

1979's I Am contained EWF's most explicit nod to disco, a smash collaboration with the Emotions called "Boogie Wonderland" that climbed into the Top Ten. The ballad "After the Love Has Gone" did even better, falling one spot short of the top. Although I Am became EWF's sixth straight multi-platinum album, there were signs that the group's explosion of creativity over the past few years was beginning to wane. 1980's Faces broke that string, after which guitarist McKay departed. While 1981's Raise brought them a Top Five hit and R&B chart-topper in "Let's Groove," an overall decline in consistency was becoming apparent. By the time EWF issued its next album, 1983's Powerlight, ARC had folded, and the Phoenix Horns had been cut loose to save money. After the lackluster Electric Universe appeared at the end of the year, White disbanded the group to simply take a break. In the meantime, Verdine White became a producer and video director, while Philip Bailey embarked on a solo career and scored a pop smash with the Phil Collins duet "Easy Lover." Collins also made frequent use of the Phoenix Horns on his '80s records, both solo and with Genesis.

Bailey reunited with the White brothers, plus Andrew Woolfolk, Ralph Johnson, and new guitarist Sheldon Reynolds, in 1987 for the album Touch the World. It was surprisingly successful, producing two R&B smashes in "Thinking of You" and the number one "System of Survival." Released in 1990, Heritage was a forced attempt to contemporize the group's sound, with guest appearances from Sly Stone and MC Hammer; its failure led to the end of the group's relationship with Columbia. They returned on Reprise with the more traditional-sounding Millennium in 1993, but were dropped when the record failed to recapture their commercial standing despite a Grammy nomination for "Sunday Morning"; tragedy struck that year when onetime horn leader Don Myrick was murdered in Los Angeles. Bailey and the White brothers returned once again in 1997 on the small Pyramid label with In the Name of Love. After 2003's The Promise, the group realigned itself with several top-shelf adult contemporary artists and released 2005's Illumination, which featured a much-publicized collaboration with smooth jazz juggernaut Kenny G.


30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives/Day Two

Challenge Day Two:
" . . . through love serve one another." Gal. 5:13b
How did you do yesterday with your first day of blessing and encouraging your husband? Was it easy? Was it hard to hold your tongue when you wanted to say something negative? We hope you're off to a good start. (If you blew it, don't give up start again today!) There are so many practical things you can praise, if you look for them.

Today, find some way that your husband is serving you or your family. Does he help around the house? Take care of the car? Fix things that are broken? If your budget allows, give him a new, small tool with a big bow attached. But make sure he doesn't think it's part of a "Honey Do" list!

Maybe your husband's not a handyman, but does he run errands for you? Let you go first? Take care of you when you are sick? Help you make decisions? Praise him for his willingness to serve others. Let him know that you see his unique service as a great strength.

DJ Diva Comments:

This is day two and I have a bit of a commentary because the subject matter is one thats dear to my heart. Primarily because I have been writing and praising about the things that my husband does for me since we been together.

My husband constantly serves me and the twins. He makes dinner almost every night. I'm a good cook but for some reason we like his food better. On the weekends, because he knows I'm tired from driving us all week, he does whatever running around needs to be done. It's never hard to talk to him about what needs to be done. Often he'll do it before I even ask him.

It takes a strong man to be as unselfish as my husband Scribe. To do it without a million complaints is next to amazing. I remember that in my last relationship I couldn't get that negro to take out the trash. Once he watched me from the window as I shoveled my car out of a blizzard! Not my husband! He enjoys to see me relax. That is a blessing in itself.

A couple of days ago he brought a new laptop. It wasn't part of our budget and lord knows we could have used that money LOL...but I didn't argue with him. I did not berate him for buying it without discussing it with me. This man hands over his entire paycheck for the upkeep of our lifestyle and inside me I knew that he deserved something, anything to help compensate for the fact that he gives his all.

Prayer Day 2
Pray that your husband’s relationship with God and His Word will bear fruit in his life. Pray that he will be a man of wisdom and understanding, fearing the Lord. (Prov. 3:7, 9:10; Ps. 112:1)

This I ask in Jesus Name Amen.

Often we (as women) think about all the things that we bring to the relationship. While we are single, we have a list of all the things we expect a man to do for us. Some of us have a concrete list and there will be no wavering from those demands. And that's cool ... because you want what you want. But do we stop to think about the fact that because the man is doing said things ...this creates relaxation or free time for us? I remember writing a post about how happy I was that Scribe was doing this or that. I also remember a good friend of mine saying "Why are you praising him for what he is supposed to do?" It is out of love that Scribe does for me and the twins.. not because of what he is supposed to do. And for that both he and God need to be praised.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives/Day One

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
Day One:

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." Proverbs. 31:11-12

To refresh your memory . . . here's the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge: for the next 30 days:
• You can't say anything negative about your husband . . . to your husband . . . or to anyone else, about your husband.
•Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband. . . to your husband . . . and to someone else, about your husband!

To help you get started, have you ever thanked your husband for "choosing you" above all other women? He found you attractive as a person, and appreciated you. Though many circumstances in your marriage may have changed, let your husband know that you are glad God led you together, and that you want to be a blessing to him for the rest of your marriage. Let him know that he can trust you to be in his corner.
One of the best opportunities to express your gratitude is first thing in the morning. How do you greet your husband each morning? Is he confident in your love? Give him a "wake up call" that he'll never forget-a big "I love you" and an "I'm so glad I'm your wife!"

DJ Diva Comments:

This is actually easy for me. Every morning I give my husband positive feedback on himself. It's become somewhat of a ritual for him to show up in the door of my bathroom while I'm getting ready and I compliment him or give him advice. Mostly it's the compliments. My husband is so fine and I'm sure the chicks at his job know it! He dresses in suits and ties everyday and his hair and beard are always trimmed perfectly!

I am thankful that he chose me. I am a very blessed woman for that because I'm sure you've read my disaster dating stories from 2004-2006. He thinks I'm absolutely beautiful no matter the day or time and he makes sure to tell me so. I hope he's confident in my love and his attractiveness to me. I hope he knows that I ALWAYS have his back regardless! I'm so glad I'm his wife!

Prayer -Day One

Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord. Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines—Bible reading and study, prayer, meditation, scripture memorization, etc. (2 Peter 3:18; Prov. 4:23)

All these things I ask for him in Jesus Name...Amen

So this was Day One. I fulfilled part of the challenge by telling all of you how I feel about him and how special he is. I hope that you guys are enjoying this. I encourage the single women to think about ways they will encourage their future mates and how they can make him feel important. First thing in the morning! Also, how important his choice is in picking you for his future wife.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives/Intro

One of my newlywed Blog Friends...Eve.(who married Fave: one of my Blog bros)..sent me the most delightful email last night. She invited me to perform the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives with her. I agreed. As most of my blog friends know, (but she doesn't lol), it's hard to get me commit to something. Similar to Michigan. (Twitter joke to @amneris).

But this I'm committed to. I'm committed to Scribe. To my marriage. To my family. I know I have to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

So I'm going to do this challenge and do the prayers too. I pray over my husband often. Usually he doesn't know about it. For the next 30 days he will. I have not read ahead but I'm sure there are things that I am already doing as well as what I could work on. I don't plan to stop my OST Artist Spotlights or my mixtape playlists but I will be posting these everyday for 30 days. At the end of which will be Valentine's Day.

I invite those married bloggers and readers to join in the challenge and the prayers. I invite those unmarried women to read, participate and if they have ask them as candidly as they like.

This is what invitation to the challenge said:

We're so glad you've decided to accept the "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" to
encourage your husband! Your decision means that you truly want to be a blessing in
your home. This challenge will also result in spiritual growth in your own life.
We'd like to encourage you to keep track of what God does in your marriage over this
next month. We hope you'll take time to share what God does in your home as you
bless and encourage your spouse.

This is the Prayer Request:

“She does him good….” Proverbs 31:12a

Bless your husband by praying for him!
The Apostle Paul instructed all Christians to pray for one another (Ephesians 6:18). This includes wives’ responsibility and privilege to pray for their husbands. Earnest prayer for your husband is good for him, for you and the spiritual health of your home (Proverbs 31:11-12). Satan desires to destroy your husband, especially his character and his leadership in your relationship. Trust God through prayer as you daily surrender your husband and marriage to the Lord’s wise, loving care.

Good Luck to all the Participants present and future.

Day One begins 1/16/08 for me.

Thanks Eve!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Jill Scott has a new Man!

It turns out that we may have a new muse in our Favorite R&B singer's life! I just spotted this over at SOULBOUNCE!That handsome fella is Lamman Rucker and you remember him from Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married (good flick btw). If he is the new inspiration in Jill's life I sure wish her the best. Sometimes it takes a new love to get over an old one. I'd be sipping on some Crown Royale too!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

OST Artist Spotlight: Patti Labelle

This week's Spotlight is on MS. PATTI LABELLE!!!!

I love Ms Patti and I know you do too! So enjoy the the bio after the break and take advantage of the fact that I have two Download packs of her music for you. If anyone has a problem downloading the music, just let me know in the comments!

OST Artist Spotlight: Patti Labelle

Download Pack 1

Download Pack 2


Born the fourth of five children including three sisters and a brother, Patti began singing at the age of 14 in church. A shy girl, Patti had a voice of a torch diva. A school teacher advised her to start a singing group.

Read the rest of the Bio here

As Patsy Holte, LaBelle formed a four-member girl group called the Ordettes in 1958. In 1959, when two of the original Ordettes left, Holt and fellow Ordette Sandra Tucker brought in singers Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. When Tucker's family made Sandra leave the group, she was replaced by Cindy Birdsong. With her mother's blessings, Patti left high school to tour with the Ordettes. The group was managed by Bernard Montague, The group toured from local nightclubs to honky tonks and truck stops.
Two years passed until the girls auditioned for Blue Note Records. The president at the time nearly passed on the group upon hearing the lead singer was Patti, or "Patsy" as friends and family called her, whom he had said didn't fit the traits of a traditionally beautiful lead singer. His mind was changed, however, when Patsy began singing. The president signed them to the label under two conditions: The Ordettes were now the Bluebelles and Patricia "Patsy" Holte would be given a new name: Patti LaBelle. For a woman that didn't have classic beauty traits by Eurocentric standards, the last name meant "beautiful" in French. The name was changed again to Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles after the manager of the group who had the same name sought to sue.

Success with The Bluebelles
In 1962, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles scored their first Top 40 pop hit with the release of the doo-wop single, "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman." That same year, they began wowing audiences at New York's Apollo theater later given them the name "The Apollo Sweethearts." Throughout the '60s, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles were one of the hottest touring acts on the chitlin' circuit while the hits continued: in 1964, they scored again with songs like "Danny Boy" and "Down the Aisle."
In 1966, the group signed to Atlantic Records and scored what later became Patti's signature song with their version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Her gospel-inspired, sometimes overly dramatic rendition ends each of her shows and climaxes with her throwing a microphone stand into the wings of the stage as she belts the final note. Around this time, LaBelle was engaged to be married to Temptations member Otis Williams, but the couple called off the engagement because of their conflicting touring schedules. The next year, LaBelle, Dash & Hendryx received a shock when Cindy Birdsong left to join The Supremes, replacing Florence Ballard. It would be years before Birdsong and the group began to speak again. After Cindy Birdsong left the group, Patti, Nona, Sarah found themseleves in a holt, But the group continued to tour around the country.
In 1970, Patti and the Bluebelles moved to England where they met promoter Vicki Wickham, formerly Janis Joplin's promoter. The next year when the girls returned to America, they came out with a different name - simply Labelle - and a new attitude, vocal style, and a new wardrobe. Wearing casual clothing and African adornments, Labelle often sung of racism, sexism and politics. Their sound was not taken to heart by consumers.
In 1974, however, learning of a cult following, the women changed their looks again now adorning space-like, rockish and uniforms, they began to sing about sex, space, politics, and things that many funk and rock bands were singing about at the time -- but with an exception; no female groups had dared up until now to broach this type of controversial material. In October of that year, they were the first African-American contemporary act to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. That December, they released their greatest record, Nightbirds, featuring their breakout hit, "Lady Marmalade," which hit #1 on the Hot 100 in 1975, helping Nightbirds to go gold. None of their subsequent albums would have quite the same success, although Phoenix and Chameleon were hailed by music critics as experimental and groundbreaking.
Solo career
The 70's
In 1976 during a performance in Baltimore, Nona suffered a nervous breakdown, forcing the band to separate abruptly. LaBelle released her self-titled debut in 1977 on Epic Records, where she recorded 3 more albums in the years to come. The debut album became an important hit for Patti at least on the R&B charts and was notable for the stand-out ballad, "You Are My Friend" and for the funkier "Joy To Have Your Love," which demonstrates Patti's large range with a typical Philadelphia Soul orchestrated arrangement with heavy bass. In the next year she released one of her most acclaimed albums, Tasty, featuring the salsa hit "Teach Me Tonight (Me Gusta Tu Baile)." The next step was the album It's Alright With Me featuring the disco classic "Music Is My Way Of Life" and the last album she recorded for Epic was Released, which did better than the previous one chartwise but didn't generate any important hits nor received the same critical acclaim. On July 21, 1979, she appeared at the Amandla Festival along with Bob Marley, Dick Gregory and Eddie Palmieri, amongst others.
The 80's
Success eluded LaBelle until early 1981, when she released the classic ballad, "I Don't Go Shopping." In 1983, she released her first charted hit album, I'm In Love Again. The album featured LaBelle's first #1 R&B hit with "If Only You Knew" and a radio hit with "Love, Need and Want You." In 1984, after an eighteen-year estrangement, she reconciled with Cindy Birdsong while she was on stage in Los Angeles. By 1985, LaBelle was on her way to pop stardom after her songs, "New Attitude" and "Stir It Up" (recently re-recorded by Patti and Joss Stone) from the soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop (1984), which peaked at #17 and #41 on the pop charts respectively.
By the time of her rise to pop stardom in the mid-1980s, LaBelle was infamous for her wild hairdos, kicking off her shoes in a "Holy Ghost"-like rage, rolling over the floor while singing, putting the microphone stand down and then yielding it up in the air and choreographing the famous "spread my wings" move that she incorporated during her performances of "Over the Rainbow." Patti's appearance at the Motown Returns to the Apollo and Live Aid concert in 1985 introduced her to a whole new audience. During the finale of Live Aid, Patti took to the microphone for "We Are the World," during some points of which Patti's voice is the only one audible. As a result, Patti was often accused of grandstanding. In 1986, she released her best-selling album to date with Winner in You. The album yielded her first solo #1, "On My Own" with pop balladeer Michael McDonald, the Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit, "Oh, People," the moderate pop chart hit, "Kiss Away The Pain" and the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart hit, "Something Special Is Gonna Happen Tonight."
The 90's
By the end of the 1980s, she scored a moderate R&B and pop chart hit with the Diane Warren ballad, "If You Asked Me To," in 1989. The song peaked at #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was later covered by Céline Dion in 1992 when it peaked at #1 on both the Pop & A/C charts. In an interview with the online magazine Monaco Revue., Patti said racism in the music industry was responsible for the difference in sales, and revealed that accepting this was the most difficult obstacle she had to face in her career.
Patti entered the 1990s on a high but not without tragedy. In July 1989, she lost her third sister Jackie to cancer. Patti's two elder sisters had similar fates, with her oldest sister Vivian dying in 1977 (at the height of LaBelle's success) and the second-eldest sister Barbara, dying in 1982 from colon cancer. Her brother, father and mother also passed away around the same time, making Patti the only living member of her extended family while being the mother of six kids - one of her own, three of one of her sisters' children and two adopted - and wife of Armstead Edwards (married since 1969), who had become her manager.
LaBelle herself was diagnosed with diabetes in 1995. She is a spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association, and has published two cookbooks targeted at people with diabetes, containing low-sugar and low-fat recipes. In 2005, LaBelle began appearing in advertisements for OneTouch Ultra and later for OneTouch Ultra2, a manufacturer of blood glucose monitoring systems for people with diabetes.
In 1991, Patti released the Gold selling Burnin' album, which helped her win her first Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance. Burnin' featured the hits "Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)", "When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)" and "Feels Like Another One." That album is also notable because it includes the first Labelle reunion recording with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx, on the track "Release Yourself". That success continued onto subsequent albums like 1994's Gems (featuring the hit "The Right Kinda Lover"), 1997's Flame (featuring the hit "When You Talk About Love"), and 1998's Live One Night Only (which won her a second Grammy).
In 2000 she divorced her husband, Armstead. The same year she released When A Woman Loves, an album mostly of heartbroken-toned Adult Contemporary songs by Diane Warren. The album did not score an Adult Contemporary chart hit with the title track. LaBelle's musical legacy would be heard on several tracks by younger R&B and hip hop artists, such as "Lady Marmalade", which was resung by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Pink and Mya on the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge!, and became a #1 hit again 26 years after the original topped the charts. She also appeared, though briefly, in a performance of the song at the 2002 Grammy Awards. "Love, Need & Want You" was sampled by rapper Nelly and Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland in their #1 hit, "Dilemma" and later by Outkast, who featured LaBelle re-singing parts of the song on their hit, "Ghetto Musick". "If Only You Knew" has also been covered and sampled in recent years.
On February 6, 2003, she performed "Way Up There" at a memorial service in honour of the astronauts lost in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, which was held at the Washington National Cathedral and attended by Vice President Dick Cheney among others. Patti was nominated for a Grammy for this tune, but lost to her friend Aretha Franklin. On July 22 of the same year, she sang the "Ave Maria" at New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral during the funeral of the Cuban salsa singer Celia Cruz.
The year 2004 saw the release of Timeless Journey, which debuted at #16, making it LaBelle's highest charting album in eighteen years. Songs on the album include "2 Steps Away" and "When You Smile", a tribute song for Celia Cruz featuring Spanish language artists Carlos Santana, Andy Vargas, and La India. She scored modest hits with "New Day", "More Than Material" and, "Gotta Go Solo", a duet with Ronald Isley which peaked at #31 on the R&B chart. Patti has had her own reality show on TV1, Living It Up with Patti Labelle, since April 30, 2004.
In mid-2005, she released Classic Moments, a cover album featuring tracks made popular by other artists. LaBelle has often performed some of her favorite songs by other singers in her concerts. The album featured such songs as "I Can't Make You Love Me", the lead single, "Ain't No Way" (featuring Mary J Blige), "I'll Stand By You", "Land of the Living" (with singer-songwriter Kristine W.), and "Your Song" (featuring Elton John). Shortly after the release of the album, Labelle was dropped from her label. Reports of conflicts with label head Antonio "L.A." Reid were blamed for the dissolution, as well as an event where several high-profile stars abruptly backed out of appearances at a televised 60th birthday celebration for LaBelle.[2]
On November 21, 2006, The Gospel According To Patti LaBelle was released.[3] As a promotion, all copies sold at Wal-Mart have a bonus track, "The Lord's Prayer". The Gospel According To Patti LaBelle debuted at #86 on the Billboard 200, #17 on the R&B chart and #1 on the Gospel Albums chart. The unit sales of the first week tallied up to 18,000 units sold. Earlier in 2006, LaBelle performed at the 2006 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.[4]
LaBelle is also said to be recording a new album with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx, together as the reformed LaBelle, with help from Lenny Kravitz. They will be in the recording process this year and will possibly be on the road next year.
On June 26, 2007, Patti LaBelle gave a teary eulogy on the late Gerald Levert. Patti LaBelle along side Gladys Knight, Yolanda Adams and Eddie Levert paid tribute to Levert at the 2007 BET Awards singing "Wind Beneath My Wings", a favourite song of his which he sang often in his own concerts.
According to a message Ms. LaBelle posted on her official website, she has currently re-signed with Def Jam after being dropped by L.A. Reid in 2005. Reid decided he had made a mistake and offered her another deal, which she took a few months to decide upon but eventually accepted. She has since released a Christmas album produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and James "Big Jim" Wright. The album, titled "Miss Patti's Christmas", was released October 9, [2007] and was due to feature a guest appearance from Mariah Carey; however, this Mariah Carey track did not make the CD.
On November 4, 2007, the World Music Awards paid tribute to 63-year-old LaBelle for her enduring contribution to R&B. LaBelle sang a rendition of "Lady Marmalade" at the event with Shaggy. "I love this show because it unites the world with music; we need peace in the world," LaBelle said.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

OST Artist Spotlight: Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack is another one of my all time favorites. Check out the biography and the playlist. As an extra treat I have a cute little video and the songs are available for download under the biography. Enjoy!

OST Artist Spotlight: Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack has earned the right to the title of true soul survivor. There is no doubt that he possesses a unique and exceptional talent. It is not only the rough and raspy classic soul voice, it is the torment in Bobby Womack's music, his pain is honest and deeply personal, leaving him vulnerable and exposed. The singer/songwriter operates on the notion that the best songs are rooted in common experience, and Bobby Womack's music comes straight from his soul.
Click here for the rest of the Bio

He was born Bobby Dwayne Womack to Naomi and Friendly Womack Sr., a steelworker, in Cleveland, Ohio on March 4, 1944. In the early 1950's, with some help from his father, Friendly Womack Sr., who was a singer and guitar player with a quartet called the Voices Of Love, he joined his brothers Cecil, Curtis, Friendly Jr. and Harry to tour the country appearing on religious shows as The Womack Brothers. The quintet toured with notable gospel groups such as the Five Blind Boys, the Caravans, and the Pilgrim Travelers, as well as the late great David Ruffin long before Ruffin would become famous as the greatest of The Temptations lead singers. At the time, the brothers thought gospel was the only way to go, that singing anything else was the way to hell.
When the Womack Brothers opened for the Soul Stirrers at a local gospel show in 1953, Bobby came in contact with their lead singer, Sam Cooke, who was just beginning to branch out into secular music. Sam, who would become Bobby’s mentor and a major influence, tried to recruit Bobby as a guitarist for his backing band. This stemmed from a night when Cooke’s guitar player did not show up and Bobby, then 16 years old, filled in and impressed Cooke so much that he fired two of his guitar players and replaced them with Bobby. The more successful Sam became, the harder he tried to convince Bobby and his brothers that it was secular music that provided money and fame far beyond the bounds of the gospel circuit. He told them to think about his new house and driveway filled with cars the next time they recorded. Eventually, against threats of eternal damnation from his strictly religious father, Bobby accepted Sam's offer, and dropped out of school.
In 1962, Cooke and business partner, former Pilgrim Travelers singer J.W. Alexander , signed the quintet to their new SAR Record label, and renamed them The Valentinos. According to Bobby, they cut a single "in about two hours, with just a guitar and a piano". The gospel song "Somewhere There Is a God", became "Somewhere There's A Girl", The traditional "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray", became the hit single "Lookin' For A Love". It reached #8 on the R&B charts, and broke the Top 100 pop. Seemingly destined for pop stardom, within two years the Valentinos were filling halls on the R&B circuit.
In December of 1964 Sam Cooke was murdered in a sleazy Los Angeles hotel. Cooke’s death shattered his young protege emotionally and, as things worked out, professionally. Sam's widow and the much younger Bobby began openly dating and were seen together at local nightclubs. Less than 3 months later, shrouded in scandal, and at only twenty one years old, Bobby married Sam's widow, Barbara Campbell. Womack would much later recall how the untimely marriage would cause his career to suffer. When introduced on stage as the boy who married Sam Cooke's wife, people would forget about his talent. Following Sam’s tragic death, the Valentinos remained together for another year, recording unsuccessfully for the Checker label.

By the mid-1960s Bobby’s career as a session guitar player and songwriter was beginning to blossom. Among the artists he backed were Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, and King Curtis. He also wrote the hits “I’m in Love,” “I’m a Midnight Mover,” and “Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)” for Wilson Pickett. Pickett recorded a total of seventeen Womack compositions. During this time Bobby began taking steps toward a solo career and recorded briefly for Him, Chess, and Atlantic, but without much success.
In 1968 Bobby scored his first chart entry on Minit Records with “What Is This,” and he continued to have moderate success with soul versions of the pop songs “Fly Me to the Moon” and the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’.” A songwriting collaboration with Darryl Carter, helped Bobby achieve better quality and greater success on “How I Miss You Baby” and “More Than I Can Stand.” In 1970 Minit Records was absorbed by its parent company Liberty, and Womack was switched over to that label. The following year Liberty was closed by its owners, TransAmerica, and the roster was moved to United Artists.
The move to United Artists proved to be a major breakthrough for Womack’s solo career. He was given the artistic freedom to produce his own album and the result was the highly acclaimed Communication released late in 1971. Continuing his penchant for covering pop hits, he gave soulful readings to James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” and Ray Stevens’ “Everything Is Beautiful.” Aside from the four songs he covered on the LP. including the traditional gospel song “Yield Not To Temptation,” Womack wrote three original songs. The albums biggest hit was “That’s The Way I Feel About Cha,” a bluesy ballad which Womack again opened with a monologue. With a theme of bringing the grim realities of the ups and downs of being in love to the forefront and removing the frills of unrealistic romance, “That’s The Way I Feel About Cha” cracked the pop top 30 and reached number two on the R&B charts early in 1972. More important, the track laid the foundation for Womack’s reputation as a down-home philosopher about everyday life.
Bobby followed Communication with Understanding later in 1972.One of the key songs from the album was “I Can Understand It,” which inexplicably was never released as a single. Highlighted by Hood’s hypnotic bass and the effective use of female background singers, the song has become a soul classic and was a major hit for New Birth the following year.
The first single released from Understanding was “Woman’s Gotta Have It,” a warning to a man who was taking his woman for granted, which Bobby co-wrote with Daryl Carter and Linda Cooke Womack (Sam’s daughter) who married Bobby’s brother Cecil Womack, then divorced from Motown singer Mary Wells, who later married brother Curtis. “Woman’s Gotta Have It” was Womack’s first Number One R&B hit, topping the charts in the spring of 1972. As a follow-up, United Artists released Womack’s cover of Neil Diamond’s 1969 hit “Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good).” The song had moderate success on the R&B charts. However, black radio DJ’s played the flip side Harry Hippie, and it became the hit reaching number eight on the R&B charts early in 1973 and giving Bobby his first certified gold single.

In 1973 Bobby took time out to record the soundtrack to Across 110th Street, one of the period’s more outstanding “blaxploitation” films. The album’s title track, recorded with his backup band Peace, gave Womack his fifth straight top 20 R&B hit in less than two years.
For his next release, Bobby returned to his very first hit, and cut a remake of the Valentinos’ 1962 “Lookin’ for a Love.” Womack gave his album the tile Lookin' For Love Again and released the title track as the first single. It was his second Number One R&B hit, topping the charts for three weeks in the spring of 1974. It was the only top 10 pop hit for Bobby who had achieved very limited crossover success, and second certified gold single. The second single from Lookin’ for Love Again, “You’re Welcome, Stop On By” reached number five on the R&B charts in the summer of 1974.
Bobby’s consistent chart presence in the early 1970s took him to superstar status. However, 1975 found Bobby still in Los Angeles, divorced from Barbara since 1970, and lost in a world of drugs, partying, womanizing, fancy hotel rooms, and expensive champagne. The funky “Check It Out” was his only hit in 1975, peaking at number six. A year later, returning to his production trademarks of an effective use of female background singers and emphasis on the bassline, Womack took “Daylight” to number five. It would be his final hit on the United Artists label. He was dropped from the label after a dispute over the title of a collection of country and western songs, eventually titled B.W. Goes C&W. While Bobby thought that country and western was another avenue for him to channel, United Artists thought he had gone crazy.
On December 31st, of that same year, Bobby married Regina Banks. In 1976, now signed with Columbia, Bobby pulled himself together and returned to Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He was a changed man, and a different singer. His voice was grittier, and rougher. He turned out two other self-produced albums, Home Is Where The Heart Is (1976) and Pieces (1977), neither of which achieved much commercial success.

Womack finished the decade on Arista with the Roads Of Life album in 1978 which he dedicated to his infant son Truth Womack who died tragically at only 4 months of age.
In 1981, Bobby signed with the small Beverly Glen label and produced the masterpiece, The Poet, and instant success. But all was not well with Womack’s new success. In between the release of The Poet and The Poet II, another fine album, Womack took label owner Otis Smith to court, claiming that he received no royalties. The Poet albums were a breakthrough for Womack in the UK. That same year, Britain's Blues & Soul named him the best male vocalist, best songwriter, and best live performer. The Womack is a true superstar in Europe, where his albums often sell in the millions.
In 1985, free from his legal hassles, Womack again collaborated with Wilton Felder for the latter’s second album, Secrets, and scored with “(No Matter How High I get) I’ll Still Be Looking Up To You,” a duet with Altrinna Grayson. Later that year, he signed with MCA and recorded the highly acclaimed So Many Rivers. The album’s debut single, “I Wish He Didn’t Trust Me So Much” reached number two on the R&B charts for two weeks that fall, and was followed up by “Let Me Kiss It Where It Hurts.” The disc fared even better in England, where many critics named it the number one release of 1985.
After a period away from recording at the beginning of the 1990’s, Bobby released Resurrection in 1994 on Rolling Stone Ron Wood’s Slide label. In 1997, (I Wanna) Make Love To You was released on MCA. Bobby's most recent project is a return to gospel Back To My Roots. This soulful collection takes him back to church, and features 19 gospel songs and classics. This may be his best record yet, with his sense of gospel strongly influenced by his R&B experience.
With his return to gospel, Womack hoped to reconcile the conflict with his father, to whom the album is dedicated. Unfortunately, his father died during the making of the album and would never get to hear the finished product.
Through it all Bobby Womack has remained optimistic, and dedicated to what he is, a true soul singer and survivor. Womack is a veteran who has done everything from Gospel to doo-wop to collaborations with The Rolling Stones. When it comes to old school R&B, few perform with more ease and assurance than Bobby Womack. Unjustly, he has never received the accolades he deserves, like that given such peers as Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Jackie Wilson, although he's just as influential a figure in black music.

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