It's Black Music Month. Enjoy the 2014 series. Support the artists. Buy their licensed music. And turn up as you dance along.
Brief history: In 2010, I wrote a music series honoring Black Music Month on Associated Content's site (republished on Examiner). The focus was to honor new R&B singers, veteran R&B singers, solo rappers, and evenly split the musical salute between female and male rappers. The only artists I was not willing to split up were Salt n' Pepa because they worked as a unit. In 2014, it's about time to salute more artists, but in the spirit of Salt n' Pepa's legacy, R&B groups and rap groups will be included. The pattern in 2014 will be newer R&B singers (from 2000 to present), R&B and/or hip-hop groups, veteran R&B singers, and then solo rappers, still evenly split between women and men.
Black Music Month Turn Up Factor "Turn down for what?": Magic happened every time Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell crooned together in songs, such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy to Come By," "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You," "If This World Were Mine," "Keep on Lovin' Me Honey" and "Your Precious Love." And although both artists were talented on their own, as a duo, they were incredible. It's still surprising that these two never married but judging from the reaction Marvin Gaye had to Tammi Terrell's death due to brain cancer, they sure might as well have been.
My Connection/First Memory to Artist: Watching parts of TV One's "Unsung" was deeply disturbing. The way that domestic violence was just brushed under the rug seemed bizarre, and I genuinely felt bad for the woman. There's a difference between family being forgiving and being in denial, but to each her own. Other than the issues she faced in relationships, the TV documentary was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at an incredibly underrated and talented singer who I only knew of before then as "the lady who sings with Marvin Gaye all the time."
Numbers Don't Lie: Three of her songs made it to the Billboard's Top 100 countdown for a few weeks, including "This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)," "Come On And See Me" and "I Can't Believe You Love Me," but her biggest hits were duets with her friend, legend Marvin Gaye.
For the first series of Black Music Month artists republished on Examiner (originally on Associated Content), click here to see all 30.
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