Rita Ora Rita Ora

On the Come-Up: 5 Fierce Female Singers to Watch

It’s not often the Roc's head honcho passes through with new artist in tow, so when Jay-Z randomly decided to visit Clear Channel with Rita Ora last month, we already knew she was something special.

She's got the looks (she notes Gwen Stefani as a strong influence) and also packs voice. And if her career takes off similarly to that of another Hov-stamped Diamond princess (Jay-Z first introduced Rihanna to the world around 2005), the future could hold a lot of promise for Roc Nation's spunky newcomer.

But Miss Ora isn’t the only songstress currently on the come-up. Flanking Rita are five other vivacious vocalists worth noting, so get your iPods ready. Today VIBE takes the time to get you well-acquainted.

Bridget Kelly

On BK’s saucy remix of Miguel’s “Quickie,” she sets the record straight: “So disrespectful, I'll be the one to check you,” she sings, later telling him to “knock his own wood” since he won’t be knocking her. And that’s exactly what makes this Roc Nation siren so easily noteworthy: she’s feisty. Nevermind the fact that she’s been Jay-Z’s go-to A.Keys stand-in for live renditions “Empire State of Mind” or that she hit the road with Estelle for the UK singer’s tour – the fact of the matter is this girl can blow. Try her "Every Girl" EP on for size.

Bridget Kelly – “Seek and Destroy”

Tiara Thomas

"I didn’t know I was going to be on the mixtape," Tiara Thomas said of her feature on Wale’s "More About Nothing." "I got on Twitter and was like, 'Why do I have all of these new followers?'"

Sure, 19,000+ followers may be considered a lot for an aspiring artist still in college, but Miss Thomas isn’t your ordinary lady rap-singer. For one, she has a penchant for picking brash rap lyrics and making them melodically palatable. For two, she comes equipped with this aura that has followers dubbing her a young Lauryn Hill. Maybe it’s her skills with the acoustic guitar? Or perhaps it’s the fact that she’s not bad with the bars. Whatever it is, we’re into it, and we think you may be, too.

Tiara Thomas – “Are You That Somebody” (Aaliyah Cover)


Before you heard Sabi on Cobra Starship’s “You Make Me Feel,” she was one half of Warner Brothers girl group The Bangz. But once band mate Ella Ann was injured and the group was no more, Sabi went on to pave a new lane as a solo artist. Since then, she’s collaborated with Britney Spears, gone on tour with Spears and Nicki Minaj, and released a single called “Wild Heart” that was featured on the trailer for "Kourtney and Kim Take New York."

Sabi – “Wild Heart”


Australia’s Kimbra is not a book to be judged by its cover. On the outside she’s a sophisticated lady with a comely appearance, but when she opens her mouth, fire emerges. Kimbra’s sound can best be described as new-age jazzy, classy enough for the old heads yet cool enough for contemporary popsters. The 21-year-old has had much success with her debut "Vows." Most recently, she was featured on indie artist Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Kimbra – “Cameo Lover”

Melody Thornton

If you haven’t yet heard Melody Thornton’s cover of “No Church in the Wild,” you may want to do yourself a favor. “Lipstick&Guilt” captures Melody at her peak since topping charts with the Pussycat Dolls, and after taking out some recup time to embark on a solo career, the diva finally reemerges with her mixtape, "P.O.Y.B.L." (Piss On Your Black List), which we can’t wait to hear once it drops on March 15.

Melody Thornton – “Love Gun”


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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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