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Vixen Chat: Lalah Hathaway On 'To Pimp A Butterfly' And The Neo-Soul Renaissance

Lalah Hathaway spills the tea on her latest ventures with Vixen.

Noted for her unique and unmatched voice, Lalah Hathaway is one of the most influential musicians of a generation.

Known for her filling resonance and unique timbre, Hathaway's vocal and musical abilities have won her multiple Grammy's and numerous honors. While her abilities should come as no surprise, given that she’s the daughter of music icon Donny Hathaway, Lalah is blazing her own trail and leaving her on mark on music.

Recently, Lalah lent her musical and vocal talents to Kendrick Lamar’s latest album “To Pimp A Butterfly”, having written, sung backup, and also arranged several of the songs on the project.

Vixen spoke with Lalah about her involvement with the new album, in addition to her thoughts on the direction of soul music, and what’s next from her musically.

VIBE Vixen: How did you get involved with "To Pimp A Butterfly?"

Lala Hathaway: Some of the musicians that worked with Kendrick on the album are also close collaborators of mine. When I got wind of it, it sounded like something different that I wanted to be involved with. I value Kendrick as an artist and wanted to help out.

You were a vocalist and writer on the project, in what other areas did you help out?
Yeah, I helped write a few tracks. Actually "Mama" used a sample of song I wrote that my father, Donny Hathaway, gave to me in a dream. That was really special and it meant a lot to me that they used it.

There's no doubt that Kendrick's album is well on its way to becoming a classic. How does this moment feel for you?
The album is such a statement piece about true artistry. I think there were so many people involved in making the project work that ultimately everyone had a hand in everything. Bilal and Rober Glasper also helped a lot, and I’ve worked with those two before, so some really great things happened musically on the album.

Do you think this a time in music where real artistry and musicianship is starting to be valued again?
I think we’re in a time where real music is starting to be appreciated once again, and it’s making it’s way back to the forefront of mainstream. We, as a people, love things that are genuine- I don’t think that will ever go away. You can’t undermine something that is great, and genuine music that comes from the heart and soul is great.

As for you, do you have any projects lined up?
I do. I have an upcoming record that is a live record; its a live show from start to finish. It’s got a whole different vibe going on. I think people will really be able to catch the musical conversation between the audience and the musician that just creates a great energy. I hope people get a lot out of it. I want it to be extraordinary. I want them to hear something special because it's truly a complete piece of art. I hope people can dig it.

Does your father still influence your sound and work?
He definitely does. Its an incredible thing to be the child of a legend. As his child I see him one way, but as a musician I am a fan. I have plans to work a lot more with his music and just see where it goes. Though I have a live show coming up on April 21st in L.A. at The Troubadour, which is where he recorded his album Donny Hathaway Live, so I’m super excited about that.

What’s your take on women in entertainment as of right now?
Entertainment is still a male dominated field, though the landscape is changing. Thursday nights [aka Shonda Rhimes] alone let you know the world is changing. Our pop culture icons are now women, and I think that’s such an incredible thing.

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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)

 

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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.

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