Vixen Summer Series: Health And Fitness Enthusiast Hannah Bronfman Talks HBFit Movement

Hannah Bronfman lays out her off-kilter blueprint on successfully turning her passions into businesses.

Hannah Bronfman is the equivalent of Wonder Woman equipped with a pair of turn tables and a protein bar.

At 27 years old, the DJ and founder of health, beauty and fitness website, has cleverly positioned herself as a bonafide boss and standout in the saturated markets of music and fitness thanks to her quirky and down-to-earth demeanor. And if you're still not familar with New York City's it girl, just check out Instagram's favorite tab and we're sure you'll recognize her enviable, toned abs and tight glutes that have garnered thousands of likes. But it's her natural love for educating and empowering people to live happy and healthy lives that she takes the most pride in. "Ultimately I want people to be inspired to go on their own journey of self-discovery," she tells Vixen.

Here, Bronfman lays out her successful blueprint on turning her passions into businesses, self discovery, and her health, beauty and fitness website, HBFit. – Ashley Monae


VIBE Vixen: From DJ to founder of and all-around entrepreneur, you just about do it all. Tell us, who is Hannah Bronfman?
Hannah Bronfman: I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to pick one career path. I feel strongly about turning all of my passions into businesses, ranging from DJing to founding my wellness site, HBFit.

Did you always know you wanted to be this multifaceted talent? You graduated form Bard with a degree in Sculpture, but went onto do other things. How come?

All my endeavors have somehow flowed logically together. Art is definitely a passion of mine, but one that I couldn’t afford to keep-up post-graduation, so I turned to DJing to pay the bills. Since I kept long hours and always needed to be on it, I embarked on my fitness journey, which led me to found the health, beauty and wellness site, HBFit. My parents are very supportive and excited for me and I’m sure ultimately happy I didn’t choose to go the starving artist route.

You've got a real knack for the 1's and 2's, providing the vibes for the hottest events like Paris Fashion Week parties. How did you get into DJing? 
I come from a musical family, but never tapped into it until I was thrown into a DJing gig during college. My friends who own the Jane Hotel had a DJ cancel last minute and asked me to step in. I literally learned the software 20 minutes before going on! It was so much fun that I never looked back.

For the past few years we've watched you hone in on being this go-to gal for all things fitness via Instagram. What prompted this journey?

Being active was always a priority growing up. I studied ballet until I was a teenager. Fitness is one of my main passions, so I naturally love to share my experiences with people. I really started to explore the endless possibilities of the fitness world six years ago when I saw the best results on my body after mixing up my routine every day. I especially love highlighting new workouts I’m trying or when I meet my goals with my social media followers. I recently mastered crow pose in Yoga, which I was extremely excited about. Ultimately, I want people to be inspired to go on their own journey of self-discovery.

Set your intention for the week and stick to it #HBFit

A photo posted by Hannah Bronfman (@hannahbronfman) on

Tell us about your latest venture, HBFit.

Health and fitness were always my passions, but for some reason ones that never found a place in my professional trajectory. For me, Instagram was really the jumping off point for how I began to share my fitness journey, but it got to a point where I had so much more to say than the caption allowed. As I was thinking about my career priorities in 2014, I realized that I needed to incorporate wellness. HBFit was my solution – a site that explores all things health, beauty and fitness related and features many experts that I turn to for advice on hot topics in wellness.

You've said in past interviews that you live by the mantra, "Your body is a temple." Did this inspire your launch of HBFit?

My mom told me this mantra when I was a little girl and it always stuck with me. It especially resonated with me after watching my grandmother lose her life to malnourishment, due to anorexia. After this experience, as well as being diagnosed with Leaky Gut, I prioritized treating my body with extreme care. This means maintaining a strict diet and fitting a workout to even the busiest of days.

What are your thoughts on societies pressures on body image and beauty? 
As someone with little sisters, I am hyper-aware of the image that I’m putting out there. There are obviously a ton of societal pressures for girls to conform to the “ideal model body,” but I think that we are moving towards a more realistic view of beauty and I feel strongly about being involved in the movement. I really do believe that #FitIsTheNewSkinny, and one of my main motivations for creating HBFit was to focus on a healthy and wellness-focused life that celebrates strong, like-minded people.

Aside from being a fitness aficionado you're a part-time model too, walking the runway at DKNY's Fall 2014 Fashion Show. How was that experience? 
It was surreal. I’ve never had any training as a model so I was super nervous. Once I hit the runway I had so much adrenaline that I didn’t think about anything except walking straight.

What is one thing that owning your own business has taught you?
That starting a business is just half the battle; growing it is even more difficult. Also, I've learned that that you need to hire people that are strong where you are weak. A good team is everything.

Any advice you would you give young women interested in going into business for themselves, being that you've successfully wrangled all your passions into a career.

Find out what you’re passionate about, and look for creative opportunities to get involved!

What's next on the horizon for Hannah Bronfman?
Stay tuned for an exciting announcement with HBFit and keep track of what I’m up to on Instagram + Snapchat! @Hannahbronfman + @Hannahbgood

Photo Credit: Instagram/Hannah Bronfman

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.


Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...


— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.


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I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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