H.E.R., Lalah Hathaway, PJ Morton, Leon Bridges, Duke Fakier
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Grammy Awards: H.E.R., Leon Bridges And More Praise New Class Of R&B Superstars

Who are your favorite artists' favorite artists?

The VIBE staff has come to the conclusion that R&B is in good hands. Longtime favorites such as Miguel, Lalah Hathaway and Charlie Wilson continue to raise their own personal bars for sonic excellence. Artists such as Ella Mai, H.E.R., and Daniel Caesar have steadily cemented their statuses as musical forces to be reckoned with, with each of the artists adding a Grammy (or Grammys) to their collection as of last night (Feb. 10).

While on the red carpet at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 10), VIBE was able to ask some of the artists in attendance about the state of R&B, and who they believe is contributing to the genre in a positive, prolific way. Check out some of your favorite artists’ favorite artists below.

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H.E.R.

"I mean, there’s so many artists. I’m happy to see what Ella Mai’s doing, she just won. Me and Daniel [Caesar] just won. I think real music is coming back, with real instruments, real stories, and I think it’s just really dope."

Leon Bridges

"Oh man, it’s a huge list! It’s really dope to see how prominent it is right now. Look at Miguel, Khalid, C.S. Armstrong, Ro James, Daniel Caesar, there’s so many."

Duke Fakir, the last living member of The Four Tops

"My favorites are Alicia Keys and John Legend. Those two are top of the line. They bring a lot of class, first of all, and they have great voices, they just represent show business in a great way. I respect their stage presence, how they’re dressed, how they appear, I hold them in high regard."

PJ Morton

"I think there’s so many out here. What H.E.R. is doing, I’m really excited about what SZA is doing, she was owning this last year. Wow, so many R&B artists, that’s what I like about now. Chloe x Halle, I consider Anderson [.Paak] a soul act, even though he’s a rapper. He’s definitely one of my favorites as well. BJ The Chicago Kid, too, it’s a family."

Lalah Hathaway

"Jazmine Sullivan, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Khalid, Daniel Caesar, Keifer… there’s so many, there’s so much happening in black music, which as we know, influences everything. I hear the influence of black music everywhere."

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From left to right, Kennedy Center Honor recipients Verdine White, Philip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson original members of Earth Wind and Fire photographed at the Eighteenth Street Lounge in Washington, D.C. on November, 16, 2019.
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Earth Wind And Fire Hint Towards Duets Album At Kennedy Center Honors

Earth Wind & Fire's music has stood the test of time and it seems like more tunes might be on the way. On Sunday (Dec 8), the iconic band was officially inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, making them the first African American group to receive the honor. The group's original members Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Verdine White were in attendance at the 42nd annual event with the exception of the group's founder Maurice White, who died in 2016.

In addition to celebrating White's creation and the group's legacy, the remaining members hinted towards a new project. “We’re making a list, and checking it twice," Bailey told Billboard of a possible duets album. “And you’ll hear about it soon.” We can only imagine many artists would clamor for the opportunity. During the event, the group was treated to reworkings of their biggest hits by Cynthia Erivo, John Legend, the Jonas Brothers and Ne-Yo. The group has remained mum on the details of the album but were proud to celebrate their rich legacy and how proud White would be of the feat.

“You can’t play any Earth Wind & Fire songs without Maurice’s DNA being on it, so he’s always here and we’re always celebrating him and his vision,” Johnson told Billboard. “People are still coming together and having fun.” Since the release of their first album in 1971, the group has strongly influenced R&B, disco and soul. The biggest artists in the world have sampled the group including Jay Z, Drake, the late Mac Miller, Missy Elliot and Nas.

Next year will celebrate their 50 years in the industry with many more to go. The 42nd Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 8pm.

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Ashanti Douglas attends "It's a Wonderful Lifetime” first holiday party of the year at STK Los Angeles on October 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California
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Ashanti Joins Omarion's Millennium Tour

Our prayers for a female presence on Omarion's Millenium Tour have been answered with one of the most talented singers in R&B.

On Thursday (Dec. 5), Omarion announced singer-songwriter Ashanti as a special guest for the upcoming tour. "So excited to announce that Ashanti will be joining The Millennium Tour lineup!" he said in an Instagram post. The singer announced the follow-up show last week to what was perceived as a B2K reunion tour featuring Mario, Lloyd, Pretty Ricky, Chingy, Bobby Valentino and the Ying Yang Twins earlier this year.

Hailed as The "Millenium Tour 2020," the new bill features Soulja Boy and Sammie, with the Ying Yang Twins, Pretty Ricky and Lloyd returning to the mix. The tour will also include Bow Wow, who has several jams (and an album) with Omarion like "Let Me Hold You" and "Girlfriend."

Before joining the tour, Ashanti was a special guest during Lloyd's performances of their 2004 hit, "Southside." With such a large and memorable discography, fans will be thrilled to hear some of the Grammy-winner's biggest hits like "Foolish," "Only U," and recent releases like "Say Less" featuring Ty Dolla $ign and "Pretty Little Thing" featuring Afro B.

This will more than likely be a another big financial boost to the tour. The inaugural Millennium Tour grossed $6.7 million from its first eight reports, according to Billboard and set a career-high for B2K. They also went on to earn $5 million from three additional dates at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. (April 13-14), State Farm Arena in Atlanta (April 4-5), and Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. (April 12).

 

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Fabolous Clarifies Comments About Shiggy And Paid Promotional Posts

Fabolous is all about his friends–including Shiggy–making their bread. The rapper cleared up an assumed incident between himself and the comedian during an interview with Ebro in The Morning after he was criticized for slamming Shiggy for demanding a check for promoted social posts.

Earlier this week, an exchange between Fab, Casanova and Shiggy about the matter was seen on Instagram Live after Shiggy explained why he doesn't create "challenge" dances for free. In light of his new single "Choosy," he asked his pal for a #ChoosyChallenge dance post to support it. Shiggy said he would be down to do it–but had to receive a check first.

Shiggy's profile has skyrocketed since he created the #InMyFeelings challenge in 2018. The challenge helped boost Drake's single and led to the comedian going on tour with him. He's also found himself in some awkward situations with rappers nearly bullying him into providing his influence for their music. During Shiggy's exchange with Casanova and Fab, it seemed that Shiggy's request was frowned upon.

Speaking to Ebro, Laura Stylez and Peter Rosenberg, Fab says his criticism of Shiggy was a joke and he's well aware that the comedian should receive a check for his services.

"It was all a play to play with Shiggy," he said. "Shiggy is a joking person, so you joke back with him. So my joke to him was, this first time I'm seeing him, he was at my show, and just like, 'Wow, look at Shiggy.' So I hit Shiggy just because we was starting the challenge of it and just because I know him personally. We have a cool relationship.  So I was just like, 'Yo man, it'd be cool if you do something for the new joint, for 'Choosy.'' And he's like, 'Yeah, yeah, see if you get me a check or something.' And even when he said it, I didn't take no offense to it, because I even see now, social media and the social media influencers, record labels do that. But me personally, I don't personally pay people, you know what I'm saying? I even told him like, 'I'mma see if Def Jam can get you a check. Let me figure it out.'"

Shiggy hasn't responded to the drama but he did say in his Instagram stories, "I didn't change, I just learned my lesson."

Check out the rest of Fab's interview below.

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