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Gregory Abbott – Shake You Down

Gregory Abbott,

(born April 2, 1954 New York City, New York) is an American soul musician (keyboards and drums), singer, composer and producer.
Abbott’s parents came from Venezuela and Antigua. He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Antigua. During his early years, Abbott’s mother taught him how to play piano and encouraged him to develop vocally.

gregory abbott

Before his career as musician, Gregory Abbott studied psychology at University of California, Berkeley and creative writing at Stanford; where he won a Wallace Stegner fellowship. Also, he has taught English at University of California, Berkeley.

One of Abbott’s first opportunities in his studio was an album for an independent record label, which gave him the opportunity to do a duet with Whitney Houston. Continuing on, Abbott produced for the group EQ on Atlantic Records.

In 1986, Abbott released his first solo album, Shake You Down. The title track for the album was a success, going platinum and topping the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s second single, “I Got The Feelin (It’s Over)” which reached Number 5 on the R&B chart. With the strength of its singles, the album propelled to platinum status and earned Abbott several awards.

Internationally,Gregory Abbott carried much success, winning first prize at the Tokyo Music Festival. The title track of his second album, “I’ll Prove It To You” which was released in 1988, was featured on a Japanese movie soundtrack. In Belgium, he performed with Princess Stephanie of Monaco.

gregory abbott

Over the years much of his new music has been released via singles on his own Mojo Man Entertainment label.Gregory Abbott has continued with his R&B sound but in addition he has added a Caribbean/Soul feel as well. In 2011, a album entitled “Drop Your Mask” was released; and Abbott continues to release new singles two to four times a year.

Bobby Brown – My Prerogative

Bobby Brown,

Robert Barisford “Bobby” Brown (born February 5, 1969) is an American R&B singer-songwriter, occasional rapper and dancer.

Brown started his career as one of the frontmen of the R&B/pop group New Edition, from its inception as The Bricks in 1982 until his forced exit from the group in 1986 following a period of misbehavior on his part. Starting a solo career, he became a hit success with his second album in 1988, Don’t Be Cruel, which spawned a number of hit singles including the co-self penned “My Prerogative”, which became his signature hit. Brown had a string of top ten hits on various Billboard charts between 1986 and 1993 and is a recipient of a Grammy Award. Brown is noted as a pioneer of new jack swing, a fusion of R&B and hip hop. Brown has also won American Music Awards and Soul Train Awards.

Brown was most noted in recent years as the ex-husband of late pop singer Whitney Houston. Brown and Houston later gained notoriety co-starring in the reality show Being Bobby Brown. He has a daughter named Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown with her.
Brown was born in Boston as one of eight children to Herbert “Pops” and Carole Brown. Herbert was a construction worker and Carole was a schoolteacher. Brown and his family grew up in Roxbury’s Orchard Park Projects. As a child, Brown got involved in petty theft including robbery later saying “I didn’t wanna ask my mother or my father because they didn’t have a lot of money”, stating that whenever he saw something he wanted, “I’d just go to the store and take it.” Brown also grew up around gangs. At ten, he was shot in the knee during a fight with a rival gang while attending a block party. Brown said his life reached a turning point at eleven after seeing one of his friends dead from multiple stab wounds at another party. Brown’s brother Tommy would later say after that moment, Brown took “his career, schooling, his whole life more seriously.” Brown’s first taste of being onstage occurred at the age of three when one of his childhood idols, James Brown, performed in Boston. This performance had sparked a dream of becoming a singer. Brown joined the church choir, where he recognized his own singing abilities.

bobby brownMusic career
New Edition

New Edition was originally started by nine-year-old Brown and childhood friends Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Travis Pettus & Corey Rackley who all knew each other growing up in the Orchard Park Projects in Boston. Rackley however left the group early and good friend Ralph Tresvant joined the group at the suggestion of Bell who sang with Tresvant as a duo . Brown was also familiar with Tresvant since they were kids. Travis Pettus would also leave the group and they became a quartet of Bell, Tresvant, Bivins, and Brown. In 1982 they became a quintet when their manager Brooke Payne insisted on bringing in his nephew Ronnie DeVoe, to complete the group. After performing in several talent shows in the Boston areas in 1982, they won a deal with Maurice Starr’s label and released their debut album, Candy Girl. The title track became an instant million-seller in which Brown sung co-lead alongside Bell and Tresvant. Brown’s first full lead vocal performance was on the New Edition ballad, “Jealous Girl”, which was a minor hit when it charted in 1983. The group became pop sensations with their self-titled sophomore release. The album included the crossover hits “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man”, which Brown also co-led.

Despite the group’s success, however, Brown felt the group was never rightfully paid the money they felt they had earned from their success, later saying “the most I saw from all the tours and all of the records we sold was $500 and a VCR.” Brown also allegedly grew jealous of the attention given to fellow New Edition member Ralph Tresvant and during some of their tour performances, would often step out of his position and perform out of turn, performing seductively and singing, which caused hiccups from the group’s management team. Brown was featured on two more New Edition albums before leaving the group in early 1986.[1] Brown later said he felt that the group’s management treated them “like little slaves by people who were only interested in money and power, and not in the welfare of New Edition.” A little controversy arose over how Brown got kicked out. Some say Brown asked to be let out of New Edition but a VH-1 Behind the Music documentary on the group claimed Brown was voted out by the group via their management team, with some of the members, most prominently Tresvant, against the decision.
Solo career

Following his exit, Brown signed a contract with his former group’s label, MCA, which had earlier promised Brown a solo deal if he had decided to leave New Edition and also signed with manager Steven Machat, who also worked with New Edition. The label released his debut album, King of Stage, in 1986. Brown had a number-one R&B hit with the ballad, “Girlfriend” but the album didn’t do well.

Brown laid low for more than a year working on his follow-up album. With the help of Machat and an MCA representative, Louil Silas, Brown began working with some of the top R&B producers and songwriters including Babyface, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Teddy Riley. The producers helped to compose what became Brown’s most successful solo album to date, Don’t Be Cruel. Released in 1988, the album launched five top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including the number-one single, the self-penned “My Prerogative”, which became, along with “Every Little Step” and the title track, signature hits for the performer. After topping both the pop and R&B charts, album sales eventually would reach twelve million copies worldwide making it the best-selling album of 1989.

In 1989, Brown contributed two songs to the soundtrack of Ghostbusters II, in which he also appeared in a cameo role in the film. The leading track from the soundtrack “On Our Own”, became another top ten single for the singer, peaking at number two. The same year, a remix compilation, Dance! Ya Know It, was released and found fans in the United Kingdom, where Brown had a fan base and had major success. Brown ventured on a 120-day world tour to promote the Don’t Be Cruel project in 1988. The tour became a success with Brown’s former group New Edition sometimes opening for him. The tour lasted into spring 1991 but not without Brown gaining notoriety for simulating sexual acts onstage, which got him in trouble with the law. In 1990 Bobby performed Tap Into My Heart at the 1990 MTV Awards and Brown was supposed to release the album Mystical Magic but it was shelved for unknown reasons and never saw the light of day. Brown stayed busy and in 1991 he collaborated with New Edition member and friend Ralph Tresvant in the song “Stone Cold Gentleman” which was a top 5 R&B hit and also hop on the remix to Babyface song “Tender Lover” that same year.

bobby brown

Brown’s next album, the Bobby album wouldn’t come until 1992. While released during the final days of the new jack swing era, an era that Brown had dominated, the album did become a success, selling more than 2 million copies and spawning several hits including “Humpin’ Around”, “Get Away” and “Good Enough”. However the sales of Bobby didn’t match its predecessor. Some of that may have to do with Brown deciding not to continue his career as he was now married to his famous wife, Whitney Houston, who with Brown, contributed a UK hit with their duet, “Something in Common”, from the Bobby album. Brown would release his fourth solo album, Forever, in 1997. Due to lack of promotion and Brown’s desire to write and produce most of the tracks, the album tanked and the album’s only single, “Feeling Inside”, was not successful.

Prior to its release, Brown had been in negotiations with rapper Tupac Shakur to get signed to Shakur’s new label Makaveli Records. However, Shakur died before that would take place. Leaving MCA following the release of Forever, Brown laid low for several years, re-emerging in 2002 where he was featured in a duet with rapper Ja Rule on the song “Thug Lovin'”. Brown had been signed to Murder Inc. Records. However much like the situation with 2Pac, Murder Inc. began dissolving, leading to Brown’s tenure with them brief. In 2006, Brown appeared adding vocals to Damian Marley’s song “Beautiful” on Marley’s album, Welcome to Jamrock. In 2010, Brown was featured in a duet with singer Macy Gray on the song “Real Love” off Gray’s The Sellout. Gray explained to Essence[2] about the project, saying “actually he came to the studio, since he doesn’t live far, and knocked out his recording in two hours. We’re friends and his one-year-old son is my godson. His fiancée is one of my best friends in the whole world. I met Bobby a long time ago, but we really got to know each other through her.”[3]

On June 5, 2012, Brown released his fifth album, The Masterpiece. The album debuted at #41 on the R&B album chart. and another song Plenty Of Bottles Going Down featuring Ralph Tresvant on Real Hubands Of Hollywood.
New Edition reunions

Brown made his first reunited appearance with New Edition at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards. Their performance later sparked the recording of Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Word to the Mutha!” in 1991 which Brown, Ralph Tresvant and later NE member Johnny Gill was included. A full-fledged reunion occurred with the 1996 release of the album, Home Again. Brown contributed lead vocals on two hit singles, “Hit Me Off” and “You Don’t Have to Worry”. However a subsequent 1997 tour to support the album led to problems between Brown and the other New Edition members. Brown later admitted that he was struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism during the tour.

In 2005, at the BET 25th anniversary special, Brown again reunited with New Edition to a receptive audience. In 2008, Brown, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill then formed a splinter group, Heads of State, to compete with Bell Biv DeVoe. At the 2009 BET Awards, following the death of the group’s idol Michael Jackson, the six New Edition members again reunited to perform a medley of Jackson 5 hits in honor of Jackson. This sparked rumors of another full-fledged New Edition reunion, which was confirmed the following year. As of 2014, Brown and New Edition continue to perform together.
Influences

Bobby Brown’s musical influences spark from artists such as Rick James, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, and Prince.[4] Brown can be heard emulating grunts and “Ow’s” made popular by James Brown as well as Michael Jackson.

bobby brown
Film and television career

Brown made his first acting debut making a guest appearance in the 1989 film, Ghostbusters II, playing the Mayor’s Doorman. The following year, he appeared in the HBO kids show, Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme playing all three characters of Three Blind Mice. In 1995, he made another guest appearance in the film, Panther, and had a major role the following year on the Martin Lawrence film, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Brown made other guest appearances in the films, Two Can Play That Game, Gang of Roses, Nora’s Hair Salon and Go for Broke.

In 2005, Brown signed a deal with Bravo to overlook the direction of the reality series, Being Bobby Brown, but it was said that he had to convince producers that his then-wife Whitney Houston would appear on the show. Houston later told Oprah Winfrey that she agreed to do it because she “loved him” and “did whatever he asked because I was his wife.” The show lasted one season but received bad reviews in the duration of its run, leading to a fallout in both singers’ careers. The show ended in 2006 after Houston refused to appear in a second season of the show. The couple divorced soon after.

In June 2007, Bobby Brown took part in the ITV television series “24 hours with…”, a chat show format as celebrity and interviewer spend an intense 24 hours locked in a room together. The show’s host, Jamie Campbell, asked Brown questions about his career and private life, and infamously joked about making “sexual moves” towards the singer. Bobby Brown was furious and threatened to beat Campbell up live on air.Brown’s later tenures in reality shows included appearances on Real Husbands of Hollywood, Celebrity Fit Club and Gone Country.

Johnny Kemp – Just Got Paid

 

Johnny Kemp,

(born August 2, 1959) is a Bahamian singer. He began singing in nightclubs in the Bahamas at 13. He moved to New York in 1979 with the band “Kinky Fox.” His self-titled debut album came out in 1986 and he scored a minor hit with “Just Another Lover.” True success came the following year, however, with the release of his Secrets of Flying album, which contained a pair of Top 5 hits on the US Billboard R&B chart: “Dancin’ with Myself” and “Just Got Paid,” the latter hitting #1. “Just Got Paid” also cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988, and went to top the Hot Dance Music/Club Play. It provided his only UK Singles Chart entry, peaking at #68 for one week in August 1988. His only other Hot 100 entry was “Birthday Suit,” a tune from the soundtrack to the movie, Sing which climbed to #36 in 1989.

johnny kemp

Johnny Kemp appeared on the 2007 DVD release by Keith Sweat entitled Sweat Hotel Live. This DVD featured live performances by Sweat in a sort of reunion with other R&B/new jack swing era pioneers of the late 1980s, including Teddy Riley. Johnny Kemp appeared on the final track, an “all-star finale” rendition of “Just Got Paid,” originally recorded at a February 2006 concert in Atlanta, Georgia. Incidentally, Sweat had initially passed on the instrumental track that would eventually become “Just Got Paid,” when it was first offered to him in the mid-1980s. Kemp listened to it, added his own lyrics to the melody, and “Just Got Paid” was born.

Kemp was the featured performer (singing “Just Got Paid“) at the NJS4E event in New York on September 8, 2007. As the name implied, the show celebrated and commemorated 20 years of new jack swing, and took place at Ashford & Simpson‘s Sugar Bar.

Johnny Kemp is married and the father of two sons.

johnny kemp

 

 

Pebbles – Girlfriend

 Pebbles

Perri Reid (born Perri Arlette McKissack), best known by her former stage name, Pebbles, is an American dance-pop and urban contemporary singersongwriter.

She created the contemporary R&B group TLC. She is currently an Atlanta-based minister named Sister Perri.

Early life

Reid was born Perri Arnette McKissack on August 29, 1964. Pebbles is one of four children. Her divorced mother raised her family on the income of a waitress and housekeeper.

By age 16, a local musician gave her a production deal which fell through several months later when she got pregnant with her daughter, Ashley. Perri married the father. The marriage lasted one year.

Perri got her start in 1981 as a backing vocalist for the percussionist/band leader Bill Summers and the funk band Con Funk Shun. Reid co-wrote one of Con Funk Shun’s singles, “Body Lovers”.

While working at an Oakland, California real estate office she met contractor George L. Smith. Smith bankrolled Perri with $80,000 for a demo tape and video for “Mercedes Boy“. The demo and video led to a contract with MCA. Smith and Perri married in 1985 and made their home in San Francisco.

Pebbles recorded several hit singles on her own during the late 1980s and early 1990s (including “Girlfriend” and “Mercedes Boy“). She also sang background vocals on Paula Abdul‘s album Forever Your Girl in 1988.

Pebbitone and TLC

In July 1989 Perri married L.A. Reid. She formed the Atlanta-based production company Pebbitone and founded her own record label, Savvy Records.

Pebbitone managed TLC, which was signed with LaFace Records, L.A. Reid’s record label. When TLC filed for bankruptcy in 1995, claiming Pebbles had mismanaged their funds, the ensuing conflict damaged Pebbles’ marriage. She divorced Reid, and Pebbitone sued LaFace for $10 million.

pebblesReligious conversion

In 1997, Pebbles underwent a religious conversion. Under her new stage name “Sister Perri”, she founded Women of God Changing Lives (WOGCL) Ministries. As an ordained minister, she now preaches and ministers through song  In 2008, after a thirteen-year music hiatus, Reid released her fourth album and debut gospel album, Prophetic Flows Vol I & II, which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Gospel Album Chart.

In February 2011, Perri was named the executive producer/host of Essence‘s national R&B search.

Personal life

In 2000 she married former MLB player Otis Nixon  They divorced in 2004. She married Excel Sharieff in 2010.

Pebbles.

 

Rene & Angela – I’ll Be Good

René & Angela

were a duo consisting of artist/producers René Moore and Angela Winbush. The group dissolved by the mid-1980s. Both went on to successful solo careers as performers, songwriter, and producers of RB (R & B music). Moore later went on to form Multi-Media Communications, which operated radio stations from 2008 to 2012. Winbush went on to score five top ten R&B hits as a solo artist.

 

rene-angela

Rene & Angela   I’ll Be Good – partial live performance.