WCN Transmedia Group Presents TLC to Advertisers wanting to understand the power of Transmediation. As you go through these videos as either a fan or Advertiser, please consider the Artists life’s work. We have a way to share a new revenue stream which could have avoided getting these wonderful talented ladies from a secure income for life. As music lives on forever shouldn’t the revenue. WCN You Transmedia Brandcastinng Partner.
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|Also known as||2nd Nature|
|Origin||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Genres||R&B, hip hop, dance, new jack swing|
|Associated acts||Babyface, André 3000, Debra Killings, O’so Krispie, Missy Elliott|
|Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (Deceased)
TLC – Baby-Baby-Baby
TLC is an American R&B girl group, originally consisting of Crystal Jones, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. Although originally conceived as “2nd Nature”, the group’s name was later changed to “TLC” by their manager before they were signed to LaFace Records in 1991.
TLC – No Scrubs
The group achieved commercial success following the release of their debut album Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, which was certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA and spawned the top-ten hits “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“, “Baby-Baby-Baby“, and “What About Your Friends?“. Their second album, CrazySexyCool (1994), is the only album by a female group to be awarded diamond certification by the RIAA, for selling over 11 million copies in the United States alone. Two of the album’s singles, “Creep“ and “Waterfalls“, topped the Billboard Hot 100. Their third studio album, FanMail reached #1 on the Billboard 200 and spawned two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, “No Scrubs” and “Unpretty“. Despite their success, the members of TLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1995.
TLC – Red Light Special
In early 2002, just before the release of TLC’s fourth album, 3D, Lopes was killed in a car accident in Honduras. Watkins and Thomas promoted 3D as a duo, and in 2005, hosted a reality television show, R U the Girl, with a grand prize of a chance to record a song and perform once in concert with the surviving group members, both of whom have released solo material and continued to collaborate occasionally. In October 2009, Thomas and Watkins announced plans to record new material to be released “sometime soon”.
TLC – Girl Talk
Billboard magazine ranked the group as one of the greatest musical trios of all time. They have had four #1 singles, including “Creep”, “Waterfalls”, “No Scrubs“, and “Unpretty“, and have won four Grammy Awards. The RIAA and Billboard cite that TLC has sold more than 60 million records world wide, making them one of the biggest selling R&B female group of all time. They are second only to The Supremes as far as pop female groups. In 2008, the group was inducted into the All Time Hot 100 Artist Hall of Fame by Billboard, at 56th place. They are listed on Top R&B/Hip Hop artist in the last 25 years at #25.
In 1990, Atlanta, Georgia, teenager Crystal Jones put out a call for two more girls to join her in a trio to be called 2nd Nature. Her request was eventually answered by Tionne Watkins, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, who moved to Atlanta with her family at an early age, and Lisa Lopes, a rapper who had just moved to the city from her native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with only a keyboard and US$750 ($1,260 in current dollar terms).
The group eventually managed to arrange an audition with R&B singer Perri “Pebbles” Reid, who had started her own management and production company, Pebbitone. Impressed by the girls, Reid renamed the group “TLC” and arranged an audition for them with local record label LaFace Records, run by Kenneth “Rylee” Edmonds and Reid’s then-husband, Antonio “L.A.” Reid. The latter Reid saw potential in Watkins and Lopes but felt that Jones should be replaced; within a few days, part-time Damian Dame backup dancer Rozonda Thomas was brought in to replace Jones. The girls were signed to LaFace through a production deal with Pebbitone (with Perri Reid taking the role of the group’s manager) (see artist development deal) and almost immediately went into the studio with producers Reid and Edmonds, Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and Marley Marl to produce their first album.
1991–92: Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip
The first TLC album, Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, was released on February 25, 1992 by LaFace. The songs on the album are a blend of funk (Watkins), hip-hop (Lopes), and R&B (Thomas), similar to the “new jack swing” sound popularized by producer Teddy Riley in the late 1980s (and TLC’s sound was sometimes cited as an example of the “new jill swing” genre). The album was a critical and commercial success, being certified quadruple-platinum within a year and launching a number of US Hot 100 top-ten singles with “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg“, “What About Your Friends“, and “Baby-Baby-Baby” which reached #2 on the Hot 100.
TLC’s lyrics, chiefly written by Lopes and Dallas Austin, were playful, female-empowering anthems characterized by Lopes’s quirky, nasal-toned raps, Watkins’s low-voiced lead vocals, and Thomas’s powerful vocals and harmonization. The musical formula was augmented by the girls’ brightly-colored videos and curious costuming: each girl wore wrapped condoms on their clothing (Lopes also wore one in a pair of glasses over her left eye).
During TLC’s first national tour, as MC Hammer‘s opening act, Lopes and Thomas discovered that Watkins had sickle-cell disease, an ailment which she kept a closely-guarded secret until she became ill while TLC was touring the Southwest US. Watkins continued to battle her condition and eventually became a spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America in the late 1990s. At the conclusion of the tour, TLC decided to take more control of their careers and thus informed Perri Reid that they no longer wished her to be their manager. Reid released the group from its management deal, but they remained signed to Pebbitone, and Reid continued to receive a share of their earnings.
TLC – Unpretty
Lopes began dating Atlanta Falcons American football player Andre Rison shortly after the release of Oooohhh… On the TLC Tip, and by 1994 the two were living together in Rison’s upscale double-story home. Their relationship was allegedly filled with violent moments, and Lopes filed an assault charge against Rison on September 2, 1993. Rison denied battering her. Lopes was also battling alcoholism at the time. She had been a heavy drinker since the age of fifteen. After another fight between the couple in the early morning hours of June 9, 1994, Lopes tossed numerous pairs of Rison’s newly purchased shoes into a bathtub, doused them with lighter fluid, and lit them on fire. The plexiglas bathtub quickly melted and set the structural frame of the house on fire. Lopes was arrested and indicted on charges of first-degree arson; she was sentenced to five years of probation and a $10,000 fine. Rison eventually reconciled with Lopes, and they continued dating on and off for around three and a half years.
During early 1994, TLC re-entered the studio with Dallas Austin, Tim & Bob, Jermaine Dupri, Babyface, Organized Noize, and Sean “Puffy” Combs to record their second album, CrazySexyCool. Lopes was released from rehab to attend the recording sessions, but the finished album featured significantly less of her raps and vocals. The album instead focused more on the contributions from Watkins and Thomas, and had a smoother, more fluid sound, similar to the most successful single from the first album, the US #2 hit “Baby-Baby-Baby”. All four singles from CrazySexyCool reached the top 5 of the US Hot 100, while “Creep” and “Waterfalls” peaked at no. 1, while Red Light Special reached no. 2 and “Diggin’ on You” reached no. 5. “Waterfalls”, an Organized Noise-produced song that featured an old-school soul-based musical arrangement, socially-conscious lyrics criticizing drug dealing and unsafe sex, and an introspective rap from Lopes, became TLC’s biggest hit, and its million-dollar music video was an MTV staple for many months.
TLC – Creep
CrazySexyCool eventually sold over 11 million copies in the US, and became one of the first albums to ever receive a diamond certification from the RIAA, and won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album and a 1996 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for “Creep”. However, in the midst of their apparent success, the members of TLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 3, 1995.
They declared debts totaling 3.5 million dollars, much of it because of Lopes’s insurance payments arising from the arson incident and Watkins’s medical bills, but the primary reason being that each member of the group was taking home less than $35,000 a year after paying managers, producers, expenses, and taxes. They sought to renegotiate their 1991 contract with LaFace, under which they only received seven percent of the revenues from their album sales, and to dissolve their association with Pebbitone. Both Pebbitone and LaFace countered that TLC simply wanted more money and were in no real financial danger, resulting in two years of legal debates before the cases were finally settled in late 1996. TLC’s contract was renegotiated, their production deal with Pebbitone and Perri Reid (who had separated from her husband by this time) was rescinded, and the group appeared on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack with “This Is How It Works” and was set to re-enter the recording studio in 1997 after signing a new contract with LaFace.
TLC – Waterfalls
Preliminary work on TLC’s third album, FanMail, was delayed when friction arose between the group and their main producer Dallas Austin, who was by this time dating Thomas and helping to raise their young son Tron. Austin wanted $4.2 million and creative control to work on the project, resulting in a stand-off between the producer and the artists. During this period, Thomas appeared in the independent film HavPlenty, and Watkins co-starred in Hype Williams‘ 1998 film Belly with rappers Nas and DMX. Watkins made a solo song in late 1996 called “Touch Myself”. Lopes started her own Lopes Productions artist development company and signed Blaque, a TLC-like female R&B trio. She also appeared on the “Not Tonight” remix with fellow female rappers Lil’ Kim, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Da Brat and Angie Martinez, which garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo, Band, or Group in 1998.
TLC eventually began working with other producers for the FanMail album, until finally negotiating with Austin, who produced the bulk of FanMail and gave the album a futuristic, more pop-based feel. FanMail was another success for TLC, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart and selling over 11 million copies in the U.S. The album featured the number-one hit “No Scrubs“, produced by Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs, and the single “Unpretty“, an alternative rock-styled song about self-love written by Watkins and Dallas Austin (another version of it sampled Dennis Edwards‘ 1984 hit “Don’t Look Any Further”), that also reached #1 on the Billboard chart. At the Lady of Soul Awards the group was honored with the Aretha Franklin Entertainer of the Year Award.
The videos for both songs were heavily featured on MTV and BET, and three more singles received decent radio play: “Silly Ho”, “I’m Good at Being Bad”, and Edmonds-written ballad, “Dear Lie”. Like CrazySexyCool, FanMail won the Grammy for Best R&B Album of 2000 and Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “No Scrubs”. The group went on a worldwide tour simply named FanMail Tour. While the first leg of the tour sold poorly and made the group lose 500,000 dollars, most of the second leg of the tour was sold out. The group had a PayPerView special of their tour which at the time became PayPerView’s highest grossing televised special. The tour went on to gross more than $72.8 million dollars according to Billboard which became the highest grossing tour by a female group.
During and after the release of FanMail, Lopes made it known to the press on multiple occasions that she felt that she was unable to fully express herself working with TLC and Austin. Her contributions to the songs had been reduced to periodic eight-bar raps, and studio session singers such as Debra Killings often took her place on the background vocals for the groups’ songs. In its November 28, 1999 issue, Entertainment Weekly ran a letter from Lopes that challenged her group mates to record solo albums and let the fans judge which of the three was the most talented:
“I challenge Tionne ‘Player’ Watkins (T-boz) and Rozonda ‘Hater’ Thomas (Chilli) to an album entitled The Challenge… a 3-CD set that contains three solo albums. Each (album)… will be due to the record label by October 1, 2000… I also challenge producer Dallas ‘The Manipulator’ Austin to produce all of the material and do it at a fraction of his normal rate. As I think about it, I’m sure LaFace would not mind throwing in a $1.5 million dollar prize for the winner.”
The ladies eventually settled the feud, and The Challenge was never followed through. After the conclusion of the successful FanMail tour, the ladies, however, took some time off and pursued personal interests. Lopes was the first to begin recording her solo album, Supernova. In 2000, Spice Girl Melanie C released a single co-written with Lopes in the UK and Europe, called “Never Be the Same Again“; it became a hit reaching #1 in many countries.
TLC were listed as the #7 most successful pop act of the 90’s in Billboard’s final copy of 1999,CrazySexyCool & FanMail appeared at the number 25 & 84 on the Billboard 200 component.Whereas On the Hot 100 Decade End Chart TLC had 5 songs featured; Waterfalls, Creep, No Scrubs, Unpretty, and Baby Baby Baby at the numbers 19, 21, 33, 76, and 80 respectively.
Before the recording of their fourth album, 3D, there was a dispute between Lopes on one side and Watkins and Thomas on the other. Lopes originally wanted to withdraw from the group in order to see if they could duplicate their prior success without her contributions. Lopes eventually pursued solo stardom and recorded her first album Supernova, however it underperformed overseas and was never officially released in the United States. Before her 2nd solo album was completed, Lopes died in a car crash while on missionary work in Honduras.
Returning from yet another hiatus after Lopes’ death, Watkins, Thomas and Austin decided that they would complete the remainder of their fourth album, to be called 3D, which also featured production from Rodney Jerkins, The Neptunes, Raphael Saadiq, Missy Elliott and Timbaland. The decision was also made that TLC would retire after the release and promotion of 3D, rather than replace Lopes and continue. Lopes had already completed her vocals for four songs; the remainder were performed by the remaining group members alone, who eulogized Lopes on a number of the tracks.
The first single for 3D was “Girl Talk“, the video for which featured Watkins and Thomas alone in live-action segments and Lopes in animated segments. Its follow-up, “Hands Up”, featured only Watkins and Thomas in its video, but took place in a nightclub named Club Lopes (Lopes’ production company’s “eye” logo was a prominent feature on the club’s walls). The album sold two million copies in its first year of release, and “Girl Talk” was the only single to reach the U.S. top forty with a peak position of number 28; “Hands Up” never charted, and a third single, “Damaged“, reached number 53. However, the singles enjoyed a bit more success in Europe and Asia. 3D went on to sale near 4 million copies in the US alone.
In June 2003, at Zootopia, an annual concert hosted by New York radio station Z100 held at Giants Stadium, TLC appeared in what was announced to be their last performance. The group, introduced by Carson Daly, showed a video montage dedicated to Lopes, and went on to perform songs against video footage of Lopes performing the same songs, and wearing the same outfits, that were appearing onstage. TLC performed to 60,000 fans.
2003–05: Now & Forever: The Hits
In 2003, LaFace had scheduled the release of Now and Forever: The Hits, a TLC greatest hits album with a new song, “Come Get Some“, featuring Lil Jon and Sean P of the YoungBloodZ. However, the compilation was not released domestically until June 2005, although versions of the compilation were released internationally in 2004 and the album was also available as a legal download from the iTunes Store in November 2004. On June 21, 2005, Now and Forever: The Hits was quietly released in the United States; the album debuted at number 53 with 20,000 copies sold.
On May 15, 2007, Now and Forever: The Video Hits was released in the United States, after over four years of delayed release dates.
On August 20, 2007 a new greatest hits album was released in the UK called Crazy Sexy Hits: The Very Best of TLC, a play on the group’s best selling album title Crazy Sexy Cool. Now and Forever: The Video Hits was also released in the UK for the first time on the same date. The album fared better than previous compilation Now and Forever: The Hits, peaking at #57 on the UK album chart (Now and Forever: The Hits made #86).
On June 25, 2004, Watkins and Thomas announced that they were pitching a reality television show where contestants would compete for a chance to record a single and perform in concert with the two of them. The show was eventually picked up for development by UPN. R U the Girl with Watkins and Thomas debuted on UPN on July 27, 2005. The winner of the show would record with them on a new single and perform the track with them in a live concert finale in Atlanta. Roughly 4.1 million viewers tuned in for the season finale of R U The Girl on September 20, 2005, with 20-year-old Tiffany “O’so Krispie” Baker as the winner. Despite media speculation that the winner of the series was to become a new, permanent member of TLC, Watkins and Thomas have stated never to replace Lopes with a new member.
On October 4, 2005, “I Bet”, the first new Watkins and Thomas single in over two years, was released to radio and iTunes, credited to “R U The Girl with Watkins & Thomas” with no mention of the TLC name on the package. The song was also appended to pressings of Now and Forever: The Hits released after October 11, 2005. “I Bet” failed to chart in America and Europe, ending reports that Watkins and Thomas were putting the finishing touches on a repackaged Greatest Hits album.
On June 24, 2008, Watkins and Thomas made a special appearance on the BET Awards. They, along with the original members of En Vogue and SWV, performed in Alicia Keys‘ tribute to girl groups. Watkins, Thomas, and Keys performed “Waterfalls“. TLC were also presenters at the BETJ Virtual Awards on November 25, 2008.
In March 2009, Watkins and Thomas announced plans to perform together in a concert series in Japan featuring seventeen of TLC’s songs. On August 25, 2009, it was announced that the group would perform at the Justin Timberlake and Friends benefit concert at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center on October 17, 2009. At the concert, Watkins announced that she and Thomas plan to record new material. In July 2010, T-Boz and Chilli set out to Japan for several days to perform shows.
2011 marks the 20 year anniversary of TLC. They will be receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California, and plan on doing several performances to celebrate. Chilli stated in an interview with Billboard magazine that [they] have a couple of other plans in place for the new year, including the celebration of TLC’s 20th anniversary. Although everything is still in its preliminary stages, she says she and TLC member T-Boz plan on doing something special for our fans all over in the States. We just want to map out different places to go and have our 20 year anniversary performances.
They will end the 20 year celebration with the fans this summer in Atlanta, Ga with special musical guests, and performances by many respected artists. Tickets for the event go on sale April First at their official 20 year anniversary website. TLC:20 – The Official Website
- 1994: House Party 3
Awards and nominations
WCN Transmedia Group Celebrates 40 Years of
“EARTH WIND & FIRE”
Ever need to get your EWF Fix: Well you are about to Enter Boogie Wonderland and go through a number of Earth Wind & Fires Video Moments over the last 40 years.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE BIOGRAPHY
During the 1970s, a new brand of pop music was born – one that was steeped in African and African-American styles – particularly jazz and R&B but appealed to a broader cross-section of the listening public. As founder and leader of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White not only embraced but also helped bring about this evolution of pop, which bridged the gap that has often separated the musical tastes of black and white America. It certainly was successful, as EWF combined high-caliber musicianship, wide-ranging musical genre eclecticism, and ’70s multicultural spiritualism. “I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before,” Maurice explains. “Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music…which somehow ended up becoming pop. We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion and cosmic awareness. I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners’ spiritual content.”
Maurice was born December 19, 1941, in Memphis, TN. He was immersed in a rich musical culture that spanned the boundaries between jazz, gospel, R&B, blues and early rock. All of these styles played a role in the development of Maurice’s musical identity. At age six, he began singing in his church’s gospel choir but soon his interest turned to percussion. He began working gigs as a drummer while still in high school. His first professional performance was with Booker T. Jones, who eventually achieved stardom as Booker T and the MGs.
After graduating high school, Maurice moved to the Windy City to continue his musical education at the prestigious Chicago Conservatory Of Music. He continued picking up drumming jobs on the side, which eventually lead to a steady spot as a studio percussionist with the legendary Chicago label, Chess Records. At Chess, Maurice had the privilege of playing with such greats as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, Willie Dixon, Sonny Stitt and Ramsey Lewis, whose trio he joined in 1967. He spent nearly three years as part of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. “Ramsey helped shape my musical vision beyond just the music,” Maurice explains. “I learned about performance and staging.” Maurice also learned about the African thumb piano, or Kalimba, an instrument whose sound would become central to much of his work over the years.
In 1969, Maurice left the Ramsey Lewis Trio and joined two friends in Chicago, Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead, as a songwriting team composing songs and commercials in the Chicago area. The three friends got a recording contract with Capitol and called themselves the “Salty Peppers,” and had a marginal hit in the Mid-western area called “La La Time.” That band featured Maurice on vocals, percussion and Kalimba along with keyboardists/vocalists Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead.
After relocating to Los Angeles and signing a new contract with Warner Bros., Maurice simultaneously made what may have been the smartest move of his young career. He changed the band’s name to Earth, Wind & Fire (after the three elements in his astrological chart). The new name also captured Maurice’s spiritual approach to music – one that transcended categories and appealed to multiple artistic principals, including composition, musicianship, production, and performance. In addition to White, Flemons and Whitehead, Maurice recruited Michael Beal on guitar, Leslie Drayton, Chester Washington and Alex Thomas on horns, Sherry Scott on vocals, percussionist Phillard Williams and his younger brother Verdine on bass.
Earth, Wind & Fire recorded two albums for Warner Brothers: the self-titled 1970 album Earth, Wind And Fire and the 1971 album The Need Of Love. A single from this album, “I Think About Lovin’ You,” provided EWF with their first Top 40 R&B hit. Also in 1971, the group performed the soundtrack to the Melvin Van Peebles film ‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’.
In 1972, White dissolved the line-up (except he and brother Verdine White) and added Jessica Cleaves (vocals – formerly of the R&B group The Friends of Distinction), Ronnie Laws (flute, saxophone), Roland Bautista (guitar), Larry Dunn (keyboard), Ralph Johnson (percussion) and Philip Bailey (vocals, formerly of Friends & Love). Maurice became disillusioned with Warner Brothers, which had signed the group primarily as a jazz act. Maurice, in contrast, was more interested in combining elements of jazz, rock, and soul into an evolving form of fusion, a truly universal sound.
A performance at New York’s Rockefeller Center introduced EWF to Clive Davis, then President of Columbia Records. Davis loved what he saw and bought their contract from Warner Bros. With Columbia Records, debuting with the 1972 album Last Days And Time, the group slowly began to build a reputation for innovative recordings and exciting, live shows, complete with feats of magic (floating pianos, spinning drum kits, vanishing artists) engineered by Doug Henning and his then-unknown assistant David Copperfield. Their first gold album, Head To The Sky, peaked at number 27 pop in the summer of 1973, yielding a smooth tangy cover of “Evil” and the title track single. The first platinum EWF album, Open Our Eyes, whose title track was a remake of the classic originally recorded by Savoy Records group the Gospel Clefs, included “Mighty Mighty” (number four R&B) and “Kalimba Story” (number six R&B).
Maurice once again shared a label roster with Ramsey Lewis, whose Columbia debut Sun Goddess, was issued in December 1974. The radio-aired title track was released as a single under the name Ramsey Lewis and Earth, Wind & Fire. It went to number 20 R&B in early 1975. The Sun Goddess album went gold, hitting number 12 pop in early 1975. Maurice had also played on Lewis’ other high-charting album, Wade In The Water; the title track single peaked at number three R&B in the summer of 1966.
The inspiration for “Shining Star” (one of EW&F’s most beloved singles) was gleaned from thoughts Maurice had during a walk under the star-filled skies that surrounded the mountains around Caribou Ranch, CO a popular recording site and retreat during the ’70s. The track was originally included in the ‘That’s The Way Of The World’ movie that starred Harvey Keitel and was produced by Sig Shore (Superfly). “Shining Star” glittered at number one R&B for two weeks and hit number one pop in early 1975. It was included on their 1975 multi-platinum album That’s The Way Of The World that held the number one pop spot for three weeks in Spring 1975 and earned them their first Grammy Award. The title track single made it to number five R&B in summer of 1975. It also yielded the classic ballad “Reasons,” an extremely popular radio-aired album track.
The multi-platinum album Gratitude held the number one pop album spot for three weeks in late 1975. On the album was “Singasong” (gold, number one R&B for two weeks, number five pop), the Skip Scarborough ballad “Can’t Hide Love” (number 11 R&B), and the popular radio-aired album tracks “Celebrate,” “Gratitude,” and the live version of “Reasons.” In 1976, Maurice decided he wanted to record a spiritual album. The multi-platinum album Spirit parked at number two pop for two weeks in fall of 1976 and boasted the gold, number one R&B single “Getaway” and “Saturday Nite.” Spirit is remembered as one of EWF’s best albums and sadly for also being the last project of Producer Charles Stepney. He died May 17, 1976, in Chicago, IL, at the age of 45. Charles was a former Chess Records arranger/producer/session musician/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter and Maurice’s main collaborator on his EWF projects. The multi-platinum album All ‘N All peaked at number three pop in late 1977, won three Grammy’s, and had arrangements by Chicago soul mainstay Tom Tom Washington and Eumir Deodato. The singles were “Serpentine Fire” (number one R&B for seven weeks) and “Fantasy.” The group’s horn section, the legendary Phenix Horns (Don Myrick on saxophone, Louis Satterfield on trombone, Rahmlee Michael Davis and Michael Harris on trumpets) became an integral part of the Earth, Wind & Fire sound.
During this time, Maurice produced several artists such as The Emotions (1976’s Flowers and 1977’s Rejoice which included the number one R&B/pop hit “Best Of My Love”) and Deniece Williams (1976’s This Is Niecy which included the Top Ten R&B hit “Free”). In the late seventies, in association with Columbia Records, Maurice also launched a record label, ARC.
The multi-platinum greatest-hits set The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. I included a cover of the Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life” went to number one R&B and number nine pop in Summer 1978. The group performed the song in the 1978 Bee Gees/Peter Frampton movie ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Another single, “September,” made it to number one R&B, number eight pop in early 1978. On the flip side was the enchanting popular radio-aired album track “Love’s Holiday” from All ‘N All.
Their live performances were stellar as well. Sellout crowds were spellbound by the band’s bombastic performances. Their performances blasted a cosmic wave of peace, love and other happy vibrations to audiences using a combination of eye-popping costumes, lights, pyrotechnics and plain old good music. Sometimes they even threw in magic illusions. Earth, Wind & Fire’s message was one of universal harmony, in both musical and cultural senses. “We live in a negative society,” Maurice told Newsweek. “Most people can’t see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine.”
The multi-platinum album I Am hit number three pop in Summer 1979 on the strength of the million-selling single “Boogie Wonderland” with The Emotions (number two R&B for four weeks, number six pop) and the phenomenal gold ballad “After The Love Has Gone,” written by David Foster, Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin that stayed at number two R&B/pop for two weeks. Their Faces album peaked at number ten pop in late 1980 and was boosted to gold by the singles “Let Me Talk” (number eight R&B), “You” (number ten R&B), and “And Love Goes On.”
The million-selling funked-up “Let’s Groove,” co-written by The Emotions’ Wanda Vaughn and her husband Wayne Vaughn, was the track that re-energized EWF’s career, parking at number one R&B for eight weeks and number three pop, causing their Raise! album to go platinum (hitting number five pop in late 1981). Their next gold album Powerlight made it to number 12 pop in spring 1983 and included the Top Ten R&B single and Grammy-nominated “Fall In Love With Me.” Their 1983 Electric Universe album stalled at number 40 pop, breaking the band’s string of gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums.
In 1983, Maurice decided he and the band needed a break. During this hiatus, Maurice recorded his self-titled solo album Maurice White and produced various artists including Neal Diamond, Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Holliday. Reuniting with the band in 1987, EWF released the album Touch The World and scored yet another number one R&B single, “System of Survival” and embarked on a corresponding nine-month world tour. This was followed by the 1988 release The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. II.
In 1990 the group released the album Heritage. Two years later, Earth, Wind & Fire released The Eternal Dance; a 55-track boxed set retrospective of the band’s entire history. The appearance of such a project after a prolonged period of relative inactivity signaled to many listeners that the band was calling it quits but that did not turn out to be case. In 1993, EWF released the album, Millennium that included the Grammy-nominated “Sunday Morning” and “Spend The Night.”
Earth, Wind & Fire kept recording and in 1996 released Avatar and Greatest Hits Live; followed by 1997’s In The Name Of Love; 2002’s That’s The Way Of The World: Alive In ’75; Live In Rio which was recorded during their 1979 “I Am World Tour;” 2003’s The Promise, which included the Grammy-nominated “Hold Me” and 2005’s Illumination, which included the Grammy-nominated “Show Me The Way.”
In 2000, the nine-piece ’70s edition of Earth, Wind & Fire reunited for one night only in honor of their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In 2001, Eagle Rock Entertainment released the documentary ‘Earth, Wind & Fire: Shining Stars’, which contains rarely seen historic video footage along with in-depth interviews with the band members.
Even though Maurice is no longer a part of the touring group, he remains the band’s heart and soul from behind the scenes as composer and producer. Maurice reflects, “I wanted to create a library of music that would stand the test of time. ‘Cosmic Consciousness’ is the key component of our work. Expanding awareness and uplifting spirits is so important in this day. People are looking for more. I hope our music can give them some encouragement and peace.”
It is such an honor to celebrate the release of Toni Braxton’s new album “PULSE” with a incredible career with plenty of adversity Toni is one of my favorite artists and as we walk through her career won’t you please support her work with the Autism Foundation. As a Transmedia Catalyst I would be remiss not to ask the following question. With a collection of such incredible work would you buy items seen in this video if you could Love it, Click it and Buy it. And Artist would you like to receive a share of the revenue that product placement could offer you. If so, contact us for a Content Analysis. Advertisers, Brand Managers and Agencies want to convert a customer in a matter of a few clicks we are monetizing content for independent Artists, Producers and Library owners. WCN Transmedia is your Brandcasting Partner. Lets create a win win using The Customer Advantage.
Toni, we love you and look forward to extending your brand and adding a new revenue stream.
With an impressive catalog of five albums (alongside 2003’s best-selling Ultimate Collection), Toni Braxton has built a worldwide base of music lovers since she first burst onto the contemporary music scene in 1991 with “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” (from the soundtrack of the hit movie “Boomerang”). As the ‘First Lady Of LaFace Records,’ Toni’s creative partnership with Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid and Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds yielded a non-stop run of multi-platinum albums with 1993’s Toni Braxton, 1996’s Secrets and the 2000 set The Heat through to the 2001 Snowflakes holiday album and 2003’s highly personal and thought-provoking More Than A Woman CD, which featured a number of songs written by Toni herself as well as production from The Neptunes and Rodney Jerkins among others.
Along the way, Toni distinguished herself with unforgettable hit singles such as “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “Un-Break My Heart,” “You’re Makin’ Me High” and “He Wasn’t Man Enough” picking up five Grammy Awards in the process (in 1993 for “Best New Artist” and “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female”; in 1994 for another “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female” award; and in 1997, as winner in both the “Best R&B” and “Best Pop” Female Vocal Performance categories).
With natural musical skills that were immediately evident when she started singing in church with her four sisters in Severn, Maryland and inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston, Toni had set her sights on a singing career from her earliest days. It was while studying to become a teacher at Bowie State University that she came to the attention of LaFace owners L.A. Reid and Babyface. Her decade with LaFace was filled with both accomplishment and challenge; while she constantly achieved chart success globally, racking up some forty-million worldwide sales through her five LaFace albums, Toni dealt with a much-publicized bankruptcy in 1997 which she recalled was “a major learning opportunity for me.” Resolved in 1998, Toni began her first Broadway run that year with a starring role in “Beauty & The Beast.” The 2000 success of The Heat, her third album was typified by Top 10 status in over a dozen countries including the U.S., France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Israel and Switzerland. The album’s gold single “He Wasn’t Man Enough” earned Toni a 2000 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance” while the album won two American Music Awards.
While doing promotional work on The Heat, Toni made her silver screen debut with “Kingdom Come” which featured an all-star cast and earned her a BET Black Oscar. In 2000, she was also given the coveted Aretha Franklin Soul Train Award for career achievement. The October 2001 release of Snowflakes, Toni’s critically-acclaimed holiday album provided further validation for her popularity. In 2002, Toni began work on More Than A Woman which she described as “more ‘in your face’ than my previous albums.” At the time she explained, “My first love has always been R&B and I’ve been into hip-hop since it first started. On each of the albums I’ve done since my first one, I’ve done things to introduce people to other aspects of what I’m about musically.
In 2005, following the release of her fifth album Libra, Toni headlined her own show at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The show Toni Braxton: Revealed was originally only scheduled for a three month run, however the show’s success prompted an extension through April 2008. In August 2008, Toni competed on ABC’s Dancing with Stars and headlined the Dancing with the Stars tour. Toni recently signed with Atlantic Records and is working on a new album scheduled for release in early 2010.
Toni Braxton – Seven Whole Days
Toni Braxton – I Don’t Want To
Toni Braxton – Breathe Again
Toni Braxton – He Wasn’t Man Enough
Toni Braxton – You’re Makin’ Me High [Music Video] DVD HQ
Toni Braxton – Please
Toni Braxton – Make My Heart (Video)
The money will be used for filmmaker training and outreach programs including the New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase, the annual New Mexico Filmmakers Conference, the New Mexico Filmmakers Resource Center and various outreach events including the upcoming Native/Hispanic Film Tour.
“The variety of programs we offer local filmmakers is unparalleled in the rest of the country,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “The accolades our filmmakers are garnering speak to our talent level and the success of our programs. This is a clear indication that this industry has taken hold here, which means more jobs and more opportunities for our people and businesses.”
Under Governor Richardson’s leadership, the New Visions/New Mexico program has awarded a total of $640,000 in production funding to forty local filmmakers from around the state. Several filmmakers have used these awards to additionally leverage thousands of dollars in outside funding, and have had their films honored in top caliber film festivals around the world including the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Rome International Film Festival.
Through the New Visions program, which requires winners to provide professional services to the state as part of their contract award, local filmmakers have:
- Instructed over 500 New Mexico film students around the state in various aspects of film
- Trained over 100 film apprentices and interns in the production process
- Presented their work to thousands of audience members statewide through free public screenings and Q&A sessions
- Produced forty documentary, narrative, experimental and animated films
In addition to the New Visions program, over 65% of the award recipients from all New Mexico Filmmakers Programs have been underrepresented minorities.
Programs are offered at no charge to New Mexico residents.
|Too Many Ad Messaging Opportunities? Don Draper Might Not Agree
A media critique by Wayne Friedman, Wednesday, March 30, 2011
“Mad Men”‘s financial tussle is way less mad than you may think.
The easy question concerning AMC’s delays and changes concerning the show is this: How can you run a big-budget cable TV drama that has far less advertising revenues than many other cable dramas? Answer is: You can’t.
According to Deadline.com and others, negotiations over AMC’s four-year-old show are in a pickle over whether there should be more product integration in the show and at least two more minutes of commercial time.
The irony here is heavy.
In the pre-cable, pre-Internet, world, there were fewer big broadcast TV shows overall to run ads against — so clients of the fictional “Mad Men” 1960s ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce would be happy to see more product placement and other ad messages on the existing shows.
Now, it seems that’s not good enough for Matthew Weiner, the creator and executive producer of the show. A couple of years ago, in the last contract go-round, the main issue was the same as now: adding two minutes of commercial time, which would mean two minutes less of content.
The issue was resolved by letting the show run longer, which gave it more content time than other cable dramas. But now, if AMC gets its way, “Mad Men” will have added at least four more minutes of commercial time — eight thirty-second spots.
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Given the increasingly higher price of cable dramas, it makes sense that AMC needs to monetize its efforts just like a USA Network or TNT. But that was also the case four years ago when the show was starting.
“Mad Men” has already offered a number of integrated brand entertainment activities — with BMW, Clorox, Canada Dry and others. Not only have real-life branded products/services been mentioned in the show, special vignettes have also appeared — in a similar “Mad Men” ’60s theme — during non-content time. Unilever did this for six brands — Dove, Breyers, Hellmann’s, Klondike, Suave and Vaseline.
Some logic went into the theory that AMC was charging premium prices for this kind of association with the show. But obviously this was not enough for AMC, and to a certain extent “Mad Men” seems to have been running in deficit — on someone’s part.
Though the show is the TV’s preeminent drama – on either broadcast or cable – having won multiple high-profile Emmy awards, its big umbrella marketing effect for all of AMC can only go so far.
AMC has a different profile than other ad-supported networks. It has a much more limited commercial load in its shows versus say USA or TNT. Many analysts believe it is more like HBO. Weiner pushes for more of that kind of drama — having been a key writer on “The Sopranos.”
I’m just wondering when this storyline “drama” over TV producers and advertisers will make its way into the show itself. Negotiations are probably too touchy at the moment. But look a few years out and you might hear some grousing by Draper about “commercial glut.”
WCN Transmedia Group in association with International Goodwill Ambassador Oscar J.Webb
salutes the accomplishments of Ms. Hermene Hartman and N’DIGO Magazine.
Hermene Hartman is one of the most significant and influential Black women in American
publishing. She serves as President and CEO of the Chicago-based Hartman Publishing Group,
Inc. Her weekly column, Publisher’s Page, provides social commentary on hot topics of the day. Her radio program, VIEWS OF T HE HEART, appears on Clear Channel station, WVAZ daily at 9:15 and 2:15. She currently Blogs for the HUFFINGTON POST and recently celebrated 20 years as the Publisher of N’DIGO Magazine.
Off 63rd with Garrard McClendon (Feb. 17, 2011 – Part 1) Hermene Hartman Making History!
Off 63rd with Garrard McClendon (Feb. 17, 2011 – Part 2)
Recently in the Chicago Mayoral Election Hermene Hartman supported President Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in a hotly contested Mayoral Race. Ms Hartman a women of her convictions did not support what would have been the conventional choice Carol Mosley Braun. But Ms. Hartman is not n ew to Chicago Politics and recently revealed that she arranged for the first $50,000.00 Donation to President Obama’s campaign for President.
Long Time Supporter of Ms. Hartman, International Ambassador OJ Webb has admired and worked with Ms. Harman in the trenches for more than 20 years and sees Transmedia Storytelling as the Future for N’DIGO as Social Media and Transmedia Brandcasting becomes the norm for Publishers, TV, and Radio Sectors who want to extend their brands to reach a mass audience.
Stars Party for Charity at N’Digo Gala
N’Digo Foundation celebrates 20 year anniversary with a night of glamour, music and recognition at annual gala
Celebrating its 21 years now, N’Digo has been in existence and has remained a savvy, cutting edge and vital source of information and true journalism under the leadership of publisher Hermene Hartman, who started the publication from her living room, which amazingly enough, currently has over 500,000 readers each issue.
“Our longevity is because of the stories we tell. We did President Barack Obama in March of 2002, there is another Barack Obama out there, so we continue to do what we do,” Hartman said. N’Digo Magapaper is the largest circulated alternative weekly in Chicago and the number one urbane weekly newspaper in the country.
This year’s event not only celebrated Chicago’s leading African-American Newspaper in the country, but also honored six individuals who have succeeded above and beyond within their own fields as well as within the community. Among the six acknowledged for outstanding achievement was Mr. Herb Kent, urban radio pioneer and currently a disc jockey on the radio station V103. “It feels great. I love getting awards,” Kent said with a somewhat innocent childlike demeanor. “I’ve been absolutely doing radio a good 65 years now and was 15 when I started talking on the microphone,” Kent continued. Kent says that the interest for radio was sparked at the age of five or six and believes that he was practically born with the love of radio. “I used to stand on the chair to turn the radio on. I loved the way a radio looked, the knobs,…I just loved radio, then I started building them, then I started talking on them. Everything is like magic to me and still is to this day, so it is more than a passion for it,” Kent explained.
In reference to urging up and coming students who have an interest in the communications field, Kent encourages education in order to find the ideal path for themselves and following it to a tee. “I would take all of the communications courses offered nowadays whether it is news casting, broadcast, television, engineering, photography, editing or videotaping. You need to find out what it is and go after that to see where your interest really lies and chase after it,” Kent said, whose relationship with N’Digo Magapaper goes back during his days on WVON radio station. “When I first came to WVON, Ms. Hartman did a cover story on me and it was a great job. I actually used to write for N’Digo, so I’m no stranger to it,” Kent said with an assuring smile.
The annual black tie gala raises funds for college scholarships and continued to implement that by presenting those financial rewards to various students who were acknowledged for their academic success. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was one of the presenters in the program, attended to lend his gratitude of Hartman and what she has accomplished thus far. “I support the publication and the scholarship gala and it is almost an annual family reunion, the community just comes together because of Hermene’s magnetism,” said Jackson. When asked what the possible solutions might be in order to curtail the city’s epidemic of rising youth violence, Jackson gave his opinion on how to curtail the community dilemma. “Young people definitely need jobs, job training and there needs to be a ban on assault weapons,” Jackson continued.
A performance with legendary rhythm and soul musicians Maze featuring Frankie Beverly highlighted the end of the evening belting out their timeless and classic hits which included “We Are One” and “I Can’t Get Over You,” in which guests rocked in their seats after enjoying a fine assortment of entrees and spirits.
The honorees also included Mr. Jim Reynolds, founder, chairman, CEO of Loop Capital Markets, Connie L. Lindsey, executive vice president at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago, Julieanna L. Richardson, founder and executive director of The HistoryMakers, Dr. Rick Kittles, co-founder and Scientific Director of African Ancestry, Inc and Earl Stafford, founder of UNITECH, chairman and CEO of The Stafford Foundation, Inc. and host of the People’s Inaugural Gala.
N’DIGO, was founded in 1989, has the largest African American newspaper circulation in the nation and the largest alternative newspaper circulation in Chicago. N’DIGO is a weekly lifestyle publication for progressive readers. In 1995, N’DIGO PROFILES was established as a special annual publication, with a targeted insert in the Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine.
Ms. Hartman is founder and president of N’DIGO Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which began in 1995. It sponsors an annual Black Tie Gala, for the sole purpose of raising funds for educational pursuits.
From 2004 – 2007 Ms. Hartman served as president of the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE), a business group, dedicated to entrepreneurial pursuits, with 70 members with collective revenues of nearly one billion dollars. She is the only woman to have served as President of the organization and the only President to have serve two terms.
Ms. Hartman received an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois, a M.A. degree in sociology an MPH with Honors from Roosevelt University and a B.F.A. from Roosevelt University. She has received more than 200 awards for outstanding achievement in media, business, community services, education, and communication.
Prior to a publishing career, Hartman was Vice Chancellor of External Affairs at City Colleges of Chicago and a Social Science Professor.
WCN TRANSMEDIA GROUP further recognizes Hermene Hartman as one to watch for the future of Transmedia Brandcasting allowing Advertisers the opportunity to be invited in the Fan/Aritst and Innovator Customer Relationship.
||Hermene Hartman Biography– Sponsored by: The McCormick Tribune FoundationFavorites
Over the course of her eclectic career, Hermene Hartman has distinguished herself as a media pioneer. The founder ofChicago‘s leading African American magazine, N’DIGO, she is one of the few African American women in publishing. She is also the daughter of Herman Hartman, the first black Pepsi-Cola distributor in the United States, and Mildred Bowden, a retired administrator of Cook County Hospital.
Hartman’s career began during the civil rights movement while working for Operation BREADBASKET with the Reverend Jesse Jackson. She coordinated the organization’s Black Expo. She later produced public service programming for WBBM-TV Chicago and taught behavioral sciences at the college level from 1973 to 1984.
Her move into the publishing industry came after her tenure as vice chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, the nation’s second-largest community college system. She was the first woman to serve in this capacity, overseeing media and community relations, as well as marketing and publications. During this time, Hartman recognized the need for honest representations, rather than stereotypical images, of African American culture in mainstream media.
In 1989, she founded N’DIGO. As a writer, Hartman became well known for her publisher’s page, which offers insightful social commentary about important issues in the African American community. The paper also features news profiles, business information and other contemporary topics that reflect the interests of Chicago’s black middle class.
Hartman has successfully operated The Hartman Group, a full-service public relations firm, since 1977. She has received many honors and awards of excellence for her contributions to the business and African American communities. Hartman holds master’s degrees in sociology and education as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois.
Hartman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 4, 2001.