On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, musical pioneer Jody Watley performed live at BB Kings Blues Club and Grill. The audience was enthusiastic to see the beautiful and talented Grammy Award-winning singer, who is one of the most high-flying and prominent artists in the entertainment industry. She has been a trendsetter in music, dance, fashion, and style so her concert was an important newsfeed. Watley was in the Big Apple for one night only, so it was a concert you didn’t want to miss!
When Watley stepped on stage, she wanted everyone in the audience to party with her and Shalamar. Even though the original members weren’t performing with her, it was great to hear those harmonious and pleasant-sounding hits from the group, including “Take That to the Back,” “Second Time Around,” “Dead Giveaway,” and “A Night to Remember.” As Watley sang the classics, the crowd was delighted to see the icon’s outstanding dance moves. Back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Shalamar was an overnight sensation who was dismissed too soon due to internal conflict. However, the group will remain one of the most prolific groups in R&B. Group member Howard Hewett’s fondest remarks about Shalamar is, “The group is an unfinished book, not only for us but for people that loved Shalamar and we weren’t that far from the end.”
Once the Shalamar era ended on stage, Watley was ready to perform those hits that allowed her to have an incredible solo career from 1987. During her wardrobe change, the screens at the restaurant highlighted her career as a singer, dancer, and fashionista. Watley’s career went from 0 to 1000 when she went solo because she was able to have her own identity outside of Shalamar. Fans heard her funky dance tracks when she began singing “Looking for a New Love,” “I Want You,” “Still a Thrill,” “Don’t You Want Me,” and “Some Kind of Lover.”
Watley also sang her remake of Chic’s song “I Want Your Love,” and two new songs, “Nightlife” with original Shalamar member Gerald Brown, and “Sanctuary,” from her latest EP, Paradise. She ended her segment with “Real Love,” another upbeat record. Jody Watley’s musical journey 30 years later illustrates to everyone how she has enlarged her creative freedom as an artist and accepts her past. Watley is still not afraid to take risks and welcomes originality. She is still releasing upbeat and cheery records that have meaning and substance which is why she will always be an inspiration for many other artists to come in the near future.
Dominique M. Carson is a freelance music writer, critic, and a proud Brooklyn College graduate. Dominique’s work has been featured in Singersroom.com, Education Update, Bay Currents, Birthplace Magazine, Rappersoom.com, Brooklyn College’s media outlets, Pure Soul Magazine, www.thecelebritycafe.com, and www.NYCityWatch.org. She was an honorable recipient for Blackstreetonline.com’s Black Celebration Awards’ News & Journalism category. For more information on Dominique, visit her homepage, Twitter page, LinkedIn page, and Facebook fan page.