Tamar Braxton amps up her digital campaign as the release date for Calling All Lovers get closer. Following the release of her new single “Catfish” and a surprise performance of “King,” Braxton drops a visual for her new track “Angels & Demons.” The video finds Braxton sporting a variety of hot looks as she enjoys beautiful scenery.
Braxton has a busy schedule ahead of her in the coming months. She recently announced she will join both Mary J. Blige and Kem on their respective tours — that’s in addition to co-hosting The Real and doing promo!
Braxton’s latest album, Calling All Lovers, hits stores on October 2.
Nominations for the 60th Grammy Awards were announced on Tuesday morning, and as predicted Bruno Mars led the R&B pack with six nods including Best R&B Album for 24k Magic. Childish Gambino, Khalid and SZA followed with five nominations each.
As artists thanked the Recording Academy for their consideration, some fans and critics called out the Academy for snubbing certain artists. Many fans were in shock when artists like Mary J. Blige and Tamar Braxton did not receive any nominations.
Although nothing can be changed at this point, here are five artists who should’ve been nominated for a 2018 Grammy.
Best R&B Performance (For new vocal or instrumental R&B recordings.)
“Before I Do” — Sevyn Streeter
It is safe to say the Recording Academy missed the mark by not nominating “Before I Do” by Sevyn Streeter. Lifted from her long-overdue debut album, Girl Disrupted, the guitar-led tune helped Sevyn claim her first No. 1 single on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart. The slow jam had the singer-songwriter proclaiming her readiness for love. Feeling considered that her man of interest is already taken, she asked valid questions before she made a decision with her heart. Along with daunting lyrics, Streeter’s silky voice meshed well behind the elements of “At Your Best (You Are Love)” by the Isley Brothers and covered by the late Aaliyah.
Best Traditional R&B Performance (For new vocal or instrumental traditional R&B recordings.)
“Blind” by Tamar Braxton
It is obvious that Tamar Braxton’s team and other music industry leaders overlooked the Bluebird of Happiness ballad “Blind” for this ideal category. Containing an interpolation of “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James, the emotionally charged song includes the needed qualities – instrumental traditional R&B recordings – to justify a worthy nomination.
Best R&B Song (A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)
“U + Me (Love Lesson)” — Brandon “B.A.M.” Hodge, Charles “Prince Charlez” Hinshaw and David D. Brown & Mary J. Blige, songwriters (Mary J. Blige)
Even though Mary J. Blige’s “Thick of It” remained atop the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart for 16 weeks, it was her follow-up single “U + Me (Love Lesson)” that caused a frenzy. Co-written by Blige, Brandon “B.A.M.” Hodge, Charles “Prince Charlez” Hinshaw and David D. Brown, the honest tune is arguably one of the most underrated R&B songs of the year. The well-composed jam recounts Blige’s gut feelings after filing for divorce from her manager-husband of 12 years. “Must’ve been crazy to think that you loved me / I saw all the signs but I just couldn’t say nothing,” she sings.
Best Urban Contemporary Album (For albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded contemporary vocal tracks derivative of R&B.)
Savage — Tank
Tank’s music deserves more love from the Grammys – especially his newly released album, Savage. With eight solo projects – dating back to 2001’s Force of Nature – under his belt, it is a shame that his 2007 Sex, Love & Pain release is his only full-length project nominated for Grammy. Tank’s latest single “When We” is currently commanding urban adult contemporary radio. It also cracked the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 92 this week, making him one of the first solo R&B artists to achieve this feat this year.
Best R&B Album (For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new R&B recordings.)
Back 2 Life — LeToya Luckett
After a six-year hiatus from music, LeToya Luckett made a comeback with her third album, Back 2 Life.The singer-actress blessed fans with a 13-track LP filled with fresh quality material. From the album’s introductory track “I’m Ready” to its lead single “B2L,” which reached No. 6 on urban adult contemporary radio, the modern release warranted more RESPECK.
The 60th Grammy Awards will air live from New York City’s Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 on CBS.
Tell us your thoughts on the Grammy nominations below!
The “Vocal Bible” nickname has been bestowed upon Brandy for her vocal acrobatics and inexplicable natural ability to sing. However, Brandy Norwood is much more than her voice. In fact, her most redeeming quality is her nuanced storytelling as an artist. Every album that has been graced with those hypnotic eyes of hers has been complete from top to bottom, both vocally and thematically.
While some may argue that Never Say Never and Full Moon are artistic perfection, Two Eleven is too, but with a twist. The beauty of Two Eleven is the multi-edge edge sword of sound that it wields. The album is noticeably handled by hip-hop producers, but thanks to its host of R&B writers, the songs on the album are able to catch the spirit of the R&B genre today — a whole five years ahead of schedule.
If you take a listen to “Hardly Breathing,” do you not hear shades of Dawn Richard? Or maybe if you paid close enough attention to the vocal layering on “Wish Your Love Away,” you would hear the same on Tamar’s latest album. You can even compare “Put It Down” to K. Michelle’s “Either Way.” Aside from boasting the same feature, the candor and aggression in the lyrical content is almost uncanny. This album is for the Sabrina Claudio’s just as much as it is for the Sevyn Streeter’s and even the reaches the artistic bubble of a more established artist like Tamia. In short, Two Eleven, as a whole, is THAT album.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best deep cuts from the five-year-old body of work. Check it out:
“Paint This House”
Brandy’s smoky vocals take center stage, backed by her airy background vocals and hauntingly pulsing production from Rico Love, Eric Goudy III and Pierre Moody. On the song, Brandy is in the mood for love-making and some “room redecorating” with her new lover. “And I want these stairs, those walls/Kitchen counters, and those chairs/To remind you of how good it feels/And all of these floors and ceilings/And every hallway, yeah/Not and inch will go untouched/Let’s paint this house with our love,” she sings. With lyrics so obviously sexual, Ms. Norwood brings her signature tender tone to song, creating a sensual jam for any bedroom-thumping situation.
Following a similar narrative as “Paint This House,” Brandy decides to take control this time when it comes to the moment of love-making and passion. “My baby got a lot to learn/Come here let mama bring you up to speed/A couple of changes/A couple of things I want to go over/Couple of hours is all I need/So let’s get it started,” she sings. The genius house production from Dave Taylor both compliments and juxtaposes Brandy’s vocals and lyrics extremely well.
Brandy’s voice takes full flight on this apologetic anthem. “Boy somewhere along the line I lost my way/And I made you pay for the mistakes he made/And I’m sorry baby, cause it shouldn’t be that way/Oh Boy, I really need you, I need you in my life/Cause oh boy I’m nothing, oh no I’m nothing without you,” she sings. Seeing the grave error in bringing baggage from the past into a current relationship, Brandy showcases her vocal power and grit to win her man back. And although we’d love just a piano behind her, the kick-snare and cymbal give this almost-but-not-quite-a-single the touch of bounce that it needs.
“Wish Your Love Away”
Brandy is trying to get over the one that should have been the one on this somber ballad. “I wish that there was no more sleepless nights for me/You can look inside my heart and see/How I’m feelin, baby/Or maybe you just don’t give a damn/Could I be foolish to give a damn, baby?/’Cause I’m to the point where I wish/Boy, I wish that I didn’t love you,” she sings. The track is just so sonically vivid-imagine rain softly falling on your windowpane as this song plays in the background-that it didn’t even need her vocals to be impactful. But, that’s not to say that her vocals aren’t appreciated, especially at the end of the song where the music fades out to just her immaculate vocal layering. Brandy’s resonance both in voice and artistry is perfectly encapsulated by this tune, and hints at how this album will undoubtedly stand the test of time.
What’s your favorite song from “Two Eleven?” Let us know in the comment section below.
Welcome back to another edition of Chart Check! Each Friday, Rated R&B provides detailed insight to the weekly chart movements of your favorite R&B artists and R&B songs. In this updated format, we will discuss Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs (Urban AC) and Nielsen’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop National Airplay (Urban) charts extensively. Read below for more information on the week of October 6, 2017:
Trey Songz’s Tremaine the Album era continues with the selection of his second single “Songs Goes Off.” The Atlantic Records signee received 12 adds at R&B radio in the latest tracking week. If the song charts, it will be Trey’s first Urban AC charter since 2015’s “Slow Motion.” Tremaine the Album debuted at No. 1 on the R&B albums chart and No. 3 overall upon its release in March.
Sam Smith is back and bigger with his new single “Too Good at Goodbyes.” Thanks to rising popularity and the release of the song’s music video, Smith has shot up the Urban AC chart, rising 22-12 on this week’s chart. The track saw a 255 spin increase since last week, making it the most spin increased song of the week on R&B radio. It also received an additional nine adds on R&B radio formats.
Like little sister, like big sister, and vice versa! Toni Braxton is starting her new era in the right direction with her new single “Deadwood.” The song continues to rise, jumping 30-23 on the Urban AC chart thanks to a 148 spin increase in the latest tracking week. The song also received 12 adds on R&B formats, making her the second most-added R&B song of the week. The first? Her younger sister, Tamar.
Here’s some chart superstition: every time Tank has a song enter the top 5 on this chart, it eventually becomes a No. 1 hit. Tank notched No. 1 songs in 2007 with “Please Don’t Go” and again in 2012 with “Next Breath.” As you can tell, his chart toppers are five years apart, which would continue if “When We” ever reaches the top spot in the year of 2017. Does “When We” have the potential to further this interesting trend? Tank has some stiff competition against the rising force of Khalid’s “Location,” the slight resurgence of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone,” and the staying power of Sevyn Streeter’s breezy jam “Before I Do” which logs a fifth week at No. 1 this week. Competition aside, Tank has a shot, but only time will tell.
SZA has brought the heat this summer and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon with her latest single “The Weekend.” In the latest tracking week, the song leapt 10 spots, rising 40-30 on the urban radio chart. Fueled by a 249 spin increase, the Ctrl cut was the fifth-most spin increased song of the week. If that wasn’t enough, the song has also received 18 more adds on urban radio formats. If this type of success is any indication, “The Weekend” is on it’s way to becoming a solid radio hit.
R&B Albums Chart Update
Billboard’s R&B album had a couple of notable chart movements in the last week. First up, Musiq Soulchild debuted at No. 16 on the chart this week with her double-disc set Feel the Real. The album is lead by his single “Start Over,” which now sits at No. 15 on the Urban AC chart. A little higher up on the chart sits Beyoncé’s 2016 album Lemonade, which leapt 24-8 in the latest tracking week. Lemonade is Beyoncé’s latest album, which featured singles such as the impactful “Formation,” whimsical “Hold Up,” and Just Blaze-produced “Sorry.” In other Beyoncé news, the songstress has hopped on the remix to J Balvin and Willy William’s latin banger “Mi Gente.” As previously reported, the sales from the song will be donated as relief funds for Puerto Rico, Mexico, and other Caribbean Islands and is already the No. 1 song on iTunes Worldwide. Expect for this track to make a splash in the next couple of weeks.
And in quick notes: Rising artist Izzy Bizu is getting her first shot at radio success with her song “Diamond.” The song received 10 adds at R&B radio, the fourth-most for the week; Khalid’s “Location” proves to be the hit that just won’t go away. The song, sitting at on the Urban AC chart at the No. 4 spot, saw a 131 spin increase this week. With the decline of Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like,” the song is definitely on the trajectory for a top 3 finish within he next couple of weeks; And finally, Jazmine Sullivan and Bryson Tiller’s “Insecure” duet is beginning to find real chart success as it double debuts on both the Urban and Urban AC chart this week. The song sits at No. 30 on Urban AC and No. 37 on the urban radio chart.
What about you? Are you feeling Tamar and Trey Songz’s new singles? Do you think Khalid will go No. 1 on Urban AC? Did you enjoy this week’s Chart Check? Let us know how you feel in the comment section below!