INTERVIEW: Candice Glover Talks Life After Winning ‘American Idol’ + Releases ‘Hotline Bling’ Remix

candice glover

Almost three years ago, Candice Glover was voted ‘American Idol’ by millions of viewers. Throughout the competition, the Beaufort, SC native covered classics songs such as Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe” and Dionne Warwick’s “Don’t Make Me Over,” to name a few.

Immediately following her victory, on May 16, 2013, Glover’s debut album Music Speaks was made available for pre-order on iTunes and was set to release 30 days later via 19 Recordings/Interscope Records. The highly anticipated album ultimately was delayed a few times and eventually released on Feb. 18, 2014. The album featured her debut single “Cried” and an acoustic version of her coronation song “I Am Beautiful.” Glover collaborated with a group of notable writers and producers including Jazmine Sullivan, The Underdogs, Mike WiLL Made-It, The Jackie Boyz, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and Paul “Hotsauce” Dawson.

Although Music Speaks was a solid effort for Glover, the album debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard 200 with 19,000 copies in its first week of sales. It was the lowest first-week sales of an American Idol winner and left critics wondering what happened? A mishap on iTunes.

“Something very unfortunate happened when I wanted to change the date of my album release,” exclusively Glover tells Rated R&B. “I don’t think a lot of people know this but my album was supposed to come out on Oct. 8, 2013 and I changed it to Feb. 18, 2014. When I changed it, Interscope and Apple didn’t really communicate that to each other. On Oct. 8 the album came out by accident and everybody who had pre-ordered that day got a blank album.”

She continues, “All the songs were four seconds a piece and completely silent. It made the charts and everything but the unfortunate thing about it is that I lost all my pre-orders. When the album actually did come out, it didn’t sell as many as it would’ve if it had stayed on pre-order from the night I had won.”

While the handling of Glover’s debut album was sort of like a nightmare, she has moved on and is focused on taking her career to the next level. The 26-year-old is hard at work on her sophomore album. While fans await official music, she will release a joint mixtape with Chadd Black to hold them over. The mixtape will include covers of popular songs like Bryson Tiller’s “Don’t” and Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” as well as a few original songs.

Rated R&B recently caught up with Glover for a very candid interview. In the interview, Glover describes the process of creating Music Speaks, her transition from American Idol winner to artist, the direction of her second album, her role in an upcoming stage play and much more.

Check out our interview with Candice Glover below.

RATED R&B: It’s been nearly two years since you released your debut album Music Speaks. What do you remember most about the creative process?

CANDICE GLOVER: It was a very long process. We had to go in and pick different songs. I went into a lot of writing sessions. It was really fun getting the chance to see what it’s like to create an album.

RATED R&B: The album was pushed back a few times. Why?

CANDICE GLOVER: Me changing the [release] date was because I felt like I didn’t have the right music. I felt like the stuff people were presenting to me was just because they had heard me belt out a few things on American Idol and they thought that’s all that I was capable of doing or that’s what I loved to do. I wanted to take risks and take chances so that’s why I kept delaying until I found what I wanted.

RATED R&B: How has the transition been from winning American Idol to establishing yourself as Candice Glover, the artist?

CANDICE GLOVER: After you win a nationwide competition — some people will go as far as calling it a talent show — people don’t really take you as seriously as an artist. They just take you as someone who won a talent show. It’s a process to transition yourself from “I won American Idol” and just scratch that sticker off your forehead and show the world “I’m an artist. When you’re on American Idol, you have to sing other people’s music. When you come out with something totally different, they can either love it or hate it. It can be nerve wracking but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


RATED R&B: What can we expect from your next album? 

CANDICE GLOVER: I always tell people with this next album “I want to go there.” I’m just going to put that “no we can’t” out the window and all the doubts about what people are going to think. People love you even more when you’re more authentic to who you really are and when you’re yourself.

RATED R&B: Right! It sounds like you will have more creative freedom with this new album?

CANDICE GLOVER: Yes. This next project is going to be all me. It’s going to be my lyrics from my heart. I’m going to bring a few people in. For the most part, I want to do my own because on the first album, I only co-wrote song “Forever That Man.” Everything else was just kind of given to me.

RATED R&B: Who would you like to work with on this project?

CANDICE GLOVER: On my new album that I’m starting to work on, I would definitely love to do something with Brandy. You know Jazmine Sullivan is my favorite singer in the whole world. I would love to do something with her [again]. She wrote my first single “Cried.” I guess that was kind of a collaboration. I just want to be in the studio and watch her work. I think she’s amazingly talented. I love Chris Brown’s voice and his creativity. Drake is my favorite rapper. Everybody knows that but I would love to work with him on some stuff.

RATED R&B: Are you still signed to 19 Recordings/Interscope? How do you plan on releasing your next album?

CANDICE GLOVER: I parted ways with them. I’m going to release it independently. [First] I’m doing a joint mixtape with Chadd Black. [Our version of] “Hotline Bling” and “Don’t” [will be on the] mixtape. We’re going to have some of our own special things on there as well. I thought that would be a really fun way to kind of collab with someone. He’s based out of Houston. He’s insanely talented and I’ve been having a lot of fun getting in the studio with him and working on different things.

RATED R&B: How do you feel about people who judge artists based on their sales instead of the quality of their music?

CANDICE GLOVER: I think that social media has taken over the world [laughs]. A lot of people don’t know what it really takes to be in the music industry and how stressful it is to go in the studio and really lay your heart out. When they get online and talk bad about these artists who haven’t sold enough records — as they think they should sell — I think that’s really disrespectful. We work really hard to put out music that’s heartfelt to us and music that we really relate to. Numbers should never really determine a person’s success because you got singers who can sing you under a table and they don’t sell as many albums, but that doesn’t take away from their talent or their gift.

RATED R&B: We hear you’ll be singing The National Anthem at The Cleveland Cavaliers Game on Jan. 18! There’s a lot of pressure that comes with singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” What’s going through your mind when you’re singing it?

CANDICE GLOVER: Every single time I sing that song it’s the scariest moment of my life. I don’t think that any other performance has ever touched the nerves that I get when I sing that song because it’s a really important song and you can either do too much or not enough. The main thing I think about when I’m singing is not forgetting the words. If you forget the words, that’s going to haunt you for the rest of your life.

RATED R&B: Is there anything else you have coming up?

CANDICE GLOVER: I’m going on an international tour in March. I’ll be starring in the lead role in stage play called The Love Shack.

RATED R&B: Tell us more about your role in the play.

CANDICE GLOVER: I’ll be playing the role of Lovely, who is a church girl struggling to find her own way because her dad won’t let her be her own person. I think they chose me for the role because of my roots and growing up in church that will always be a part of me. No matter what kind of music I make. I’m excited! It’s my second play and third time acting.

For more information on Candice Glover, follower her on Twitter/Instagram @CandiceGlover.

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  1. I like her response about artists being judged on sales and not strictly talent. There are singers like Keke Wyatt or Jazmine Sullivan who can SING but aren’t pushing major artist numbers.

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10 Underrated Songs by Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton Underrated Songs

“I used to dream of living lavish, now your girl’s a living legend,” Toni Braxton sings on her newest offering “Heart Away.” She’s absolutely right: she is a living legend. With three multi-platinum albums, six top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and over 67 million records sold, Braxton is basking in the glory of her success.

As she gears up for her eighth studio album Sex & Cigarettes, let’s countdown some of her most slept-on records in a new monthly series we like to call UnderRated. (Sidenote: to be considered an “underrated” record, the song couldn’t have I have been a single at any point in time.)

Check out the list below:

“Gimme Some” (feat. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes) from the album The Heat (2000)

Credits: Jazze Pha, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Lisa Lopes (Writers); Babyface and Jazze Pha (Producers)

Oh, Toni, why wasn’t this danceable number a single? Even though Babyface and Jazze Pha seem like an unlikely musical pair, they went to work on the lyrical content and production of this banger, which has Braxton taking charge when it comes to her love interest.

“It is an age-old story / Goes back back to Adam and to Eve / I know you know what I want for / And if it ain’t clear to ya baby / Don’t stop, let’s Rock, give it to me baby,” she sings. Left-Eye had a stellar verse too.

“What’s Good” from the album Libra (2005)

Credits: Bryan-Michael Cox, Johnta Austin, Toni Braxton, Joe Sample (Writers); Bryan-Michael Cox and Keri Lewis (Producers)

“What’s Good” appears as the third track off of Libra, and following the hip-hop edged songs “Please” and “Trippin’,” it’s a perfect musical shift in the gear of the album. Led by a genius sample of Joe Sample’s “In All My Wildest Dreams,” Braxton sings & coos confidently inc her signature contralto tone about the great things her new man does for her.

“It’s like a house I never left / Like a fever I wanna catch / Like a mountain that’s worth the climb / Talkin’ ’bout this man of mine / Like my money I wanna spend / My homie-lover-friend / He’ll be with me till the end / And he’s never failed me yet,” she sings.

“Caught (Don’t Take Your Hat Off) [feat. Mo’Nique]” from Pulse (2010)

Credits: Mikkel Stoleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, LaShawn Daniels (Writers); Stargate (Producer)

Songs that appear on an album’s deluxe edition have a way of adding value to the original album; that’s exactly what this Stargate-produced jam off the Pulse deluxe album does. Braxton kicks her lover out of her house after being cheated on.

“Baby I been more than good to you / When you leaving gimme my key back too / It’s about to go down /Your, your other new lady/ You’re out there with your pants down,” she sings. The light, somber piano is almost addicting, and Mo’Nique’s monologue is the perfect touch.

“Talking In His Sleep” from the album Secrets (1996)

Credits: Toni Braxton (Writer); Keith Crouch (Producer)

Following “Un-Break My Heart” on the Secrets track listing is no easy feat, but bluesy tune “Talking in His Sleep” holds its own. Braxton’s speaking voice has a chilling effect as she touches on infidelity and adultery. “Guilty secrets/ They are haunting my life / And he doesn’t even know that I know/ Can you hear him / The promises he makes/ Said we’ll be together for always / He’s such a liar / Then he goes out to burn me.” The Mary J. Blige-esque jazzy bass line is killer!

“You’ve Been Wrong” from the album The Heat (2000)

Credits: Toni Braxton, Brian Casey, Brandon Casey, Teddy Bishop, Kevin Hicks, Thom Bell, Linda Creed (Writers); Teddy Bishop and Kevin Hicks (Producers)

If The Heat was a family, “Just Be a Man About It” would be the older sibling to this guitar-led track, which hears Braxton finally finding the strength to leave a no-good lover. “Finally I’ve realized/ Your lies have opened up my eyes/ This love affair, now it’s over, over/You’ve been wrong for so long/ And I can’t take the pain you bring me no more/ You’ve been wrong for so long/ And I can’t take the pain you bring me no more,” she sings. Oh, and the Stylistics’ “Stop Look Listen To Your Heart” interpolation? Genius.

“Lies, Lies, Lies” from the album More Than a Woman (2002)

Credits: Keri Lewis and Stokley (Writers); Keri Lewis (Producer)

Ms. Braxton is fed up on this rock n’ roll (yes, rock!) cut. “Don’t bother to apologize / It’s too late, heard it all before / And it should come as no surprise / I’m leavin’, I packed my things / ’Cuz I’m through with this merry-go-round / I’m getting off, I finally found / My strength way deep down / I shoulda left your ass after the first round,” she sings. This is one of the best songs Braxton has ever recorded. EVER (in my opinion).

The raw emotion, the pacing of the song, the commitment to the vocal — Toni was in her bag! Stokley didn’t play a single game with the lyrics, guitar solo, or the backing vocals. Shout out to Chris Dave, who played the drums on this song. And trust, this song is nothing without the drums!

“Shadowless” from the album Libra (2005)

Credits: Alex Cantrell and Philip White (Writers); Keri Lewis (Producer)

Some of Toni’s best songs have a nice guitar somewhere hidden in the instrumentation, but the acoustic guitar takes center stage on this song about regret and love lost. “Gotta make it right with you / Ooh you baby / So tell me what I gotta do / Ooh to make u come back home / Ooh boy how can this be / I remember that every step / U were here with me/ Now I’m shadowless,” she sings. There is just something so magical about the Living Legend’s smoky vocals over the spirited strums of the guitar. Although this would’ve been a nice finale track for this album, penultimate isn’t so bad either.
(If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the AOL Sessions version of this song.)

“The Heat” from the album The Heat (2000)

Credits: Keri Lewis and Toni Braxton (Writers and Producers)

Braxton channels the summer vibes and brings the heat on this sexy title track. “Summer’s almost over so you better hurry / Andale! Andale! / Starting right now let’s dance and party / Ole! Ole! Ole! / Give Me a reason to love you through, through the season / No need to hesitate, come on let’s get it on,” she sings. This song is easy and breezy; sultry and sensual; sex — well, y’all get the point. And to answer your question, Toni, yes, I do want some ice cream.

“Why Should I Care” from the album Secrets (1996)

Credit: Babyface (Writer and Producer)

Braxton is fed up and denying her ex lover a second chance on this ‘90s tune. “And every time I start to slip / I just remind myself / I need only thing of it / I went through so much hell / You say ya wanna get things back / The way they used to be / Can you give one good reason / Why I should darlin’/ Why should I care / Why should I care for you,” she sings. Babyface and Toni Braxton are always a magical pair, but you have to get into these background vocals from the one and only Chanté Moore!

“Do You Remember When” from the album More Than a Woman (2002)

Credits: Toni Braxton, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels III (Writers); Rodney Jerkins (Producer)

This More Than a Woman cut finds Toni Braxton thinking back on the better moments of her time with an ex lover. “Do it like you did back then / And then we’ll do it again / Do you remember when? / Reminiscing and more on what we had before / Makes me feel so warm inside / Wanting you constantly and feeling so sorry / That we had to say goodbye,” she sings. Although this song feels like a The Neptunes-Kelis combo, Rodney Jerkins’ groovy production and Toni’s tender vocals fit seamlessly on this track, making it one of the standouts on this album.

Honorable Mentions

“Selfish” from More Than a Woman: Upon first listen, you’ll notice how intricate the background vocals are. So, it’s no surprise that this song credits Brandy as a writer and her ex-boyfriend Robert Smith as the producer of this breezy tune.

“If I Have to Wait” from Pulse: It’s unfortunate that Country radio and the Country music industry is so exclusive, because this had the potential to be a nice crossover hit.

“Sposed to Be” from Libra: Blackground Records was not feeling the original album that Toni Braxton and then-husband Keri Lewis turned in, so they set her up with additional recording sessions. That decision led to the creation of this sensual cut, which is spearheaded by The Underdogs and even features a writing credit for Keri Hilson.

What are your favorite songs from this list? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Ready, Set, Release: 10 R&B Albums We’re Anticipating This Year

Will 2018 be the year our favorite established and budding artist use their new opportunities to take the music industry by storm?

This dream could turn into a reality for many artists. For starters, an artist could go on tour for thousands to perform their biggest hits, or sing for hundreds to reconnect with them on an intimate level.

Then again, an artist could align themselves with lucrative brands to influence consumers to believe in their products while gaining exposure from a new audience for themselves.

But the simplest approach to keep your names in the headlines is to release new music. An artist whose album release is more anticipated than a Lebron Ring finds this selling tactic the easiest.

With the help of our faithful readers, we’ve compiled a list of 10 artists who we hope drop an album this year.


Jacquees has been bubbling for more than seven years and still has not released a debut album. The Rich Gang crooner has kept us occupied with consistent material while gassing us about his debut album, 4275, which was expected to drop in 2017. Is Jacquees debut album caught up in the rapture of Cash Money’s financial scrambles? Is Jacquees still recording and perfecting his first album? No one can accurately give a reason to his album delay, but we do know he’s joining forces with Chris Brown for a mixtape, promising to “fuck this R&B shit up.”

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Brandy Covers ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles’

Brandy decides to be “Brave” and release a rendition of Sara Bareilles’ 2013 single. And what do you know, it sounds awesome — like we knew it would be.

The vocal athlete makes the uplifting anthem her own, as she sings, “You can be amazing / You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug / You can be the outcast / Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love.”

Brandy shared a clip on Twitter Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 9) of her singing her version of Sara’s inspirational song. “#brave is what I have to be to live the life I am meant to live. What a beautiful song,” she wrote.

Although the cover is less than 2 minutes, it caught the attention of the Little Voice singer.

Listen to Brandy’s short but sweet version of “Brave” below.

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