Chart Check: Demetria McKinney Enters Top 5 on Urban AC Radio, Keyshia Cole and Charlie Wilson Ready New Singles for Radio

Chart check demetria keyshia cole charlie wilson

Chart check demetria keyshia cole charlie wilson

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 Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop National Airplay (Urban) charts extensively. Read below for more information on the week of September 23, 2017:

New Developments

Usually when an artist releases a new single, it takes a couple of weeks for the song to strongly impact radio formats and radio-driven charts. This is not the case for Sam Smith, who is back from his musical hiatus with his new single “Too Good at Goodbyes.” The song, officially released September 8, has been added to a whopping 30 R&B station this week, and sits at the No. 32 spot on the Urban AC chart with 165 spins in its first week of radio airplay. Smith took the music world by storm back in 2014 with the release of his album In the Lonely Hour, which spawned successful singles “I Know I’m Not The Only One” and “Stay With Me.”

If you’re into reality television, then this next section is for you. VH1’s Love and Hip Hop franchise received a much needed boost on credibility by signing R&B darling Keyshia Cole to its Hollywood series for the current season. Within the first couple of episodes, Cole teased viewers with snippets of her now official single “Incapable,” which became available to digital platforms on Aug. 25. The ballad is now impacting R&B radio, receiving eight adds in the latest tracking week. This is Cole’s first single since “You,” which was released in January.

Chart Changes

After last week’s series of declines on the Urban AC chart, things have turned around this week as 22 of the 30 songs on the official chart have seen an increase in radio spins. Shining brightest is none other than Demetria McKinney’s single “Easy,” as it lifts 7-5 in the latest tracking week. With the constant shakeup of the chart’s Top 5, McKinney’s song has been the little engine that could, finally inching its way into the No. 5 spot in its 27th week (as predicted.) If music domination isn’t enough, she has also lined up a host of television programs that she’ll be apart of through early 2018, including a revamp/spin-off of Tyler Perry’s hit show House of Payne and playing the role of Whitney Houston in TV One’s upcoming Bobbi Kristina biopic. “Easy” serves as the lead single for McKinney’s debut album Officially Yours, which is set to release on October 6.

Over on the Urban radio side, Ty Dolla $ign continues to dominate through both his feature and lead work. The LA-bred singer currently has five placements on the urban chart: Meek Mill’s “Whatever You Need,” 2 Chain’s “It’s a Vibe,” 24hrs’ “What You Like,” Wiz Khalifa’s “Something New,” and his own song “Love U Better.” The latter is finding great success, as it gains a 236 increase in spins at urban radio. The song, which features The-Dream and Lil’ Wayne, currently sits at No. 20 on the urban radio chart.

Chart Throwback: The No. 1 Showdown

This week back in 2010, R&B staple Kem notched another No. 1 record on the Urban AC chart with his piano driven ballad “Why Would You Stay.” The next week, the song dropped back to the No. 2 spot, with Fantasia’s Bittersweet rising to the No. 1 spot. This was just the beginning go a 5-week battle between these two and Monica’s “Love All Over Me,” which all reached sat at each of the Top 3 spots within this span of time. In the end, after it’s second non-consecutive week at the top spot in the week of Oct. 6, “Why Would You Stay” eventually declined as “Love All Over Me” began its reign on the Urban AC chart. “Why Would You Stay” was the lead single for his 2010 album Intimacy: Album III.

Quick Notes

And in quick notes: Charlie Wilson has picked “Chills” to serve as the third single from his latest album In it to Win It. The song received seven adds at R&B radio in the latest tracking week; Boney James’s new single Honestly debuted at No. 29 on the Urban AC chart. The track, which features Avery*Sunshine, received four adds at R&B radio this week; George Tandy Jr. new song “Already Love” racked up nine adds on R&B radio stations in the latest tracking week; and Bruno Mars accrued an almost miraculous upswing of 227 spins this week, almost re-gaining the No. 1 spot on the Urban AC chart.

How are you liking the new singles from Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, and Sam Smith? Are you looking forward to Demetria McKinney’s debut album? Enjoyed this week’s Chart Check? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comment section below!

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LeToya Luckett and Demetria McKinney Tapped for ‘Set It Off’ Stage Play

Over twenty years after its release, Set It Off will be adapted as a stage play. R&B stars LeToya Luckett and Demetria have been cast in the live rendition of the film, along with rapper Da Brat and actress Kyla Pratt.

Luckett will play Francesca “Frankie” Sutton (originally played by Vivica A. Fox). The former Destiny’s Child member went on Instagram to express her excitement about her new role. “Anybody knows me knows that set it off is one of my movies of all time,” Luckett said.

McKinney, who has been cast as Tisean “T.T.” Williams, wrote on Instagram “Y’all know the movie was a ride and this will be no different!”

The stage play is written, directed and produced by Je’Caryous Johnson. “Without a doubt, this will be one of the greatest stage plays ever seen in the urban theatre market,” said Johnson. “From the type of action and to the movement on stage, it will be nothing short of jaw-dropping. This will be the first piece of my career that will stretch me to the limits of what can be done and seen by our urban audience. I will be recreating the same intensity, same passion and same shock and awe, breathtaking moments that made this movie resonate with millions of people.”

Set It Off will hit several cities across the U.S. including Atlanta, D.C., Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit and Los Angeles. For more details on the tour dates, visit jecaryous.com.

Both Luckett and McKinney released projects last year. Luckett ended her six-year hiatus with her album, Back 2 Love. McKinney finally dropped her debut album, Officially Yours. 

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4 Reasons We Love Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston Birthday

There will never be another singer like Whitney Houston; she’s incomparable, she’s an icon, and she is the standard. On the sixth anniversary of her unfortunate passing, here at Rated R&B we’ve created a shortlist of reasons why we love the vocal legend herself. Check it out below:

Her Powerful Voice

How do you describe the indescribable? Whitney’s voice is the purest to have ever graced human ear. On top of her outstanding natural ability, her technique, precision, and control make her “The Voice.” Just like rapper Biggie Smalls has never had a bad verse, Whitney has never hit a bad note. There is a multitude of examples, but at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, she gave what is regarded as the best rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to have ever been done. It is here, without all of the vocal thrills and frills, that you can truly grasp how marvelous her voice was.

The Way Other Artists Loved and Respected Her

If you ask any female singer that came out in the last 25 years who some of their inspirations are, you can bet Whitney’s name will come out of their mouth. For most singers, especially black women, Whitney was a role model. She was a black girl from New Jersey whose passion was sharing her musical gift to the world and having fun while doing so. In the first clip below, Monica explains Whitney’s personal impact on her life (this part of the interview begins around 1:42.) Even after her death, Whitney continues to inspire and empower the women that have come after her in the music industry. In the second clip below, you can find one of the greatest tributes ever performed, courtesy of gospel powerhouse Yolanda Adams, who ends the video with a resounding “We love you, Nip.”

Her Stage Presence

Whitney’s personality was both charming and endearing, as we’ve all seen in her interviews, famous and infamous alike. That natural charm carries over into her live performances, as she literally comes alive in song. In interviews, she was always well-spoken, clear, and concise. When it comes time to sing, she let her hair down and had a great time with her audience — no matter the occasion. In the clip below, Whitney performs a 16-minute set of her greatest hits at the “Arista Records 25th Anniversary Celebration,” full of life, laughter, and love.

Her Artistic Versatility

Whitney is one of the best-selling female artists of all time, and one of the biggest icons the world will ever see. What often gets left out of her lengthy list of accomplishments is her artistic risks and versatility. Speaking on her discography alone, she has recorded music that spans all of its genres. Whether she delivers a pop cut like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” the Raphael Saddiq and Q-Tip-produced jam “Fine,” a universal duet with Enrique Iglesias (“Could I Have This Kiss Forever”), or a powerhouse ballad like “The Greatest Love of All,” Whitney was the jack of all trades. Not only did she master it, she believed in her ability, and she succeeded beyond measure.That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as her artistry made its way into film beginning with 1992’s box office smash hit The Bodyguard.

Below is one of her scenes from the cult classic Waiting to Exhale. Pay attention to her body language, the way she emotes in her voiceover, all the way down to the flickers of disapproval in her eyes. Whitney was, and will always be a class act.

What is your favorite Whitney moment? Share with us in the comment section below!

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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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