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

Sabrina Claudio

Sabrina Claudio is a breath of fresh air to R&B. Her welcoming arrival with Confidently Lost to her follow-up About Time, a project christened with angelic vocals and captivating songwriting, has us ready to throw all our money at her and whatever she decides to release next; hopefully, it’s her debut project.

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Elle Varner Returns With New Song ‘Casanova’

Elle Varner is back! In celebration of her 29th birthday (Feb. 12), the singer-songwriter has released a new song called “Casanova.” The track was co-produced by Nascent Beats and Epikh Pro.

It’s been a couple years since Varner has released music. She left us in 2015 with her 50 Cent-assisted single “Birthday.”

Varner has been pretty mum about her hiatus but she has been teasing her comeback on social media lately. If “Casanova” is any indication of what we can expect from Varner, then we’re here for it!

Listen to “Casanova” below.

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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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Teyana Taylor Plans to Open ’90s-Inspired Nail Salon

Teyana Taylor will bring the ’90’s back in a polished way. The Harlem native has announced plans to open a ’90s-themed nail salon in her hometown.

Junie Bee Nails, named after her beautiful daughter, will feature trendy styles that capture the “true essence” of the golden era of hip-hop and fashion. According to Taylor, styles will include bamboo earrings, door-knockers, baby hairs, airbrush and 54-11s, to name a few.

Hmmmm… I’m thinking of a master plan… A 90’s Themed Nail salon in Harlem! The vision has finally come to life and it’s ready! So come one, come all! Junie Bee Nails is granting a dope opportunity to the flyest nail techs, from around the way. No matter what shape, size, color, or gender it’s all good with us! I want to continue to create great opportunities for my community and our talented youth!! Let’s change the game, The vision is crazy! I’m talking everything from Dapper Dan style Uni’s, to Door Knockers, Bamboo earrings, baby hairs, Airbrushed nails, 54’11’s and all that other fly shit! The true essence of that 90’s Flavor. So if you wanna get on board DM your work, and resume to @juniebeenails this is so exciting!! Also been a long time coming! S/o to my partner @cocamichelle we’ve put in so much work make this happen! Issa bout to be ah lituation THIS FEB!!! #JunieBeeNails #OPI

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Taylor has not given Junie Bee Nails an official open date but she is already accepting resumes for the flyest nail technicians.

Aside from her nail salon, Taylor will gearing up to release her sophomore album this year. The new album is executive produced by Kanye West. “The album is actually done, just waiting on some minor tweaks and whatever last minute switches or edits and a green light from Kanye and should be good to go,” she said.

Teyana & Iman will premiere on VH1 on March 24. See the latest promotional clip below.

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