Deborah Cox Readies ‘The Bodyguard: The Musical’ EP

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Singer/actress Deborah Cox will soon release an EP to support The Bodyguard: The Musical, in which she stars. The R&B veteran confirmed the news in a recent interview with The Source.

“There will be a new EP coming out with eight songs, probably the most requested songs from the musical because everyone has asked will I do a soundtrack or a cast album, so this is the opportunity for people to hear me on the songs. It’ll be available towards the end of February,” she said.

Cox plays Rachel Morrison in The Bodyguard, which was first played by Whitney Houston. Cox admits that she felt a lot of pressure reprising this role.

She said, “It’s a lot of pressure! It’s high expectations on what the show is going to look like. And it’s a brand new musical coming to the U.S, never been seen here before. I know the audience’s expectations are very, very high. Our beloved Whitney is an artist we treasure and we love her legacy of music, so this show really has a lot of that in it. I know and understand the integrity that needs to be kept with the show and the storytelling. Myself and the cast we really try to honor that onstage.”

Along with the pressure of meeting everyone’s expectations, Cox also revealed the most challenging part of the production is the fact that it’s a ‘big show.’

“I sing 13 songs and there’s a lot of dancing and a lot of singing on top of that with intense scenes,” she told The Source. “It’s a suspense, it’s a thriller, it’s a love story, it’s very engaging so you just have to be on it. It’s like a whirlwind of sorts and I’m telling this story and there’s a lot of moving parts. It’s probably the biggest role I’ve taken on.”

For more information about The Bodyguard: The Musical thebodyguardmusical.com.

Keithan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Rated R&B

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Lauryn Hill Announces ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ 20th Anniversary Tour Dates

In 1998, Lauryn Hill captivated the world with the release of her groundbreaking debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. She plans to relive its powerful message on the road this summer with 20th-anniversary concert dates.

L Boogie will tour the states starting on July 5 at the Veterans United Homes Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach. From there, Hill will perform in major cities, including Boston, Toronto, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego and Irving. Hill will end the tour in St. Louis, MO at Chaifetz Arena on October 5.

Hill paid tribute to Nina Simone who will be inducted into the 33rd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in June. She sang a melody of Simone’s notable records including “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” I Put a Spell on You,” “Feeling Good” and more. We can watch the entire ceremony on May 5th at 8 p.m. on HBO.

MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES.

July 5 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
July 8 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
July 11 – Boston, MA @Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
July 13 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Festival Pier Penn’s Landing
July 15 – Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health Jones Beach Theater
July 18 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
July 20 – Sterling Heights, MI @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre
July 25 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
July 26 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
July 29 – Saint Petersburg, FL @ Al Lang Stadium
July 31 – Miami, FL @ Bayfront Park Miami
Aug. 2 – Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place
Aug. 3 – Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Aug. 5 – Nashville, TN @ Metro Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Aug. 8 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
Sep. 7 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Sep. 9 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
Sep. 12 – Portland, OR @ Rose Quarter
Sep. 14 – Burnaby, BC @ Deer Lake
Sep. 15 – Kent, WA @ accesso ShoWare Center
Sep. 20 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sep. 22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
Sep. 24 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
Sep. 26 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Sep. 29 – Sugar Land, TX @ Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Sep. 30 – Irving, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Oct. 3 – New Orleans, LA @ UNO Lakefront Arena
Oct. 5 – St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena

Beyoncé Extends HBCU Scholarship for Second Year

Beyoncé continues schoolin’ life. After saluting historical black marching bands during her history-making Coachella performance on Saturday, the mother-of-three has extended her BeyGOOD Initiative’s Homecoming Scholars Award program (previously named Formation Scholars Award program) for a second year.

The program will award $25,000 to one student from Historically Black Universities and Colleges: Xavier University, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee University and Bethune-Cookman University for the 2018-2019 school year.

Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, which houses BeyGOOD, shared, “We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintaining culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students.”

Beyoncé launched the scholarship program in April 2017 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of 2016’s Lemonade, her second visual album. This year’s award program is open to all qualifying students at the four universities. The attached disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. The universities will determine the finalists and winners, with receivers announced this summer.

Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid Announce ‘The R&B Tour’

Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid are teaming up to go on tour. The R&B middleweights have announced their R&B Tour, which will kick off on May 15 at The Loft in Atlanta. The tour will also make stops in D.C., Baltimore, New York and Chicago, before wrapping up on May 27 at Troubadour in Los Angeles.

Both Ro and BJ will perform some of their old material, as well as new material from their respective upcoming projects. In March, Ro dropped his four-track Smoke EP and plans to release the follow-up, Mirrors, later this spring. Meanwhile, BJ is gearing up to release his new album on April 27 via Motown Records. It will follow his 2016 debut album, In My Mind. 

Along with the announcement of The R&B Tour, the two gents have released their cover of Jodeci’s classic hit “Come and Talk to Me” as a special treat for fans.

Ro James and BJ The Chicago Kid’s The R&B Tour Dates
May 15 — Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
May 16 — Washington, D.C. @ U Street Music Hall
May 17 — Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
May 18 — Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
May 20 — New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
May 21 — Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
May 23 — Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi
May 24 — Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
May 27 — Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour

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