T-Pain Announces Acoustic Tour

Since his debut, T-Pain has built his signature sound using Auto-Tune with hits like “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin)” and “Can’t Believe It.”

In 2014, he teamed with NPR for its Tiny Desk concert, where he performed an acoustic version of his hits. His performance received overwhelmingly positive reviews, while shutting down those who doubted his vocal ability. Now, the Grammy Award-winning singer is planning to hit the road for an acoustic tour.

The six-city tour will begin on October 4 in San Fransisco, Calif. and will hit a few cities on each coast before wrapping up on October 30 in Washington, D.C. T-Pain will bring rising acts Smino and Felly on the road with him and they will play in intimate venues in each city.

“I wanted to do something different for you guys…performing some of my favorite songs in a way you’ve never seen or heard,” T-Pain wrote on Instagram.

“The love and respect I’ve received from my NPR performance has not only shown a different side of me to fans, but it also has introduced me to a whole different set of fans,” he continued. “All I see on social media is how all my fans want to see this in person, live, with their own eyes.”

T-Pain Acoustic Tour Dates 
October 4 – San Francisco – The Independent **
October 5 – West Hollywood – The Roxy **
October 15 – Chicago – Bottom Lounge *
October 24 – New York – Gramercy Theatre *
October 25 – Cambridge – The Sinclair *
October 30 – Washington, D.C. – U Street Music Hall

* Smino, **Felly

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

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Anita Baker to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 2018 BET Awards

After more than 30 years of music service, Anita Baker will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 BET Awards.

Since releasing her debut album The Songstress in 1983, Baker’s music journey has been incredible to watch. Every time she sings, her warm presence is felt in heartfelt songs like “Angel,” “Body & Soul,” “I Apologize” and “Giving You The Best That I Got.” It’s that same voice that has earned her eight Grammy Awards, multi-platinum success, a string of hits and other much-deserved accolades.

While many previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients have performed at the ceremony, Baker will not grace the stage due to an upper respiratory infection. Instead, she plans to “simply sit and accept” her honor from BET.

The big question at hand is, who will be performing during the tribute for Ms. Baker?

Hosted by Jamie Fox, the BET Awards will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles this Sunday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET on BET.

Janet Jackson Covers Essence Magazine’s Happiness Issue

Janet covers July/August 2018 issue of Essence Magazine

Janet Jackson is all about positivity. The music icon graces the cover of Essence’s July/August issue, which is all about happiness.

Instead of doing a traditional interview as a cover story, Jackson decided to pen a heartfelt essay to black women titled “Letter From My Heart.” In the transparent letter, she reveals herself like never before. She talks about lessons she learned from her childhood to adulthood, including her early struggles with depression, low self-esteem and failed relationships to her eventual growth as an artist, discovery of peace and learning to “fully embrace God’s love.”

Here are excerpts from the letter:

In Her Childhood: “I was happy when my brothers came home from performing on the road. I was happy when my mother lavished me with love. But I wasn’t happy with the way I looked…”

In Her Teens: “Happiness came when people asked me to perform…but I was happiest when I was pleasing others and not myself. An older and wiser Janet might have said, ‘True happiness is knowing you’re doing the best you can…’”

Photo Credit: Essence

In Her Thirties: “These were difficult years, when I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way way through it…”

Today, at 52: “Now the height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness. When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God…”

The July/August issue is now on newsstands. Next up, Jackson will headline the 2018 Essence Festival on Sunday, July 8 in New Orleans.

Mary J. Blige Lands Leading Role in Horror Thriller ‘Body Cam’

Mary J. Blige plans to take Hollywood by storm in a leading role. The R&B legend will star in Body Cam, a horror thriller slated to be issued by Paramount’s Paramount Players division.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film, which stars Blige as an LAPD police officer, captures several officers being tormented by a malevolent spirit that is connected to the murder of a black youth at the hands of two white cops, all of which are caught on a body cam video that was destroyed in a cover-up. Blige, who is rattled by the nightmares, investigates the cover-up.

Directed by Malik Vitthal and produced by Matt Kaplan, Body Cam is described as a combination of films Get Out and End of Watch. The spec script was written by Richmond Riedel, and rewritten by Nicholas McCarthy and John Ridley.

Aside from preparing for her first major acting part, Blige is filming Netflix’s comic adaptation series The Umbrella Academy.

In March, Blige starred in Sherlock Gnomes as Irene Adler. She received several prestigious accolades and recognition including two Oscar nominations for her role and contribution to Dee Rees’ film adaptation of Mudbound.

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