Janelle Monáe, H.E.R. and Ella Mai to Perform at 2018 BET Awards
Janelle Monáe, H.E.R. and Ella Mai have been announced as the first round of 2018 BET Awards performers.
Monáe will perform material from her Dirty Computeralbum, which dropped in April. Meanwhile, H.E.R. and Mai are expected to perform songs from their highly anticipated debut albums.
The latter artist is living her best life right now, as her single “Boo’d Up” (No. 8) spends its first week in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Mai is now the first solo female R&B artist to achieve a top 10 single (of new material) since Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” (No. 5) in 2017.
The 2018 BET Awards nominations were revealed earlier this month with Rihanna and SZA among the top nominees. R&B newbies H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar scored their first-ever nominations, including Best New Artist.
Hosted by Jamie Foxx, the 2018 BET Awards will air live on Sunday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
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…’”
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 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.
Macy Gray satisfies her sweet tooth on her new single “Sugar Daddy.”
On the sassy trap record, co-written by Meghan Trainor, the raspy vocalist tells her sugar plug to supply her needs in candy; not dollars. “And I know I got it bad, I got a problem,” Gray sings, “But I’ll take them cavities long as I get them from you.”
Along with releasing “Sugar Daddy,” Gray shares its accompanying visual. The Christian Lamb–directed video, which stars Kevin Ross, is an ode the 1972 Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues, which starred music icon Diana Ross as the lady of the hour.
“Sugar Daddy” is the lead single off Gray’s new album, Ruby, which is set to arrive on September 7. The album will mark her first release since 2016’s Stripped jazz covers album. In addition to Trainor, the Tommy Park Lumpkins co-produced record will feature Gary Clark Jr., Johan Carlsson and Tommy Brown.