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African Americans in the Performing Arts, Revised Edition (A by Steven Otfinoski

By Steven Otfinoski

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I had to learn to smell the roses, just enjoy and be happy,” Blige has said about her up-and-down life. “I learned to not be afraid and to not be imprisoned by how serious I think life is. ” Further Reading A gifted singer and songwriter, Mary J. ╇ (AP Photo/Paul Kramer) Producer and artist had a falling out, and Blige’s next several albums, including the more adult-contemporary Mary (1999) and No More Drama (2001), which included “Family Affair,” her first number-one pop single, were produced by others.

Moesha ran for six seasons and led to a spin-off series, The Parkers (1999), about Moesha’s best friend and her mother. Brandy’s most endearing role to date was as Cinderella in an impressive multicultural television version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, costarring Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg, and Brandy’s idol, Whitney Houston, who helped her get the part. Cinderella (1997) attracted 60 million viewers, including 70 percent of girls under the age of 18, a clear sign of Brandy’s popularity with this segment of the population.

In the neighborhood I grew up in, if something good happened to you, you better not tell nobody,” she said in an interview. ” In her teens, Blige began writing gospel songs with her friends and sang in her church. Then, in 1988, she made in a mall booth a recording of an Anita Baker song; this changed her life. Her mother’s then boyfriend brought the cassette to Uptown Records, and the label’s CEO, Andre Harrell, was so impressed that he signed Blige to a recording contract the following year.

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