After viewing a recent episode of the reality show, “R&B Divas”, my thoughts went back to 1999 after singer Faith Evans released her album “Keeping the Faith“. Somehow, my daughter got my wife to go to a concert headlined by Evans, which included Ginuwine and the group 112. I first could not believe my wife was actually going to the concert because as she would say, “I do not really follow these new people“. Nevertheless, she went and actually enjoyed the concert. I asked her about Faith Evans whom then I did not really know much about. To my surprise, my wife really enjoyed her part of the concert most stating, “Faith Evans really has a great voice“. Not long after she and my daughter attended the performance, my wife purchased the “Keep the Faith” CD and, as it usually occurs, I ended up listening and enjoying the album more than my wife and daughter.
A few years later as I started to follow a young triple threat artist by the name of Beyoncé Knowles, I went to see one of her movies entitled “The Fighting Temptations“. There again was Faith Evans with a brief but major role in the film in which she covered the Donna Summers hit song “Heaven Knows” sensationally. If you have not seen “The Fighting Temptations“, and you like Cuba Gooding, Beyoncé, comedy and gospel music (not necessarily in that order) please rent or buy it.
I must admit I knew more of Faith Evans’ personal life and marriage to rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie Smalls) than her singing and music. She received the nickname “The First Lady” because she was the first female artist contracted with Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment recording company although some call her the first lady of hip-hop because of her marriage to the late Smalls. After contributing to Mary J. Blige and Usher’s albums respectively, she released her own solo album Faith, which was certified platinum with major hit “Soon as I Get Home” leading the way.
Faith Evans is still very active in the music business after her start about twenty years ago. October 2, 2012 she released her seventh album with a single in rotation around the country, “Tears of Joy“. The album is very different from any of her previous albums for two reasons: 1) Evans shares the microphone with other stellar R&B singers, and 2) the proceeds from the album will benefit the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange New Jersey. Oh, by the way, Faith’s reality show shares the same title as her album, R&B Divas. The show is very interesting; unlike most reality shows, the participants are friends and get along quite well. Evans along with Nicci Gilbert, Syleena Johnson, Keke Wyatt and Monifah all deal with the struggles and successes of female vocalists in the music industry, and other business endeavors. Sure, the women experience situations that upset them from time to time, but the friendships stay in tact nonetheless.
Interestingly as competitive as the music industry is you would think there would be all out fights between the divas. When viewing the show you really see them supporting and helping each other, providing a wonderful lesson for up and coming artists. Faith Evans’ demeanor is very much as I expected: quiet, with a great work ethic and possessing great business and personal intelligence. Her personality seems to set the tone for the show and keeps an umbrella of calm over the rest of the cast. There are rumors of changes in cast members for next season but with Evans scheduled to return the show; everything should remain the same as season one. Make sure you buy the album R&B Divas. It is exceptional and of course, proceeds go to a good cause. Also, look for R&B Divas on the TV One channel.