One Night Only, Live and Unplugged ...
By Marissa Wallace
Black Hollywood gathered at H.O.M.E. in Beverly Hills on Friday for an evening of glitz, glamour and good music at R&B Divas Atlanta’s One Night Only, Live and Unplugged concert. The special live taping of the season three finale included cast members Syleena Johnson, Monifah Carter, KeKe Wyatt, Angie Stone, LaTavia Roberson and Kameelah Williams.
The cast shared tons of jokes and laughs on the red carpet which veteran diva Johnson, who is famous on the show for bumping heads with ex-cast mate Nicci Gilbert, confirmed were all genuine.
“This cast is amazing,” said Johnson. “We have two new divas, which are LaTavia from Destiny’s Child and Meelah, the lead singer of 702. It’s just an amazing season and we have lots of cool things happening.”
When asked how filming this season without Gilbert went, Johnson said it was less stressful, adding that she wishes the Brownstone singer the best in all her endeavors.
Destiny’s Child alumna, Roberson, clarified to producers that she was not seeking to join another girl group prior to joining the cast this season.
“We’re all individuals,” said Roberson. “I wasn’t looking to be in another girl group, so I was hoping that kind of situation wasn’t going to be created. I’m not against it, I’ve just been there, done that. It’s time to do something new.”
The diva also has a tell-all book in the works where she will discuss the last 10 years of her life out of the spotlight, including helping her mother fight breast cancer as well as celebrating the birth of her newborn daughter.
Angie Stone, who had an acting stint in the recent box office hit Ride Along, said she will showcase more of her dramatic chops in her first lead role in a film entitled Melodies from Heaven, slated to be directed by Jamie Foxx. Stone, who has sustained a successful career for more than a decade, offered advice to young entertainment industry hopefuls.
“The key to success, for me, is being myself. Not getting stuck in one genre, being open to what’s new and what’s up and coming,” Stone said. “Change is inevitable in anything that you want to win in and I think how you represent yourself is the biggest key.
“I think that when people look at you they size you up—your character, your energy and what ever you have to offer,” she added. “If you’re negative, they pick up on it. If you’re positive, they pick up on it. Mostly, I try to stay innovative and positive so that people learn something from the things that I’ve been through.”
The concert, hosted by actress and comedian Kym Whitley, was full of powerful performances that had audience members, including Basketball Wives star Tami Roman, actress Elise Neal and singer Kelis among others, up on their feet. R&B Divas LA stars Lil’ Mo, Chanté Moore, Michel’le and Claudette Ortiz also attended to show support to their fellow divas.
Highlights from the show included Williams’s stellar performance of 702’s hit “I Still Love You,” Stone’s performance of “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” and an amazing cover of Patti Labelle’s “If Only You Knew,” performed by Wyatt. Wyatt also debuted a new song, which she said will be released as a single sometime this month. “Honey, I love Avant, but I’mma do me,” said Wyatt of longtime collaborator R&B singer, Avant. She’s set to release her solo EP in April.
Catch up with all of the divas and catch all of these performances during season three of R&B Divas Atlanta, set to air on TV One in early 2014.
About Marissa Wallace
Marissa Wallace is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist who delves into the multifaceted and rich fabric of Black arts and culture. Follow her on Twitter@MarsWall_ for more.