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Who Should ‘UnSung’ Sing About Next?


TV One's UnSung is well into its third season, and I must say that this is one of my favorite shows on TV One. I enjoyed the Rose Royce episode very much. (Was I alone in thinking at some point they were called Rolls Royce like the car?) However, last night's much anticipated episode about DC-homegirl Stacy Lattisaw was a bit of a yawn-fest if there ever was one. The verdict is still out on whether the episode was boring because 1) Lattisaw is gosh-darn down-to-earth, normal and was never really a controversial or highly exciting entertainer to begin with or 2) maybe there weren't too many people interviewed for her story that were hip to anything worth us really knowing. Who can say?

What I will do, though, is share my list of who I would like to see featured on the show with the hope that their story is thoroughly researched and curious minds like mine can be satiated with the details. It is always intriguing to learn what it was that made someone be so involved in the industry and then up and leave or place their career on the back burner. Peep my picks after the bounce.
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Irene Cara

Whether you loved her as CoCo in the movie Fame or first heard her voice on the Flashdance soundtrack, you were a true '80s baby if you were an Irene Cara groupie like me. Cara was Tatayana Ali-cute and the It-girl of the late '70s and early '80s, appearing in classics like the movie Sparkle, which inspired En Vogue's sexy red dresses in the video for "Giving Him Something He Can Feel." But then she all but disappeared until popping up in 2005 on NBC on the competition series Hit Me Baby One More Time with her band Hot Caramel. An UnSung episode about her would definitely be cool to watch.

 

Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal

If you don't know and love the song "Saturday Love," then you need to hand your Soul card back swiftly and surely. This song is classic Soul. But, what became of the two singers who performed this duet together and many other songs from the '80s? Alexander O'Neal's song "Fake" was probably one of my favorite songs from the decade. With that Minneapolis sound that was trademark of popular acts like The Time and Prince, Alexander was well on his way. What happened? Cherrelle also seemed like she was on the move. Her video to her song "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" will always be a fun flashback with its King Kong-based plot.

 

Maxi Priest

With hits like "Close to You" in 1990 topping the charts, we just knew that Maxi Priest would be a name we would just be hearing about over and over again. This London-born crooner had the voice and energy that made the early '90s most known for upbeat talent. Now, though Maxi still performs professionally, we don't hear about him nearly as much as we should, and I would love to hear his story through UnSung. With recent reports in the last two years suggesting he might link up with the band UB40, it would be nice to get the lowdown on this talented brother who has performed songs with everyone from Roberta Flack to Shabba Ranks.

 

Vanity 6

Before there was Beyoncé's Sasha Fierce or Lil Kim's nasty theatrics, there was Vanity 6, selling hot sex on a platter laced with some of the illest Prince beats you could hope for. Yes, we all heard the stories about how lead singer Vanity is now a born again Christian somewhere, but aren't we curious as to just how in the hell that happened? Vanity 6 was the forbidden group I wasn't allowed to listen to and sing along with around my mom but who embodied young girl visions of what sexy was. Highly inappropriate for young children like me at the time, of course, the group had a mystique that definitely had some qualities later used by female acts to follow. Aren't you a bit curious to know the story on how this girl group even got started in the first place? And, most importantly, what are the other two ladies in the group--Brenda and Susan--doing? Now, THAT is the question.

 Who are some of the acts you would like to see featured on UnSung?


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  • Brotha O

    LAURYN HILL and the FUGEES.

  • dr. vince

    The SYLVERS !!!!! and BETTY DAVIS!!!!!!

  • Trineka

    Troop, RFTW (Ready for the World), Lisa Lisa

  • rapnerd

    I enjoyed the Unsung on Stacy Lattisaw. No, there wasn't any tasty and scandalous stories or details, but what i did like about it was that Stacy was the type of artist who really wanted to stay true to self and not let that whole industry thing get to her head. She wanted to sing and make good music, she didn't want to do any booty shaking and cleavage showing. She wanted the music to just be great. And her story is definitely whats lacking in today's musical climate. Too many people with an "image" and not enough people with real voices. So I'm happy TV One decided to profile her, definitely an underrated and "unsung" talent. Now, who I'd like to see next on Unsung:
    1. Vanity 6 - Like Moon said, they always kinda have this mystique. Who the hell are they and where did the come from and where the hell are Brenda, Susan, and Denise now?!? (But of course, Vanity herself probably won't be interviewed as i understand she wants nothing to do with that time in her life.)
    2. Jodeci - This would be perfectly scandalous.
    Plus more! The list could probably go on and on and on.....

  • ROD

    I got:
    1. The Ohio Players
    2. LTD / Jeffrey Osborne
    3. Cameo
    4. Tracie Spencer
    5. Jade (remember them??)

  • Rani

    Love the choice for Maxi Priest. Would love to see his story and always love a chance to hear him sing...Some of my choices would be...
    1. Anita Baker (no explanation needed)
    2. Gerald Levert (we know tidbits, but I don't know if anyones ever told his story)
    3. Betty Wright ("Clean Up Woman", and the fact that she's been sampled over and over again in hip-hop. A true unsung legend.)
    4. Bobby Womack
    5. The Staple Singers (help changed the sound of Gospel/inspirational music in many ways)
    6. Mint Condition...(the just don't get as much attention as they should, truly)
    ...I'm going to stop there, I can go on for days...

  • http://adventuresofanaudiodiva.blogspot.com/ Audio Diva

    Ugh. I wish I got TVOne...but I did enjoy UnSung when some kind soul posted them on YouTube once. I loved the Phyllis Hyman and Minnie Riperton ones.
    I would like to know what was the deal with Angela Bofill...(have they done her already?), apparently she had a real bad drug problem, and she was in the same Arista/Clive Davis boat as Phyllis Hyman when Whitney Houston showed up.
    But I'm going with these picks (esp. Cherrelle!) and probably Rene & Angela Winbush, Cameo, Cheryl Lynn, Betty Wright and Prince Proteges like Jill Jones et al.

  • http://soulrific.theinfiniteink.com Soulrific

    I'd like to see an Unsung of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam as well as Full Force. I don't think JLo would have been as much of a hit with the brothas and sistas had it not been for the R&B/Hip Hop scene embracing Lisa Velez.
    And some of the Full Force guys did a lot of writing for some boy bands of the late 90's. A lot of people don't know that they wrote songs for the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. Stories like that need to be told.

  • http://soulrific.theinfiniteink.com Soulrific

    I agree with rapnerd, I thoroughly enjoyed Unsung: Stacy Lattisaw. I was glad to see that she lived by her morals instead conforming to what the industry wanted her to be. You don't see a lot of people in the music business doing that nowadays.

  • http://publicsoulannouncement.blogspot.com/ khalid.

    I've yet to see the Unsung on Stacy Lattisaw. I was highly impressed with the episodes on DeBarge & The DeBarge Family, The Clark Sisters, Phyllis Hyman, Rose Royce, Melba Moore, Donny Hathaway & Zapp.
    I would like to see the stories of Bobby Womack, Anita Baker, Freddie Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Betty Wright, & Curtis Mayfield.

  • nybruh

    Hmmm... I enjoyed Stacy Lattisaw's story too. I always wondered what was up with her and I didnt find it boring in the least. I dont think this is a Behind The Music type scandal show... I enjoy just hearing the story.
    I want to see an Angela Winbush story too. I saw her recent performance on [loudass] Monique's show... and I think she has such a powerful story that the quick pre-performance chat she gave was not enough.

  • MusicInMySoul

    Cherrelle was on "The Monique Show" a couple of weeks back along with Angela Winbush, Glenn Jones, and Lenny Williams. That was a great episode. I'd like to see the Sylvers too! I think Olympia was sick and one of the brothers passed away.

  • anon

    Random, but does that photo favor Marsha Ambrosius to anyone else?

  • DLS77

    @Anon- watching the show last night,all I could think was how much Marsha Ambrosius looks like Stacy Lattisaw. I never realized that before...

  • BriBri

    Here's my list of Unsung potentials:
    1. Angela Bofill
    2. Stephanie Mills
    3. Rene & Angela
    4. Miki Howard
    5. Pebbles
    6. Vesta Williams
    7. Shanice
    8. Millie Jackson
    9. Ray Parker Jr.
    10. Force MDs
    11. Ready For The World
    12. The Jets (although they're not black, they had R&B hits)
    13.

  • HC

    I totally concur with: Ohio Players, Betty Davis, & the Sylvers. I heard Betty is hiding out in Philly living with family now. There's a Wax Poetics magazine issue on the OP right now. I don't know about the Sylvers.
    Vanity (Denise) lives in my city at the moment and while she is very quiet now, I heard that she has remarried (a same-age black man, judging from a photo I saw) and regularly speaks on behalf of her church. I actually think she'd agree to do an Unsung interview; but it's up to TVOne staff to ask her!

  • keith

    I found the Stacy Lattisaw episode boring and in fact, I am more than a little disappointed that she won't consider performing secular music even if it is just her hits. I do want to find her first Motown album, though...
    I would love to see the Sylvers, Cameo,Graham Central Station, and Prince's Proteges (Jill Jones, Maserati)

  • Nicole

    I would love to see Angela Winbush, Cherrelle, Stephanie Mills, and Troop, and Eugene Wilde.

  • Kendra

    Stacy's episode was great! I don't know what you were expecting,but not every artist has a scandalous past.

  • http://creativeliberationjournal.blogspot.com Moni

    EVERYONE you listed in this article and EVERYONE each commenter posted.
    But especially The Sylvers! They and the Jackson 5 were my group!
    Also TAVARES!! What happened to THEM???!!!

  • luvsong

    i would like to hear the Jet's story, or maybe EnVogue should do they're story as they comeback.
    the jet's
    envouge
    the good girls
    the family stand

  • baybruh

    I think the point of Unsung is to highlight artists that reallydidn't get the shine they deserved. People like Anita Baker, envogue and even the Jets were HUGE crossover artists at one time and sold a shitload of records. Now I would love to see Vanity, Cherelle & alexander Oneal

  • Montague

    I would like to see some producers like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis & Teddy Riley profiled as well as these artists and/or groups:
    Cameo
    The S.O.S. Band
    Guy
    Troop
    Force MD's
    Lauryn Hill
    Confunkshun
    Al B. Sure!
    Jodeci
    The Gyrlz
    Full Force

  • Jennifer

    I'd love to see one done on Betty Davis as well. That woman had SO much talent and potential and I'd love to know why she really didn't blow up like she should've.

  • http://www.melbamoore.com Ron Richardson

    Lets see what happen to Ann Nesby and sounds of Blackness
    Mcfadden and Whitehead "Aint no stopping us now"
    Kashif,Paul Laurence,Lilo thomas

  • Zana

    I think an UnSung on Al B Sure! would work for me but they'd have to find somebody else to do the show's voice over. Yes, it is his sexy baritone we hear every episode. I'd love to see Anita Baker profiled but she is not an UnSung artist per se she won plenty of industry and chart toppin' fan accolades in her time. Maybe TVOne should just produce a Behind The Music type show for R&B/ Soul acts that have moved on---I'd cry through the whole episode LOVE her :-)

  • http://soulrific.theinfiniteink.com Soulrific

    Ann Nesby is still working. In fact, she never stopped working. She's always doing something on the gospel circuit. Released an album on last year.

  • texaspaine

    All like all of the people so far that have been suggested, but i would like to add one more.
    Zane' i hear they have been writing for other artist but they had such a great CD, i would like another.

  • http://tigger500.typepad.com Tyler

    My selections:
    Betty Davis
    Keith Sweat
    The Boys
    Tracie Spencer
    Shai

  • anon

    @DLS77, glad Im not the only one who saw the resemblance! both lovely women.

  • dr. vince

    GRAHAM CENTRAL STATION !!!!

  • dr. vince

    MOTHER'S FINEST !!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ms_celeste Ms_Celeste

    Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. That episode needs to be in production right now.

  • shilohsmama

    Angela Bofill has been battling health problems. She had 2 strokes within the past 4-5 years, and no health insurance. Some of her friends in the industry gave benefit concerts to help with her medical expenses. From the last info I heard, she had just returned from a nursing home stay. Yes, UnSung should definitely do a tribute episode to her.
    Another story I'm interested in seeing (and I know I'm going waaaay back) is the incredible talent of the late Ronnie Dyson.

  • Zana

    @BriBri
    Your list is solid. I'd especially enjoy Angela Bofil I'd also love to see Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Cherelle. BTW I co-sign on the statement that was made that the show is about artists that had careers that stalled or their fame fizzled to soon stuff happened that prevented success NOT where are they now? THAT is a whole 'nother show y 'all

  • Doganr

    Here is my list.
    1. Obryan- Anyone who watched Soul Train in the early 1980's should remember him.
    2. Mary Jane Girls- All you gotta do is think Rick James.
    3. Mikki Howard.- She had such a "big voice"
    4. Full Force- Anyone who remembers those House Party movies should remember these guys but they had "hits" before these movies.

  • Barb Owens

    Stephanie Mills, Alexander O'Neal, Lisa Stanfield come to mind right now. More as I think of them

  • Shelly

    I think Vanity or Vanity6 should be on the next Unsung. That would be a Great Show!!!!

  • Danita

    You know who would be interesting to see a show on? Jermaine Stewart! He came out with a few pop hits in the 80's, then died of AIDS. I want to know more about him.
    Also, The Jets.

  • Vandellish

    Wow!
    Thx y'all! You all have brought back so many musical memories with your posts/suggestions of who to profile next. I'll just list the ones who I strongly agree with in hopes that TV One will recognize the redundancy and produce some of these episodes:
    Angela Bofill, Miki Howard, Pebbles, Vesta Williams, Shanice, Millie Jackson, Ray Parker Jr., Ready For The World, The Jets, The Ohio Players, Freddie Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Betty Wright, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, Gerald Levert (Levert), Jodeci, LTD / Jeffrey Osborne, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Sylvers, The S.O.S. Band, Guy, Force MD's, Confunkshun, Al B Sure, Cherrelle, Alexander O'Neal, The Time, O’ Bryan, Mary Jane Girls, Mikki Howard, Full Force, Maze.
    For my money, I believe the no-brainers are: Levert (for their lineage and the tragic death of Gerald and Sean), Alexander O’Neal and The Time (they dominated a major part of the 80s), Millie Jackson (for her ‘unique’ brand of entertainment), and Pebbles (for all the music and the LA Face/TLC drama).
    My own personal choices are: Soul II Soul, Tony! Toni! Toné!, The Spinners, The Stylistics. I say no go on Lauryn Hill because I just don’t want to write her off just yet.

  • Ms. Jay

    I love Unsung. I got all teary-eyed during the Minnie Ripperton & Donny Hathaway shows.
    To add to the on-going list (that has prompted me to dig out some music I haven't heard in a LONG time)...
    I would like to see something on some of the 90s hip hop artists: A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Digable Planets, GangStarr (especially now that Guru is gone),

  • Timeka Mckenzie

    Love those choices, also add Vesta, Evelyn Champayne King,& Billy Ocean. I love this show, dance and it takes me back to where I was when that song came out.

  • KANDIE

    I LOOK FORWARD TO THE UNSUNG, I REMEMBER, THE VERY FIRST ONE, THAT WAS AIRED IN 2008, WITH, PHYLLIS HYMAN, THE CLARKE SISTERS, DONNY HATHAWAY, MINNIE RIPERTON, PLEASE LETS KEEP THIS SHOW AN ONGOING !!! MY VOTE IS ALREADY IN PROGRESS

  • http://defjam.com Terrence Hanton

    Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal were the SHHH! I still rock his Tabu label records. Real R&B! Fo' Sho!

  • Lafaye

    Unsung was on point this season with the people they chose. I love it but i would love to know what happen to the lead singer of the 90's group intro, his name was Kenny he died of AIDS in 2001 and another group would be OneWay they had some jams a couple more good groups is Atlantic Starr, Midnight Starr, Total, Betty Wright, Teddy Penderass and last but least Gerald Levert you cant get no better than those.

  • kizzy

    I would LOVE to see the disco artist D-TRAIN !

  • Brian C

    Unsung is a great show but I wanna see more artists from the 80's and 90's. My picks are:
    1. SOS Band
    2. Cherelle
    3. Alexander O'Neil
    4. Tracey Spencer
    5. CeCe Penniston
    6. Vanity 6

  • Brian C

    As another reviewer said, some shows on some 90's hip hop artists: A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Gangstarr.

  • Muffy

    SOS Band
    Ready For the World
    Betty Wright
    Atlantic Starr
    Peabo Bryson
    God, those are the lony ones I can think of at the moment.

  • juiceman

    Great suggestiion with Maxi Priest. I would love to see an episode on Soul II Soul, Jeffrey Osborne, Angela Bofill, Ashford and Simpson, Third World, Ohio Players, Average White Band, WAR

  • juiceman

    Oh yeah, the man IMO kinda lived in Bob Marley's shadow, Peter Tosh. He definitely deserves an episode

  • http://morrisondesmond Desmond Morrison

    i think you shoud do a storey a bout Frankie Beverly and Maze

  • STEPHANIE

    YOUR NEXT UNSUNG ARTIST SHOULD BE NEW BIRTH

  • michelle

    one of the best shows on t.v.!!!!!!!!!.....i want to see the Sylvers!!!!!!!!!, 5 stair steps, the Jets, Rebbie Jackson, Latoya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, & Stephaine mills

  • pam degrate

    I would like to see an unsung done for Atlantic Starr, R&B group from the 80's-90s.
    Thanks so much, I really enjoyed them so far....LUV the one on Angela Winbush!!!!!



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