R&B stars Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Keke Wyatt, Syleena Johnson, and Monifah Carter will debut their new reality show “R&B Divas” on TV One on August 20 10PM ET.
The eight-episode, one-hour series chronicles the ladies’ long-running friendship as well as their professional lives and personal challenges. Spurred by Evans, the quintet comes together to produce a charity album inspired by Whitney Houston. Proceeds from the album will benefit the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, New Jersey. As this project unfolds, so does a candid look at other career and personal issues affecting the divas, including motherhood, divorce, alcohol and physical abuse as well as entrepreneurial pursuits.
KeKe Wyatt talked to UB about the show and stated: “I think it’s going to be good. It’s just going to be basically showing us as mothers, singers, divas whatever you want to call it on stage. Just to show we’re just like everybody else. We go grocery shopping and our babies try to pee pee on us while we’re trying to pay the cashier.”
Faith Evans a co-producer of the show also talked to us about the show and stated: “It’s basically something that myself and Nicci are working on with a few more R&B divas! I got a chance to tell my story, I did my memoir and it was very well received. There are other “divas” who have have stories of their own, because people don’t really know their stories because of whatever reason. They might not be as commercial & on your radar as the next person, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to help them tell their stories by way of my platform.”
Faith Evans: Faith has been in the industry for over 10 years and was previously married to the Notorius B.I.G. And after winning a Grammy, dropping three platinum albums and becoming a NYT Best Selling author, she’s the center of this friendship circle of ladies.
Nicci Gilbert: She’s the lead singer/songwriter from the R&B group Brownstone. She’s now spun her 15-year-career into the acting and fashion worlds.
Monifah: After getting her start singing background for reggae artist Maxi Priest, she worked with Heavy D to get her career and first album Moods…Moments off the ground in the late 90’s. Fifteen years and 1 Gold certified album later, the “I Miss You” singer is currently writing, producing and recording her fourth CD as she continues performing live with her band “Soulution.”
Syleena Johnson: The singer says she lost her love for music “for a minute because it broke my heart at one point…but I am glad to say that we are back together and learning to love each other again.” The daughter of the nation’s first black female police commissioner and legendary soul and blues singer Syl Johnson, she was initially discouraged from getting into the music business by her father, who had many disappointing experiences in the industry.But after training and a breakup with an abusive boyfriend, she embarked on a career 10 years ago. She’s well known for handling the vocals on Kanye West’s “All Falls Down” track.
Ketara Shavon Wyatt, b.k.a. Keke Wyatt: She’s the daughter of a Caucasian vocalist mother and an African American organist/vocalist father and started singing at two. KeKe grew up in the church, where the family had the image of a happy Christian family; but behind closed doors there were problems stemming from abuse and also adversity experienced by the family’s multi-racial background. At the height of her career breakthrough, the “Nothing In This World” singer’s private struggle with domestic violence became the main focus in the media. In 2001, Wyatt was arrested for stabbing her husband; the charges were later dropped, but her career suffered from the negative attention. In 2004, the songstress signed to New Orleans based Cash Money Records. Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, her album promo and sales suffered. She now serves as a spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.