TV One is getting into the reality TV game but they’re starting out on a more positive note than some of its predecessors. You’ve probably heard the buzz about some r&b, lady, diva-like show for a bit now and after a few name and set changes, the network has announced that it’s new series, “R&B Divas” will debut on August 20 at 10 pm.
TV One executive VP of original programming and production Toni Judkins told Billboard from the get-go that the show is not about drama.
“These ladies have known each other in the industry for quite a while. We aren’t creating relationships for the sake of a television show, so their actions, relationships and emotions are authentic and true to life-and it makes for a powerful narrative.”
So just who are these ladies? They’re some of our favs in the business. Here’s how they’re described in a press release for the new show.
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.
The eight-episode, one-hour series will follow the ladies’ friendships and their professional and personal lives as they maneuver various life challenges like divorce, parenting issues, drugs, alcohol, physical abuse, and more. There’s also a feel-good aspect to the show in that Faith will be bringing the ladies together to produce a charity album inspired by Whitney Houston, and proceeds will benefit the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, NJ.
I don’t know why Monday is such a hot night for reality TV but this definitely sounds like a show to add to the lineup. Will you tune in?
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