Thursday and Friday, a host of recording artists will come together for the 13th annual Urban Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids event. Participants include Erica Campbell, Anita Wilson, Anthony Brown, Anthony Hamilton, Bishop Jason Nelson, Brian Courtney Wilson, Casey J, Cece Winans, Donnie McClurkin Evvie McKinney, Jekaylyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Kirk Franklin, Ledisi, MAJOR, Maranda Curtis, Marvin Sapp, Q Parker, and the Winans Brothers.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Campbell to discuss her participation in this annual event, new music, Mary Mary’s future as it relates to reality television, and how she handles her Instagram feed receiving so much media attention.
MadameNoire: Tell us about the 13th annual Urban Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids event for those who are unfamiliar.
Erica Campbell: Well, Get Up Mornings, this is our fourth year doing the radiothon and it’s really like the highlight of our year to be able to raise money for St. Jude with all the work that they do battling childhood cancer and they’ve taken the recovery rate from 20 percent to 80 percent. The best part for the families is that they don’t pay a bill for anything. The only thing they have to worry about is making sure the child gets better. I talked to a mother today, her name is Natisha and her daughter had cancer in her eye at five months old. It’s been a two-year journey. They eventually had to remove the eye, but she said her daughter is in such great spirits. They took great care of her. The care and concern from the doctors were great. They walked with them through the whole process. It’s just amazing that you know, people can be a partner in hope with these kids and with these families for just $19 a month. I mean, we spend more than that on nails and hair and eyelashes. $19 a month can literally change somebody’s life. I really love being a part of it every year.
MN: For those who are unfamiliar with the 13th annual Urban Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids event, how can they take part?
Erica: So for four hours, they can tune in. The cool thing about it is we carry it out all day through the dayparts, so you know my other partners and peers like Willie Moore Jr. and Darlene McCoy, they’ll have radiothons as well. You can call in and all day, really that whole weekend become a partner in hope to support St. Jude and help them fight cancer and other diseases. The things that these families go through can become devastating. I don’t know if you have children, but I have three, you know. I don’t like when my kids get a cold. You know, with this pandemic I’ve been trying to make sure they stay clear of COVID, and even though my husband got it, my, my kids were good. I couldn’t imagine if it was cancer. But to know that there is somebody that could be walking with me through that process where I wouldn’t have to do it alone just amazing. It’s a blessing, really.
MN: Can we expect any Mary Mary projects in the near future?
Erica: I’m releasing another solo record and Tina just did a record with her family called Camp Six Fam, It’s great, great music and that’s coming out this year. I don’t think we’ll be revisiting the reality world. The nature of it is just, you know, you almost can’t have a reality show without a bunch of problems. And so, we try not to be in that space. It’s a little challenging. So, you know, I’m focusing on being positive and being better and my kids being better. And so, it wasn’t necessarily the best scenario for us. So the six seasons that you have, you can watch on iTunes.
MN: Will we be getting a new Mary Mary album any time soon or will you and Tina continue to focus on solo projects?
Erica: There are actually two new Mary Mary songs coming this year.
MN: I know that you say that you like to stay in a place of positivity, but this Instagram page of yours lives in the blogs. I know that you’re even sometimes on the MadameNoire homepage from time to time. Does it ever get frustrating?
Erica: No, because it’s all up for conversation. The people that come to my page, I think they understand that I’m a believer and that’s my perspective but my job, as a believer, is to encourage and inform and share my knowledge with people who are non-believers. So when I see it on MadameNoire or The Shade Room or The Jasmine Brand or you know, whoever picks it up, I’m totally fine with that. I get calls and I’ve been on The Breakfast Club and all of the hip hop morning shows. When I talk about sex and sexuality, they always take it there but if everybody else can be bold about what they believe then I can, too. Especially since I’m coming from a place of love and being better. So, I don’t feel bad about it at all. It’s totally fine with me.