As Good Black News continues its month-long tribute to Stevie Wonder in his 70th year on planet Earth, Marlon West has compiled a new Spotify playlist celebrating the times Wonder has graciously and successfully shared the spotlight with other artists.
Although Wonder’s collaborative skills are most famously remembered from the 1986 Grammy-winning chart topper “That’s What Friends Are For” with Dionne Warwick, Elton John and Gladys Knight that raised over $3 million dollars for AIDS research and prevention, he’s been at it for decades with a wide variety of artists and in the name of so many worthy causes and ideas.
This playlist ranges from Stevie’s work with the Queen of the Beyhive (Beyoncé) on a heartfelt Luther Vandross tribute, to his duet with a former Beatle (Paul McCartney) to confront racism, a reworking one of his best-loved love songs with a Canadian diva (Celine Dion), to a loving back-and-forth with his first-born daughter (Aisha Morris, who famously made her debut on 1976’s “Isn’t She Lovely” when still a baby).
In Marlon’s words:
Hello and Happy Monday, you all! Stevie Wonder is one if the most distinctive and prolific voices in popular music. He is a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist.
The brotha is one of greatest solo artists and bandleaders of our times. That said, Stevie Wonder has made many collaborations with other artists. He’s done duets, been a guest artist, and even a session musician one dozens of records. This playlist is devoted to Stevie Wonder’s duets. Do enjoy!
For those of you in New York City, here’s a film festival event to add to your November calendar… full details below:
The African-American Women in Cinema announced the full line-up of this year’s 17th Annual African-American Women in Cinema Film Festival (November 19th – 22nd), which features an opening night premiere and reception, keynote panels, additional premiere screenings, a youth filmmaking event, and a short films program. The films chosen for this year’s festival are judged by a jury committee made up of prominent industry leaders, who adhere to the organization’s mission statement of promoting films from African American, Latina, Native American and the Asian diaspora. AAWIC is the only film festival in New York City with such a wide multicultural reach.
The Opening Night selection is the New York premiere of director Princess Monique’s “Seasons of Love.” Starring Gladys Knight, Taraji P. Henson, Method Man and LeToya Luckett, the film follows one couple’s romantic ups and downs, as they struggle to determine the things that matter most in life. The film also features Ana Isabella, a rising star from Puerto Rico. The film is a Lifetime Studios production and will premiere on Lifetime on November 23rd.
AAWIC is also pleased to announce the premiere event entitled INTERNATIONAL DAY presented by UNESCO NYS and African Women For Good Governance on November 22nd. There will be a panel discussion called Discussing the African Film Industry moderated by Winsome Sinclair (prominent casting director). Following the discussion there will be a special presentation organized by African Women For Good Governance and later a film screening hosted by producer Mohamed Dione.
The festival will close with an awards VIP reception that will take place at the United Nations and the Nigerian Embassy, respectively. The President of African Women For Good Governance and Ambassador of UNESCO, Sire Dione Conde, expressed her excitement for the festival, stating, “We are pleased to be a part of such a prestigious festival that celebrates women in the industry and are very happy to present the first ever International Day! We look forward to making history together.”
Producers of the 2013 Soul Train Awards are guaranteeing viewers an “100 percent live” show. According to Billboard, this year’s vocalists — Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Gladys Knight, Tamar Braxton, Candice Glover and Ruben Studdard — will have to bring their A-game because lip syncing is officially banned from the urban music celebration. “100 percent live,” executive producer Bart Phillips said. “No tracks here.”
Phillips explained that the new rule was put into place to keep Soul Train’s legacy alive. “So many legends were made on the infamous Soul Train stage,” he said. “The music is the core and that is what keeps Soul Train relevant today, both with the people who grew up running to their TVs on Saturday morning and to today’s youth.” He went on to reveal this year’s motto: “We got soul.”
“It’s a party! People aren’t going to want to miss this,” he added. “We have so many surprises planned. It’s all about the 90s this year!” Rapper Kendrick Lamar racked up the most nominations with a total six, including best new artist, album of the year and song of the year. The award show, which will be taped on November 8th in Las Vegas, will air on BET December 1st.