‘R&B Divas’ – 90s Voices of Music Return To Forefront on TV ONE Series

r&b divas cast
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The reality shows just keep coming in, but here’s one I really can’t be too mad at. Growing up in the 90’s when R & B Soul was at its height, listening to some of the most dominant female voices to ever record, I oftentimes find myself playing albums wondering where the ladies are today. The new TV ONE show, R&B Divas, provides some answers, featuring a cast of Faith Evans, Syleena Johnson, Monifah Carter, Keke Wyatt & Nicci Gilbert from the group Brownstone. Conceptualized by Evans and Gilbert, the ladies wanted to spotlight some of the Divas of yesteryear, while providing some back story as to what they’ve been dealing with personally and professionally since the days when they dominated the charts. Here’s your chance to meet the cast of R&B Divas.

Don’t expect the bickering and fighting you may experience on some other shows, R&B Divas is about life, family and the love for music. Evans and Gilbert believed in the product so much that they spent their own money to shoot the pilot before shopping it to networks. Picked up by TV ONE, the network will air eight episodes on Mondays beginning August 20, 2012.

The ladies also headlined Essence Festival 2012.

The show will also follow the ladies as they record a joint album also called R&B Divas. It’s actually a charity album, with proceeds going to benefit the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, an institution that Houston attended, located in her hometown of East Orange, NJ. The lead single from the album will be “Tears of Joy,” by Faith Evans. The song was written by multiple Grammy nominated songwriter and producer, Claude Kelly & Chuck Harmony. The album will be in stores on October 2nd.

The show theme song is titled, “Lovin Me,” featuring all the ladies, and co-written by Nichole “Nicci” Gilbert-Daniels, Belle Johnson and Gharah “PK” Degeddungseze.

Here’s your chance to meet the cast of R&B Divas

Faith Evans was the first lady of Bad Boy Records signing with the company in 1994. She was also the wife of the legendary Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, and the mother of his son. She released her debut self-titled album in 1995, the first of three Platinum and Gold releases under Bad Boy Records. She earned several Grammy award nominations for her solo albums, but won her Grammy in 1998 for  Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for “I’ll Be Missing You” with Diddy.

She released two more R & B albums after her departure from Bad Boy Records in 2004. She also released a Christmas themed album. In 2008 she released her book, Keep the Faith: A Memoir, which landed on the New York Times Bestseller’s List.

Syleena Johnson has been silently dominating R & B since the mid-90’s. Her first project was a collaboration album with her father, the legendary Sly Johnson. The album was titled, This Time Together By Father and Daughter, and was released in 1995. Syleena released her solo debut four years later independently, titled Love Hangover. After making waves on her own, Jive Records gave her a deal.

She has since released 5 albums, each titled after a chapter of her life. Three of the releases were put out by Jive Records, while the two most recent albums have been released independently including the 2011 released Chapter V: Underrated.

Syleena Johnson is a staple of Chicago based artists, having worked with R. Kelly, Twista, and most famously with Kanye West on “All Falls Down.”

Nichole “Nicci” Gilbert-Daniels is the lead singer of the group Brownstone, which dominated the airwaves in 1995 with their hits, “If You Love Me” and “Grapevyne.” The group was signed to Michael Jackson’s MJJ Music label and released 2 albums. They have tried several comebacks, but have not released a group album since. Still, Nicci did release a solo album.

She also runs her clothing line, Curvato Clothing, for the Curvy woman. Nicci Gilbert created a name for herself in theater as well, becoming a successful playwright. She wrote, produced, and directed the hit musical plays “Sweet Potato Pie” and “Soul Kittens Cabaret.”


Monifah became a unique voice in the R & B game around 1996, as she prepped her debut album, Moods…Moments. She worked with Heavy D the following year, which continued to solidify her brand. In 1998 she found her biggest success with her third album, Mo’hagony and the smash single, “Touch It.” Her third album, Home was released in 2000 featuring production from Teddy Riley, and the song “Nana,” which featured Chico DeBarge was featured on the Kings of Comedy soundtrack.

KeKe Wyatt stole the show on Avant’s “Nothing In This World” single in 2001. The song helped propel both artists’ careers and Keke went on to release her debut album Soul Sista, which went platinum. She eventually left MCA Records and joined Cash Money, but failed singles and personal drama did nothing to help her career. As stunning as her voice was, Keke was never able to capitalize on her early success and although she released two albums independently since 2010, she has yet to match her early buzz.

There have been plans for a joint duet album with Avant, which both fan bases have been eagerly anticipating, but there has yet to be a release from the duo since the 2001 single.

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Kevin Benoit
Kevin Benoit graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies. Empowering the urban community has been a goal for Kevin Benoit for the past 8 years. As a freshman in college, in May of 2004, Benoit created Parlé Magazine, an urban entertainment magazine that focused on literacy through entertainment. The publication has since provided a stepping-stone for many individuals throughout the country, from teens to adults and continues to provide inspiration for inspiring entrepreneurs, writers, photographers and graphic designers. Read more articles by Kevin.