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Jody Watley, singer/songwriter/producer/businesswoman, is one of the architects of 21st century pop. From her groundbreaking marriage of rap & R&B (1987’s “Friends,” a collaboration with hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim) to her vision-forward marriage of high fashion, street fashion and music in the ‘80s (long before it became the norm), to her fusion of jazz and underground club culture with keen pop instincts, and the ease with which she crossed and still crosses genre, Ms. Watley forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook. Winner of the Best New Artist Grammy in 1987, Jody Watley’s entire career has been about looking forward, drawing inspiration from personal heroes like Grace Jones, David Bowie, Diana Ross and jazz great Nancy Wilson – iconoclasts who were always ten steps ahead of the pack. The Chicago native’s eclectic repertoire – R&B, hip-hop, House, jazz, pop, drum & bass, ambient, spoken-word – is built on a positive vision and a strong taste for artistic and aesthetic risk. Her self-titled 1987 solo debut – a showcase for her vocal chops and songwriting skills – was a beats & grooves tribute to her club kid roots, from the underground spots she frequented as a teenager to her stardom (while still a teen) as one of the most popular dancers in the history of iconic TV show “Soul Train.” It yielded the chart topping hits “Looking for a New Love” (which launched the Jody-penned phrase “Hasta la vista” into popular vernacular, becoming so huge that Arnold Schwarzenegger jacked it for his signature line in the movie The Terminator), “Don’t You Want Me,” “Most of All,” “Some Kind of Lover” and “Still a Thrill,” whose video was the first (and as yet unmatched) time a pop star flexed their skills at waaking, the underground Los Angeles dance that is a sibling to both breakdancing and voguing. 1989’s Larger Than Life, her blockbuster sophomore album, yielded the hits “Real Love” (whose influential music video – nominated for seven MTV Video Music Awards – was her second collaboration with acclaimed film director David Fincher, the first being her sleek video for “Most of All”), “Friends,” and the sultry ballad “Everything.” They were all huge hits. Like many artists who top the charts, Ms. Watley soon found herself stymied by the limited vision of her label, who wanted to shoehorn her into formula. The albums Affairs of the Heart (1991) and Intimacy (1993) displayed her deepening songwriting skills and singing prowess, as well as her assured experimentation with layered musical textures, but label support was missing in action. The powerful, beat-driven spoken-word track “When a Man Loves a Woman” from Affairs sparked controversy for addressing AIDS and domestic violence long before they were topics of national conversation, and her skittish label turned its back on the track and album. Though Ms. Watley’s artistry continued to deepen and grow, she was hamstrung by her label’s lack of support and their adherence to the same narrow definitions of success that saw her leave iconic R&B group Shalamar at the height of its popularity in 1983. Her own definition of success centered then and now on artistic growth and freedom, not simply replicating whatever was or is hot at the moment. After breaking from the majors and starting her own label Avitone Recordings in 1995, Ms. Watley began collaborating with a Who’s Who of visionary producers and remixers, many of whom were longtime fans and jumped at the chance to work with her: 4 Hero, King Britt, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez & Little Louie Vega, Mark de Clive Lowe, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Ron Trent, Moto Blanco, and Alex Di Ciò. Thanks to her non-stop touring, her global fan base remains as fervent as ever and they’ve made chart and club hits of Ms. Watley’s indie albums – Affection (1995), Flower (1998), The Saturday Night Experience (1999), Midnight Lounge (2001), and The Makeover (2006) – and her 2014 EP Paradise. For the past five years, the ever multi-tasking Ms. Watley has focused on both her thriving solo career and the group project “Jody Watley featuring SRL.” Much like Prince had The Revolution, NPG, and Third Eye Girl (among many other projects and aliases) as extensions or branches of his music and creativity, Jody Watley feat. SRL allows Ms. Watley another outlet for her artistic expression. SRL members Rosero McCoy and Nate Allen Smith – gifted singers, dancers, and choreographers in their own right – bring their own cool style and vibe to Ms. Watley’s trademark high-energy, all-love live performances, and the trio’s critically acclaimed concerts draw SRO crowds around the world. With musical influences that include Kaytranada, Anderson Paak, and Little Dragon, they’ve released several chart-topping hit singles in Europe, including the Alex Di Ciò remix of “The Mood.” Their forthcoming album will be a seamless mix of dance grooves, funky beats, deep House, R&B, trap, rock, and ambient ballads accented with guitar flourishes. Also in the works is Jody Watley: The Jazzy Sessions, a longtime dream project finally come to fruition. Fans were given a taste of what to expect from that forthcoming EP on the bossa nova tinged cover of Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain,” which shot to the top of the jazz charts within weeks of its release. A lilting, gorgeously melancholy take on the classic tune, the track simmers with tension between the longing of the lyrics and the lush, languid music and arrangement. Though some newer fans were pleasantly surprised that Ms. Watley pulled off a jazz tune, longtime fans saw it as simply the artistic thread being pulled forward from Ms. Watley’s show-stopping cover of Cole Porter’s classic song “After You,” from the landmark AIDS benefit recording project Red Hot & Blue, released in1990. What links “Waiting” to the rest of Ms. Watley’s far-ranging and impossible to pigeonhole catalogue (which has seen her hit the charts in every decade of her career, from 1977’s Uptown Festival album with Shalamar to 2018’s “Waiting in Vain” single) is the sincerity and honesty from which it springs. “Everything I’ve ever done has been to be distinctively Jody Watley,” says the pop icon herself, “from my first solo album through right now. Everything that I will ever do always has to be authentic to me, work that I can always be proud of first and foremost. It’s not so much about, ‘Oh, this is going to be popular,’ or ‘Oh, this is going to be a big hit.’ It’s always been so personal to me, everything that I do. And the fans can feel that. They connect with the honesty.”

Get In The Groove Today With The Jody Watley Show


Sun.  Sept.10 🎧🎙️🎙️🎶

3 P.M. PST / 6 P.M. EST SiriusXM The Groove Ch. 50 “The Jody Watley Show” Ep. 7 feat. my special guest singer / songwriter/ producer Rahsaan Patterson one of contemporary R&B’s best. 

The Jody Watley Show Welcomes Rahsaan Patterson For Episode 7

The Jody Watley Show is back for September with special guest singer/songwriter/producer Rahsaan Patterson and a spotlight on the 80’s, 90’s hit music of MCA Records.

“Rahsaan is one of the great voices in contemporary R&B and also someone I’ve had the honor to work with. I’m excited to welcome him to the show to talk contemporary and classic R&B. MCA is the label that made me a Grammy award winning, multi-platinum solo artist and also launched Rahsaan’s stellar recording career as well. MCA released some of the hottest music of the 80’s and 90’s. I’m proud to be a part of that legacy of now classic R&B / Pop / Hip Hop music.”

The incomparable Rahsaan Patterson. Photo Courtesy Of Rahsaan Inc. All Rights Reserved 2023.

One of the things that has endeared Rahsaan Patterson to critics and fans alone is his instantly recognizable voice in its most natural state is flawless. His wide ranging honey-toned and velvety smooth vocals, coupled with his unrivaled agility and his superb songwriting craftsmanship make him a standout in an era of here today-gone tomorrow artists. It’s no wonder why R&B goddess Chaka Khan has sung his praises.

Tune In Sunday September 10, 2023. 3 P.M. PST, 6 P.M. EST on Sirius XM’s The Groove, Ch. 50.

The Jody Watley Show, a 2-hour monthly show airs every second Sunday exclusively on SiriusXM’s The Groove at 6 PM (EST) / 3 PM (PST) and on the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online.SiriusXM reaches nearly 34 million subscribers monthly.

The Jody Watley Show is packed with the best of classic to contemporary R&B music and engaging conversations with surprise guests. Previous guests have included Emmy winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Best Selling Author, Social Media Influencer & Actress Tabitha Brown, Grammy nominated artists singer actress Deborah Cox, Kenny Lattimore and singer /actress Vanessa Williams

The Chicago native is a multi-platinum selling GRAMMY winning artist as well as an award-winning songwriter. An accomplished producer, businesswoman, she is also one of the architects of 21st century pop fused with cutting edge style.

Renowned as one of the defining artists of the 80s with an everlasting influence on style, music and pop culture, Jody Watley forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook. From her groundbreaking marriage of rap & R&B (1989’s “Friends,” a collaboration with hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim pairing that is the first to crossover R&B/Hip-Hop, Pop and Dance into the Billboard Top 10 “Friends,” to her vision-forward marriage of high fashion, street fashion and music in the ‘80s long before it became the norm), to her fusion of jazz and underground club culture with keen pop instincts, and the ease with which she crossed and still crosses genre with hits spanning 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s, 20s, Jody Watley is the embodiment of longevity and artistic fearlessness in the industry as a legacy artist.

Get your groove on with Classic R&B on SiriusXM’s The Groove channel 50.SiriusXM is available to subscribers in their car, on their phone and connected devices at home with the SXM App. Streaming access is included with all of our trials and most popular plans. 

Go to www.siriusxm.com/ways-to-listen to learn more.

Remember:: It’s a Radio Show – Not A Podcast!! No Archives.

Jody Watley The Best Of The Month

Welcome September – In Gratitude!

As summer winds down, autumn will arrive/fall arrives. Just as new seasons transition us to temperatures, nature scenes of change and so on, the same applies to life.

Nothing stays the same. Embrace the changing of the seasons of your life. Be open to change, making adjustments as needed to accommodate where you are right now. It’s about appreciating the lessons and wisdom learned as we enter into each new season of our lives.

This month will also bring a new episode of The Jody Watley Show on Sirius XM The Groove, Channel 50. Episode 7 will air on Sunday September 10, 3 PM PST 6 PM EST. I look forward to announcing my next guest shortly after the Labor Day holiday.

Stay Tuned. Stay Fabulous and Stay In The Light Of Positivity And Confidence In Being YOU!


Jody Watley. Avid Music Inc. All Rights Reserved 2023.

A Jody Watley Hot 100 History Making Single Talking About Your Friends

Grammy Winning Solo Artist Jody Watley and Hip Hop Legend Rakim

#OTD August 26, 1989 “Friends” featuring Eric B. and Rakim made Music history on the Billboard Hot 100.

The single written by Jody Watley (lyrics and melody) with Andre Cymone (music) and rap verses by Eric B and Rakim, peaked at #9 on Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it “The First R&B/Pop/Rap Collaboration To Crossover Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100.”

The groundbreaking single was Watley’s 5th Top 10 Crossover Solo single. “Friends” also reached #3 Hot R&B and #7 Dance.

“The 1st R&B/Rap collaboration to crossover to the Hot 100 chart is pretty awesome though rarely acknowledged. I went out on a creative limb and thankful that despite push back MCA eventually gave in to my desire to have Rakim on it and that he & Eric B liked the song I’d written enough to join me on it. Radio was initially reluctant to play it and some would only play the edit without the rap verses. Since our single the collaborations were taken to higher heights and became a staple in popular “crossover music” on the Hot 100. The also notable video premiered on MTV was also inclusive on many levels and included elements of underground club culture, ballroom & voguing right alongside the b-boys and hip hop club kids – filmed in lower Manhattan in July of 1989. I also wore Jean Paul Gaultier couture fresh off runway in Paris, awls a contrast to the street style for the Club Couture theme.” – Jody Watley

OkayPlayer What Were The First R&B/Rap Collaborations

OkayPlayer “What Were The First R&B / Rap Collaborations”

Jody Watley “Everything” Is Still Everything

Jody Watley. 1989. Photography by Victoria Pearson. All Rights Reserved Jody Watley/Avid Music Inc.

Grammy winning solo artist Jody Watley 6th Top 10 Hot 100 Single “Everything”  Released August 22, 1989

Billboard Chart History:

#3 Hot R&B,

#4 Hot 100,

#11 Adult Contemporary
Written by: Gardner Cole,  James Newton Howard 

Produced by Andre Cymone 

The poignant ballad still resonates with audiences today and found on many Classic Pop 80’s Playlists. You can stream it anytime on your preferred digital platform and add to your own personal favorites.

From the second Jody Watley solo album “Larger Than Life” also featured Top 10’s the gold single “Real Love” & groundbreaking “Friends” ft Eric B & Rakim. More of the Jody Watley Discography : Here

A Very Inspirational Conversation. Ty Hunter on The Jody Watley Show

The Jody Watley Show Episode 6 was full of great classic R&B and another inspirational conversation. Legendary stylist and author Ty Hunter drops many positive pearls and shared a few candid stories. His current motivational book “The Makeover From Within : Lessons In Hardships, Acceptance and Self-Discovery” is available in hard copy as well as downloadable digital formats.

Check out this brief snippet from this month’s episode. Catch the full 2 hour show once more tomorrow August 17, 2023 5 PM PST, 8 PM EST.

Remember it’s a radio show – not a podcast, no archives.

Previous guests: Emmy winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Bestselling Author NAACP Emmy Winning Social Media Personality and Actress Tabitha Brown, Grammy Nominated Star of Music, Film and Broadway Deborah Cox, Grammy Nominated Singer-Songwriter Kenny Lattimore, Tony/Emmy/Grammy/SAG nominated singer/actress Vanessa Williams.

You can find short excerpts on the Official Jody Watley Youtube Channel.

A Celebration Of Herb Ritts. Jody Watley For GAP Classic Campaign

Portraits. Individuals Of Style By Herb Ritts 1989.
Poster caption: Gap long sleeved pocket-t as customized by JODY WATLEY singer-songwriter Photographed by Herb Ritts.
Jody Watley Photographed by Herb Ritts, 1989.
Style Icon Jody Watley Photography Herb Ritts For GAP 1989 Celebrity Campaign
GAP. Individuals Of Style Celebrity Ad Campaign 1989.

With so many efforts to erase, rewrite or revise history in all aspects of society from books to what we see and hear across social media depending on the source, it’s important to have source information to refer to. Jody Watley was a part of the first celebrity ad campaign for GAP in 1989. The inclusion in this particular campaign and theme “Portraits: Individuals Of Style” photography by the legendary Herb Ritts is important for a variety of reasons. The campaign included ‘Larger Than Life’ images in-store, bus stops and billboards across the country. Jody Watley was one of the few black crossover stars of that time to be featured in this what is now called ‘rebranding’ or ‘artist branding’. Jody received notice not just from her breakout solo hits, she became a stand-out in her personal self-styling in music videos, album and single art, appearances and promotional photography.

“When asked to be apart of this, I was so excited at the opportunity. The team said I could wear the T-shirt however I chose. In addition, it gave me an opportunity to change up the big hair to a sleek short pixie-cut. My fans at the time hated it but I loved it, felt fresh and modern. Today’s artists are the luxury to change it up frequently, fans almost expect it now, unlike the 80’s and 90’s.”

Jody Watley was recognized as a style icon going back to her teen years on the iconic show Soul Train. Excerpt from Nelson George “The Hippest Trip In America – Soul Train and the evolution of culture and style “….with Jody emerging as a late 70’s style icon. She could rock silver shorts and red glitter converse sneakers, vintage 1940’s inspired dresses with pumps or her prom dress. Her hair was an ongoing adventure, sometimes filled with tons of ribbons, sometimes long ponytails, or a 1940’s hairdo..” ~ Book published by William Morrow Imprint of Harper Collins Books.

“Working with Herb Ritts in this campaign was just incredible. California born and raised Herb was relaxed, charming and so kind, easy to work with.” Watley has said. “He also threw incredible birthday parties that were a virtual who’s who and I was thrilled to be invited to a few!”

Talking Fashion. VOGUE 1996. Herb Ritts Birthday Celebration with such notables as Diana Ross, Madonna, Tom Ford and Jody Watley to name a few!

In addition to the GAP campaign, Jody Watley’s Herb Ritts portrait of disco mirrored eyes was featured in 2008’s historic Black Issue of Vogue Italia. The “Outstanding Ladies” in the issue included Jody Watley and actress Angela Bassett.

Jody Watley by Herb Ritts. August 2008 VOGUE Italia The Black Issue.
Legendary Photographer Herb Ritts August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002.

The work of Herb Ritts as a photographer and video director is iconic and renowned – never forgotten.

Save The Date. New Episode Of The Jody Watley Show Comes To SiriusXM

Tune In This Sunday August 13, 2023 as Grammy Winning Singer-Songwriter Jody Watley welcomes legendary stylist and author Ty Hunter to Episode 6 of The Jody Watley Show.

Don’t miss this inspirational conversation and get your groove on with classic R&B hits.

3 P.M. PST, 6 P.M. EST – Sirius XM’s The Groove Channel 50.

It’s a radio show, not a podcast – no archived broadcasts.

Jody Watley Receives A Notification From The Camden Music Walk Of Fame

A special thank to Lee Bennett of the Camden Music Walk Of Fame for notifying me that my former group Shalamar would be amongst the 2023 honorees with a Stone unveiling on the new Camden Music Walk Of Fame in North London on September 9, 2023. Congratulations to Shalamar. Other honorees include The Kinks, UB40, The Sugarhill Gang, Seal, Eddy Grant, Janice Joplin and more. Prior inductees include David Bowie, The Who, Soul II Soul and Amy Winehouse.

Though I left Shalamar 40 years ago in July of 1983, Lee felt I should be aware and involved in some way as a founding original member of the group and ‘Classic’ lineup.

I’m proud to be a part of the pinnacle hits and recordings of Shalamar from 1978-1983 forever embedded in the history of the group. My sincere appreciation of the notification of this special and significant honor.

**Updated** August 15, 23* Before the misinformation begins, as it has already been erroneously been posted on the official ‘Shalamar Friends’ fan page – I was not, as a former member, invited by anyone to attend, though they posted all former members have been invited, it was very disingenuous to post that as it’s not true.


** Updated** September 2, 2023** I was tagged in these posts by the Official Shalamar page, shared from the Camden Walk Of Fame a couple of weeks ago.

I’m not sure what to make of this actually, a 2023 copy trying to replicate the original ‘Friends’ album of 1982 when I was in the group used in tandem with this event. I can’t imagine another group dressing up to give the illusion of being the same. It feels very disrespectful and misleading. Shalamar is a group that has consisted of many members over the years as we know. That said the pinnacle recordings that are still performed heavily by this incarnation were performed by the version of the group that included me. It’s great to keep the torch going in live performance but recreating the imagery in my opinion crosses the line of ethics and as I have said previously this lineup has a history false and misleading marketing and I’m surprised that the Camden Walk Of Fame would use this type of approach.

It’s an unfortunate thing to experience when constantly (going back to 2005 which I addressed in a blog post in my website in 2016 “An Open Letter” -the unethical, dishonest, disrespectful, behavior) of all involved – bait & switch, false and misleading actions as evidenced in these photo collages and mimicry in trying to present Carolyn as me in 1982 in this promotion.

I have no idea why Lee & Camden Music organization thinks this is ok or that I support the behavior based on his comment that II was made aware from a supporter of mine via the Camden Music Walk Of Fame Page.

There have been no social media posts from me that’s another example of the dishonesty attached. I had one email exchange when informed and a request for a quick chat to discuss the event and how I to include me, as an original member and never heard back from Mr. Bennett. It’s OK that the former members who sang on the records are not invited, it’s their event to handle as they please, however using this type of misleading representation makes one question the motives. Clearly, this is purposeful to satisfy someone’s ego and delusions to rewrite the history disregarding those who actually laid the groundwork and foundation in the hits and albums recorded decades ago of which the current female was not a part of beyond her step-father owning the label, that are still performed live today.

Why the cosplay? I don’t think another group with member changes has ever done something like this.I don’t know who dresses up like a public figure unless it’s Halloween, a drag show or a tribute and I doubt it’s the latter.
The Shalamar photos that include me (upper right and lower right) are from magazines in 1982, when Shalamar were considered style icons in the UK. The inclusion of additional photos give off illusion (Carolyn Baldwin in the black and white jumpsuit, and the re-creation copy of the “Friends” album are not from style features in magazines to my knowledge. They are attempting to imply it’s same situation and it’s not and same set of people and it’s not. Why not a collage with every member that has recorded anything significant as Shalamar that would include Gerald Brown (Take That To The Bank) Gary Mumford (Uptown Festival), Delisa Davis, Micki Free & Sidney Justin (Dancin’ In The Sheets, My Girl Loves Me, Games, etc). Will they be dressing as them at some point for marketing purposes? Shouldn’t they all noted as a part of this honor as well?
The original album cover art “Friends” album 1982, Howard Hewett, Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel. The most successful and bestselling album for Shalamar in the U.K.

Happy Music Milestone Jody Watley – Don’t You Want Me

Released #OTD August 10, 1987 Jody Watley 3rd Top Multi-Chart Top 10 Single

“Don’t You Want Me”

Billboard Chart History:

#1 Dance, #3 Hot R&B, #6 Hot 100
Written by: Jody Watley, Franne Golde, D. Bryant

Produced by Bernard Edwards  (CHIC, Power Station, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross)

Album: “Jody Watley” Multi-Platinum Solo Debut!