Photos from Act 1 of the concert – more wardrobe changes followed from a high energy and visually cutting edge (of the time) show! Within a month or so, I was able to bring this concert to another sold-out experience at Universal Amphitheater – some of that footage is captured in my “Everything” video. It was a who’s who of celebrities, artists, and a diverse audience white, latino, asian, black and beyond in the house that night.
Pre-cell phones and social media – you had to be there.
The second platinum solo album featured Top 10 Singles “Real Love”, the groundbreaking “Friends” featuring Eric B & Rakim along with the ballad “Everything.” The 4 and final single was the mid-tempo “Precious Love.”
The album featured photography by legendary fashion photographer Steven Meisel and a change in the visual style and look to a more fashion forward aesthetic also incorporating designer looks with street style. T
The now classic “Real Love “ video directed by David Fincher remains one of the most nominated in MTV Awards history with 6.
“Friends” featuring Eric B & Rakim is the first original song pairing a Pop / R&B artist with Rap/Hip Hop verses to crossover into the Top 10 on multiple charts.
Real Love (J. Watley, A. Cymone) Jody Watley Music BMI, Ultrawave ASCAP
# 2 Hot 100
# 1 Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles
# 1 Hot Dance Club Play
Friends featuring Eric B and Rakim (J. Watley, A. Cymone, Rakim, Eric B) Jody Watley Music BMI, Ultrawave ASCAP
Jody Watley, Harper’s Bazaar 10 Most Beautiful Issue (Women from 21 to 48 Talk About Their Looks and Lives), September 1989
I was in great company as the ‘The Top 10’ list also featured Academy Award winning actress Jodie Foster on the cover, other inclusions were Faye Dunaway, Whitney Houston, Susan Sarandon, Kelly LeBrock, Julia Roberts, Melanie Griffith, and Anjelica Houston.
Clothing – Rifat Ozbek
Photography Matthew Rolston
For me – though having a strong visual presentation and identity as an artist is important – your looks never define who you are as a person nor have anything to do with substance, character, talent, tenacity and perseverance. One must have something going on beyond what’s on the outside. Over the decades I’ve found in some ways with women physical appearance when others consider you ‘beautiful’ can work against you too, you almost have to work double to be taken seriously not to mention those that may resent what they see and some to their own personal biases, misperceptions and so on – it’s a double edged sword. That said, looking back it’s special to have broken through some of the barriers that often exist for black women and artists in the lexicon of beauty and fashion opening the door a bit wider for others that have followed. This was my second of 3 features in Harper’s Bazaar.
No matter what – don’t forget to be awesome not matter what you look like!
Along the way in my solo career, of many benchmarks and firsts that I’ve experienced – this feature was very special to be included in this issue of People Magazine. To my quote, my bottom teeth are still crooked though not as much with time.
I’ve considered getting them straightened in recent years. I think it’s ok to do whatever makes you feel better and of course I’m not opposed to procedures, though understanding that cosmetics don’t fix the inside though and perfection is impossible. Our imperfections make us all unique and we must love who we are regardless of the shell we are in.