I posted this yesterday on my social media in celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This performance was while pregnant with my son on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992 while promoting my “Affairs Of The Heart” album -also performed that night was my single “I’m The One You Need.’ The Arsenio Hall Show was always a great place to showcase music for black artists simply on a merit basis – long before the “what are the social media numbers, how many followers?” The gatekeepers of today would never allow a show like this.
Around this time I’d performed this single on Good Morning America on MLK Day. My performance earned me an invitation to The White House as the President and First Lady were so moved. It’s an honor I’ll never forget. I also used the opportunity to speak about equality, and support for public education – investing in our youth; definitely inspired by Dr. King. Many know I also recorded this song in honor my my father Rev. John Watley Jr.
“..the more of life I live to see, I feel more like a child – the lessons that I have to learn, I know will take a while – and if it takes eternity I hope your plans for me, surround me with a gift of joy and make my days complete..embrace me with your love and help me rise above – show me the way to keep the faith so I won’t forget to say that it all begins with you..”
We all have the ability to bring positive changes in our lives and in the world each day not to mention the ability to keep the faith and get through barriers and obstacles. You don’t have to be religious (I’m not) to believe in a higher power than all of us and the inner will we have when we keep the faith.
Jody Watley. Blue Issey Miyake Plastic Body Mold. Performing on Soul Train 1988. I had red as well as black though I believe I had the red customized to black.
I originally wore the Issey Miyake plastic bodice on my U.K. solo single in 1984. The label didn’t believe in the project or my direction so things never got off the ground—until I returned to USA
In 1984 – London ironically not fitting their image and box of “R&B artist” the UK label wanted me to just be the girl from Shalamar and to do something similar .. I had other plans. “You have to have a vision and believe in it. It paid off for me ultimately” – Jody Watley
I was tagged in a post with the very fashion forward Zendaya rocking a Tom Ford plastic bodice this week. Gorgeous.
Holiday vibes my favorite Christmas song : favorite holiday album “Vince Guaraldi:: A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Silent Night” reminds me of being a little girl looking at the color wheel. I’m more of a fan of low key holiday songs..instrumentals not much on over-singing..really more of a vibe of chill, fireplace, warm cocoa and like slipping your feet into warm fuzzy slippers.
This was at rehearsal with my fellas including Roland Hamilton on keys 🎹impromptu on break! I asked who knew any Christmas songs as we went to break getting ready for Art Basel in Miami – only Roland said yes and so we did this casually for fun. Sometimes this season can be so hectic and full of frenzy and often sadness for many as well..I hope this brings a minute and a half of joy.
Since winning the Best New Artist Grammy in 1988, I remain a voting member (all artists should be involved), have been a part of the GrammyU program serving on the Recording Academy Board of Governors serving on the Los Angeles Chapter for a few years in early 2000’s. Being a part of the academy from that perspective gave me greater understanding of how the process works. I was nominated and put on the ballot initially by a respected music writer and voted in. Later running for LA Chapter President against MC Lyte – Lyte won the vote and was terrific. This took me back to running for Class President in junior high only with less stress, I didn’t win that either, but it was great for my confidence no matter the outcome and as always – you never know unless you try and put yourself out there. It’s the journey!
Invited to return as a presenter (presented Toni Braxton Best New Artist Award in 1993) was cool as well as being a part of the Grammy Award Nominees Announcements that same year with country music star Clint Black. Awards shows are very different now so it’s nice to reflect for a second on this part of my continued journey as an artist and music peer.
Jackie Wilson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987 – finally received his Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame (location is 7057 Hollywood Blvd) just across the street from historic The Roosevelt Hotel.
For those that don’t know the connection -Jackie Wilson was my godfather and the first to bring me onstage in concert when I was little (have mentioned though-out my career), it was such anh
Wonderful speeches yesterday from Motown and Music Legends Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson as well as original Chi-Lite Marshall Thompson. Jackie’s son John said if his dad were alive he would have probably said “..today I’ve been lifted higher than ever before ..” as his siblings and other family members also cheered with those in attendance.
Here are a few of my personal candids. If you missed the live stream – you can watch it currently Hollywood Walk of Fame
On my way!
Feeling Supreme with original Supreme Mary Wilson..you know I loved them growing up and still do.
Posing for media photo pool before ceremony.
Jody Watley. Getty Images View.
With founder of the Chi-Lites Marshall Thompson..junior high days for me!
The one and only Smokey Robinson.
All hail – Berry Gordy founder of the influential Motown Records.
With one of his daughters Sabrina, she has his eyes for sure!
In 1987 after performing one of my hits from solo debut.. I think it was my second time from that album, chatting with Dick Clark on his American Bandstand. Music – Fashion – Jody Watley Style. I remember vividly Patti Labelle telling me at an American Music Awards “..a lot of people don’e get your style, but I do – It’s magazine baby, Magazine!”
Always be yourself whether people get you or not, has always been my thing.
Blessed to still be here – still a thrill being myself and doing what I love