Trailblazing singer/songwriter Jody Watley is set to receive the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. Watley, who rose to fame during her solo career in the ‘80s and ‘90s, will also be honored by the city of Atlanta on June 2, 2022 with Jody Watley Day.
Named the first Membership Ambassador for 2021, Jody Watley digital billboard still stands tall at The National Museum Of African American Music In Nashville. If you’re in the city check out the museum, lots of history spanning hundreds of years in a variety of genres something for each generation of music lovers.
by GRAMMY® winner Jody Watley ft. Legends Eric B. & Rakim
Peaked at #9 on the @billboard Hot 100 chart!
Writers: J. Watley, A. Cymone, Rakim, Eric B.
Additional Chart® History
#3 Hot R&B
#7 Hot Dance Club Play
From Billboard: First rap act with a guest credit on a top 10 hit: Eric B. & Rakim (Jody Watley’s “Friends,” 8/26/89)
Six years before Mariah Carey and Ol’ Dirty Bastard set the standard for pop-meets-rap crossovers with the “Fantasy” remix, late ’80s star Jody Watley invited hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim to guest on her Larger Than Life single “Friends.” It resulted not only in the first top 10-charting feature for a rap artist on any single, but it also marked the legendary rap act’s sole trip together to the top 40 — the duo only scored one Hot 100 hit as lead artists, the No. 96-peaking “Juice (Know the Ledge)” in 1992
The Grammy Award winner is one of the architects of 21st century pop culture. She was a part of one of the earliest collaborations between Hip Hop and R&B when she worked with Eric B. & Rakim on the 1987’s “Friends.” Watley was also big into fashion, marrying a number of luxury brands with street fashion and music in the 1980s – long before it became normal.
“We are excited to name Jody Watley as our membership ambassador,” Kara Duke, Development and Membership Manager at NMAAM said in a statement on March 1. “Black Music finally has a home and with your support, we can make sure it will be here to inspire visitors for years to come.” Read Full Feature on BET.com
December 31, 2020 – For Immediate Release- BNM Publicity Group.
As we wrap up 2020, it has certainly been a reflective and eventful year, to say the least.
For all things Jody Watley, the iconic superstar continued to forge ahead in the midst of this pandemic; everything she touched turned into a buzz, from her expanding signature brand line with the addition of candle and home fragrance to the collaboration with husband and wife super duo producers, “The APX” on “The Healing – The Remix”.
Her timely spoken-word anthem release, “The Healing,” was debuted in the popular Club Quarantine’s transcendent DNice one of the game changers of the pandemic with his history making Instagram Lives. “The Healing” another from her longtime self-owned independent label Avitone Recordings with its lyric video touching on the civil unrest and Black Lives Matter theme resonated with listeners and led to major congratulatory shout outs from fellow music artists.
The beautiful living legend reminded us to keep living, keep loving, and keep moving forward.
Never one to disappoint, Watley accepted an invitation by popular on-air host BK Kirkland to be guest DJ for a two-hour takeover of his SIRIUS XM “The Groove” Channel. The playlist featured a specially curated playlist that included many of her classics with entertaining backstories of the songs.
A feature in the Black Enterprise magazine was a very special “first” with recognizing her as a well-respected entrepreneur highlighting launch of home line of candles and fragrance.
Known as a seasoned businesswoman, Jody Watley’s one-on-one interview on Money Making Conversations, a popular talk show hosted by Emmy award-winning producer Rushion McDonald where he interviews celebrities, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders on their secrets to success allowed listeners to experience her tremendous business-acumen.
Gracing the covers of three digital publications: Faith Heart Magazine, xS10 Magazine and Communique’ (dropping January 2021 ) was a nice highlight for the beloved singer, too!
We won’t stop there, as she was also featured for the first-time in Cuisine Noir, a food publication showcasing her culinary skills.
Her plethora of surprise television appearances on Fox, CBS and ABC News and its affiliates, digital interviews and other social media platforms this year confirmed that the always fabulous Miss Watley is not only relevant, but impactful.
The 2020 pandemic lockdown also brought together Jody Watley with Eric B & Rakim on their groundbreaking multi chart Top 10 collaboration “Friends” for a virtual performance (their first time performing it live since recording it in 1989) on Caffeine TV as the duo celebrated 30 years of “Let The Rhythm Hit Em”.
Her unforgettable surprise appearance on DJ Cassidy’s “Pass The Mic: BET Soul Train Edition which premiered on television for the first time following the Soul Train Awards airing on VH1 and MTV2 was a wonderful treat for fans to see the always fabulous singer “live and in color.” (Did I mention the segment to date has netted over 500,000 plus YouTube views and still counting!)
Jody Watley continued to expand, build and explore new aspects of creativity, including working with millennials.
Always one to share “gold nuggets” to others, she participated in a series of music industry mentorship virtual programs for the GRAMMY Museum sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund. The online day of mentorship and career advice featured the Grammy winning trendsetting legend and allowed students from three high schools—Northeast High School in Kansas City, Mo., Parkrose High School in Portland, Ore. and Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, Arizona to participate in the interactive series.
She was also one of the keynote speakers on Black Girls Rock: Black Girls Lead Virtual Conference which welcomed 1,000 young women (ages 13 to 18) from communities across the United States and its territories to amplify leadership skills, critical thinking, ingenuity and creativity and was also a District Advocate for the Recording Academy’s “Summer of Advocacy” helping push passage of relief for those impacted by the pandemic and other legislation.
Kamille Boyd-Gilmore (@Mssskamille), a popular professional skater and celebrity choreographer seen in the films, Drum Line, Baby Drivers and Step Sisters recently gave homage to the style-forging singer by skating to “Don’t You Want Me,” one of Watley’s many string of hits. The beautiful video artistic presentation netted thousands of viewers on her social within minutes of posting.
Since the beginning of Watley’s work in the humanitarian field, she has continued to expand and flourish as a supporter of various advocacy organizations. She contributed to the 30-year anniversary of Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Charity Event, “Divas Simply Singing” virtual concert and performed one of her signature hits, “Everything,” which aired on KTLA 5. Divas Simply Singing is the longest running musical fundraiser in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Watley was also a part of the mega fundraising concert series RWQuarantunes created by WME’s Richard Weitz and daughter Demi, featuring a who’s who in various genres. To date RWQuarantunes has raised a staggering $16M.
As a Grammy winning trendsetting pioneer Jody Watley’s influence reigns supreme and without borders.
Celebrated prominently as a major influence of Mexican American superstar Selena Quintanilla in Netflix’s Number One biographical series, “Selena,” and highlighted in a major Houston Chronicle feature, Jody Watley will forever be cemented as one of the architects of 21st century pop whose impact and contributions cannot be touched.
Now that is a monumental achievement to end the new year on!
Onward to 2021! Jody Watley continues to bring the Wattage!
“Thank you to all supported the music, message and other my business endeavors. Here’s to 2021. If you made it of 2020 unscathed and healthy – you did good. For 3 months of the early morning interviews and press – I was dealing with a broken wrist and full cast on my right arm..and a lot of pain..but no matter what always kept it moving like so many of you dealing with obstacles, and setbacks. Onward.” – Jody Watley
“Grammy Award winning pioneer in music, video, fashion and style Jody Watley graces the cover of Faith Heart Magazine, September issue looking more beautiful than ever. The stunning and always fabulous trendsetter opened up to the magazine about creating new special moments with her enthusiasm and passion for living, life, and music. She also shared about practicing a healthy lifestyle from what you eat to what you consume on social media and using her voice to inspire others.”