Chaka Khan releases empowering “I Love Myself” video

Jerry Ringuette / Askari Ali Chaka Khan is heading into Independence Day with an empowering video for her latest track, “I Love Myself.”  

The clip, featuring guest artist B. Slade, shows the iconic entertainer singing words of self-love and encouragement to herself in the mirror.  

Throughout the clip, several young women and two young boys pay Chaka a visit, and images of the winners of her “I Love Myself” video contest are seen singing along to the lyrics on Khan’s “Chakagram.”   

In an official statement, she says that losing her longtime friends PrinceNatalie Cole and Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White “deepens the already universal message of ‘I Love Myself’ in ways I couldn’t have imagined a year ago when the song was originally slated for release.”

She adds, “Loving yourself is a life-long process and even more so in the face of loss.”

“I Love Myself” is Chaka’s first single released under her indie label, iKhan Sounds. You can stream or purchase it through the usual digital platforms. 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige and Chance the Rapper ignite the 2017 Essence Music Fest

Mary J Blige performs at the Essence Music Festival; Erika Goldring/Getty ImagesThe 2017 Essence Festival wrapped up on Sunday night rounding out a stellar three-night concert full of legends, reunions, and fan favorites.

No mountain was too high for Friday night’s headliner, Diana Ross. The seventy-three-year-old legend made it her mission to offer the crowd some of her most notable hits, including “More Today than Yesterday,” “My World Is Empty Without You,” “Baby Love,” and “Stop In The Name of Love.”

Although it was her first appearance on the main stage for Essence, Ross handled her set like a true veteran with three glamorous outfit changes and moments of requested crowd participation. As the headliner, Ross was preceded by Rhonda Ross, Afrika Mamas, Junior, India.Arie, and John Legend, the latter of whom managed to bring the audience to its feet several times during his set.

Saturday night, Mary J. Blige brought down the Superdome by taking fans on an emotional journey through her music. With the longest set of the night, Blige began in the 90s with songs like “My Life,” “You Bring Me Joy” and “I’m Going Down.” The singer also performer some new music from her recently released album, Strength of a Woman.

“Ladies, I’m going to talk to the guys tonight for y’all,” she told the roaring crowd.  “You can only have one queen, not two queens, not three queens. One queen,” she emphasized. “Take care of home and you’ll be all right.”

Ari Lennox, Monica, Jazmine Sullivan, and Jill Scott also performed that night, with Chaka Khan closing the show and bringing all the the previous main stage singers out to perform her classic 1978 hit, “I’m Every Woman.”

The last night of Essence Fest seemed to have “no limit” on surprises. Master P. reunited with his No Limit soldiers on stage, which included Silkk da Shocka, Mia X, Mystikal, and even Snoop Dogg

Prior to Master P.’s set, Ithwasa Lekhansela, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue band, and Solange graced the stage. Solange gave fans an official “seat at the table,” showing off dynamic choreography and singing the crowd’s favorite, “Cranes in the Sky.”

To wrap up the third night, Chance the Rapper energetically hit the stage performing songs from his 2016 album, Coloring Book. During his set, Chance engaged the crowd and referred to his 1-year-old daughter Kensli throughout the night.

As the headliner and closer of the evening, Chance took the Superdome crowd to church with his spiritually-infused rhymes and messages. “How many of you want to go to heaven,” he asked as part of the introduction to his song, “Blessings.”

Before Chance left the 2017 Essence Fest stage, the Grammy winner made sure he gave fans two songs they’d been waitng for: “No Problem,” and DJ Khaled‘s “I’m the One.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Then and now: TLC's Chilli says “Unpretty” and new track “Perfect Girls” “are the same…and then some”

L-R: Chilli, T-Boz; ABC RadioTLC‘s fifth and final album, TLC, has arrived, and one of the standout tracks from the album, “Perfect Girls,” delivers the same message of self-love and empowerment as the group’s 1999 classic, “Unpretty.”

Reflecting on both songs, TLC’s Chilli says, “They’re same… and then some.”

Chilli tells ABC Radio, “In ’99, 2000, you didn’t have social media. You didn’t have Instagram. You didn’t have Twitter. The problem that is going on right now with Instagram, these girls live to post a picture.”  

“They’re altering how they look. It’s a gajillion filters on there. When you’re going to the extreme, where it doesn’t even look like you anymore, now we have a problem.”  

Chili adds, “You’re putting this fake thing out, this perfect look that doesn’t exist. Nobody’s perfect.That’s why I think songs like that and especially ‘Haters'” — another track on TLC — “is so important and very needed for this generation, because of what they’re going through.” 

TLC rose to superstardom in 1992 with their debut album, Oooooooh… On the TLC Tip, which to many teenagers in 2017 may seem like ancient history.  

But Chili says that if TLC was just finding fame today, social media “definitely would have been an issue” they would have tackled in song.

“We would have talked about it, like we talked about everything else,” Chili explains.  

“It wouldn’t have been any different, as far as how we would tackle it. But no one is immune from that kind of stuff. Again, you just can’t allow it to get to you, to the point where you start believing it.”

TLC will be touring this summer as part of the I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues tour, which kicks off July 7. 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.