Already Famous & Down-To-Earth Chat on Da-Professor’s Lounge

Last week’s episode of Da-Professor’s Lounge featured an exclusive interview with Model/Actor/Spoken Word Artist/Athlete Jay The Model. The talented brother who’s one of 28 kids speaks about his career, his love for basket ball, his admiration for Pop/R&B Singer/Songwriter/Actor Chris Brown and the importance of loving yourself and grinding while remaining humble.



Actor/Author/Poet/Playwright Ronne Hayne Returns to Da-Professor’s Lounge

Da-Professor’s Lounge was more than thrilled when Actor/Author/Poet/Playwright Ronne Hayne decided to return to Da-Professor’s Lounge for a 3rd time. Born in Brooklyn, Ronne who resembles Motown Records founder Berry Gordy got his start in the entertainment industry by appearing on the Soap Opera As The World Turns. Ronne also was part of a singing group in high school before enlisting in the military. After his stint, he began to work in a hospital while relaunching his career; he wrote a play called Duppy and starred in many productions. He even auditioned to play Berry Gordy in the Motown Musical and now he’s promoting his debut novel “Duppy” which deals with elder abuse, karma and inter-cultural racism.

To learn about this talented brother, check out this edition of Da-Professor’s Lounge which also plays the hottest timeless jams from the past 5 decades.



2 years ago, Grammy-Award winning Icon Tina Turner tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend Music Executive Erwin Bach in their Switzerland home in front of many of their family and friends which…



2 years ago, Grammy-Award winning Icon Tina Turner tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend Music Executive Erwin Bach in their Switzerland home in front of many of their family and friends which included Tina’s son Craig, singers Sade, David Bowie and Bryan Adams who performed for the couple. Other guests included Talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, who served as bridesmaids. Turner who’s music career began when she joined the Kings of Rhythm in 1958, had met Erwin an German executive at her record label when he was asked to meet her at the airport in London in 1986. Tina had revealed to Oprah that when she first laid eyes on him she began to get butterflies and it was love at first sight. The two became great friends and two years later, they began to date and remained in a relationship for nearly 28 years before they decided to get married.

Many of Tina’s fans were happy that she finally found true real love and happiness after launching a solo career which included the release of her multi-platinum album “Private Dancer” which peaked at # 3 on the Pop charts and # 1 on the R&B Charts. The album also did well overseas. The album scored many hits including “Let’s Stay Together,” “Better Be Good To Me,” “Show Some Respect” the title track and “What’s Love Got To Do With It” which became her 1st and only # 1 Pop hit peaking at the top of the Pop charts for 3 weeks. The success of the album earned Tina 3 Grammy Awards and fans around the world. Tina continued to gain success with the follow ups Break Every Rule, Foreign Affair, In Your Wildest Dreams and Twenty-Four Seven while her concert tours grossed millions of dollars making her the 1st female recording artist to have nearly 500, ooo fans attend her stadium concerts. In 2008, Tina returned to the stage at the age of 68 to embark on her post-retirement tour Tina 50 which celebrated her 50th anniversary in entertainment and once again the tour was a success.

The 1st time fans learned of Tina’s new romance was during an interview she did with Ebony Magazine in 1989, while she was promoting her album “Foreign Affair” which featured her co-producing 2 songs as well as serving as executive producer. Many fans were happy to see that she had found happiness in her life. In fact Ebony and Jet Magazine always showed pictures of them together. When Erwin who’s 16 years younger than Tina was asked about their relationship on 60 Minutes, he said ‘I’m in love with a person. Not the rock star.” Tina revealed that he was mature for his age and that though she made most of the money, he does contribute financially to the household expenses.

For many years Tina was asked would she ever remarry. Tina’s responses was I like it the way it is. After becoming a Swiss Citizen, Tina finally accepted Erwin’s proposal and they officially married on July 4th 2013, but had a ceremony on July 21, 2013 surrounded by family and friends and to show appreciation to the fans and press, the couple had the cover pulled from their house for them to get photos of the ceremony and shorty after, Tina and Erwin appeared on a special edition of the Oprah Winfrey Show where Erwin gave a rare interview and spoke about his love for Tina and kindly reminded Tina’s friend that their relationship lasted longer than his wife’s 1st relationship and it was time to close that chapter. In other words-It was time to stop asking about Tina’s 1st husband Ike!! (I like many felt that Oprah should have asked Tina’s question about her ex when she and Tina’s friend Cher appeared on her show to speak about their friendship and career). Well Tina and Erwin are living happy and while they enjoy time hanging out with family and friends, they also spend lots of quality time together.

Da-Professor’s Lounge wishes Tina Turner and Erwin Back a Happy Anniversary. They’re Simply The Best.

Song played while typing this tribute

In Your Wildest Dreams

Tina Turner & Barry White

Da-Professor’s Lounge honors Miss Martha Reeves’ 75th Birthday

Da-Professor’s Lounge is honored to celebrate the 75th birthday of Singer/Council Woman/Motown Legend Martha Reeves, who continues to make an impact with her Soulful voice and stage performances.

Martha was born on July 18th to Elijah & Ruby Reeves in Eufula, Alabama as the 3rd of 11 children and shortly after her 1st birthday, she and her family had migrated to Detroit Michigan, where Miss Martha became active in her grandfather’s church. She had later enrolled in the city’s legendary Northeaster High school where she took vocal lessons from Abraham Silver. After graduating, Miss Martha worked several jobs while singing Jazz and Blues at many night clubs building a name for herself around the Detroit area. Miss Martha later teamed up with a singing group called the Del-Phi’s which consisted of Anette Beard, Rosalind Ashford & Gloria Williams who would later leave to work for the city who sang around the city creating a buzz.

One evening at the 20 grand, Miss Martha met Songwriter/Producer William “Mickey” Stevenson who was impressed with her voice and asked her to come to Motown Records to audition. Miss Martha arrived the next day and was told that she was supposed to have schedule an appointment. He later asked her to watch his office while he left to take care of business. By the time he returned, Miss Martha had several neatly written messages for him on his desk and he was so impressed with her secretarial skills, he quickly assigned her to be his personal assistant where she assisted with helping many of the musicians receive their pay checks and she also helped him in the A&R department as well. One day Marvin Gaye had came into the studio to began recording his breakthrough album and was expecting label mate Mary Wells to sing background vocals, but Wells was under the weather and Miss Martha saw this as her opportunity to get noticed, so she recruited Rosalind and Annette to sing background for the Prince of Soul where they came up with the ad-libs on the spot for Gaye’s single “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” which became a huge hit. Impressed with what he heard, the label’s founder Berry Gordy, Jr offered the group a contract. But with one condition; they would have tto change the name of their group or be called The Tillies, so Miss Martha came up with the Vandellas which paid homage Van Dyke Blvd, the street where Miss Martha grew up on while Della was to honor Miss Martha’s all-time favorite singer Della Reese, who inspired her to become a single. Shortly after Martha & The Vandellas teamed up with the songwriting/production team of Holland-Doizer-Holland and released their debut single “Come And Get These Memories” followed by “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave,” “Quicksand,” and “Nowhere To Run” but the group’s biggest hit was “Dancing In The Streets” which became her signature song. On Motown 40, Miss Martha revealed that she didn’t like the song. “Why can I dance in the night club or the ball room” she asked in the documentary. “I asked them (the songwriters and producers which featured Marvin Gaye and Mickey Stevenson) if I can sing it the way I feel it and it was recorded with no overdubs and I feel I have the Motown anthem with “Dancing In The Streets.”

Martha & The Vandellas paid their dues by performing on the label’s historic “Motor City Revue” tour where they performed through out the south during segregation. In her memoirs “Dancing In The Streets: Confessions from a Motown Diva” Miss Martha wrote about the times when they couldn’t stay at hotels due to the color of their skin and about the times when many white folks shot at their tour bus due to them being mistaken as freedom rides and Civil Rights Activist. Miss Martha also wrote about the times when they did find a hotel to sleep at they would be assigned to share rooms with different group members. Some writers even thought that Dancing In The Streets was riot song and Miss Martha said in many interviews Chile that was a party song. Martha & The Vandellas became a favorite among fans and many in the entertainment industry including Cher, Judy Garland, Lesley Gore and Dusty Springfield, with the latter becoming her good friend along with Gore. Springfield was so impressed with her voice, and outgoing and out spoken personality, that she invited Martha to join her and her brother to attend the Annual Carnival in Rio and it was during that trip where Miss Martha had the opportunity to get a sample of traveling overseas and seeing people enjoying themselves to great music. Including hers. Shortly after, Dusty decided to pay homage to Motown by hosting and co-producing a special titled “Dusty Springfield Presents The Sound of Motown” which featured Martha & The Vandellas (which by this time featured Betty Kelly who was recruited to replace Beard, who had to leave due to complicated pregnancy. Kelly would leave a few years later due to slight hearing loss in her left ear and was replaced by Miss Martha’s sister Lois. Rosalind would leave and was replaced by the late Sandra Tiley, who Miss Martha said that she was her favorite Vandella) singing background for Springfield and later a duet with her friend. By the late 1960’s the group along with other Motown acts were being neglected due to Gordy spending time and money making sure The Supremes got the most attention and promotion. The group however did scored a # 1 hit with “Jimmy Mack” which became a fan favorite and would later used for the Hip-Hop term Mack Daddy. In 1967, Holland-Doizer-Holland left Motown after a dispute over royalties and not being allowed to have their own record label, but the group would score a major hit with “Honey Chile” which was co-written and produced by Sylvia Moy. The group also scored a minor hit with “I Should Be Proud” but by the time the 1970’s rolled in the group wasn’t getting the attention they deserved. Plus Miss Martha had began to notice that the group wasn’t getting paid as much as they were supposed to, so she became the 1st Motown act to inquire about her money, which pissed Gordy off. Miss Martha wouldn’t back down and when he told her ‘you can’t tell me how to run my company, Miss Martha responded with well it’s obvious you can’t run your company because you can’t tell me where my money’s at! Around the time Miss Martha took time off to become a mother to her only child a son named Eric Jermel Graham, who went into the navy and has a close relationship with his mom. Miss Martha is also a grandmother and a great-grandmother. After taking time off to care for Eric, Miss Martha was ready to return to work, but she was shocked to learn that Motown had moved to California without contacting her. The group recorded the classic underrated album “Black Magic” before disbanding in 1972. Miss Martha had planned to leave the music industry and apply for a city job, but that changed when label mate Eddie Kendricks showed up to her apartment unannounced and told her she couldn’t quit the industry and not to allow the politics of Motown discourage her for doing what she loved. Miss Martha decided to relocate to California where she performed and did session work as well as recording several solo albums and hits including Wild Nights. It was during that time when Miss Martha reconnected with Motown producer Frank Wilson and became a born again Christian.

During the early 1980’s Miss Martha decided to return to Detroit where she was asked to participate on the Motown 25 Special. The success of the special got many promoters interested in booking many of the former Motown legends and Miss Martha began to work steadily sometimes sharing the bill with many of her Motown family mates including Mary Wells, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin, who embarked on the historic Dancing In The Streets Tour in 1989. During that period many fans would ask Miss Martha about the Vandellas and would she ever reunite with them. Miss Martha reached out to Annette and Rosalind and in 1989, they performed in England marking the first time the original line-up performed in 26 years. Annette and Rosalind had performed with Miss Martha on a part-time basis where they were able to keep their day jobs while Martha performed (and continues to) perform with her sisters Lois and Delphine as the second grouping. Betty Kelley had retired from performing due to her hearing loss and moved to California where she raised her son. Sandra Tiley had sadly died in 1981 from a Brain Aneurysm leaving behind her grandmother and husband.

In 1989, Martha, Annette and Rosalind decided to sue Motown for unpaid royalties that the label was making from sales and repacking. The ladies hadn’t received royalty checks since the 1970’s and Miss Martha believe that it was time for the label to pay what was owed and after filing another suit 2 years later, Gordy and Motown came to their senses and settled with the ladies and not only did they receive huge long over-due checks, they also continue to receive royalties from record sales, radio play and from commercials that uses their music to advertise their products.

Throughout the 1990’s Martha & The Vandellas began receiving honors for their contributions to music. In 1993, the group was honored by the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, followed by being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2 years later by The b-52s who was heavily influenced by the group. They were also inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  Miss Martha continues to perform at charity events and has been vocal about fake singing groups using the names of legendary acts to perform, which makes it hard for the original and surviving members to perform and earn a living. Like she said on the Mike and Matty show, ‘if your know the act is fake, don’t sit there. Get up and ask for your money back!’

In the 2000’s, Miss Martha continued to perform. In 2001, Miss Martha and the original Vandellas performed on a PBS television show that celebrated girl groups from the 1950’s and 1960’s hosted by her Motown sister Mary Wilson, who honored The Vandellas and other female groups with their own stamps. In 2005 she released her solo album “Home To You” her 1st solo album in over 20 years. It was that year that Miss Martha became involved with politics and became a council woman in Detroit where she became an advocate for providing funds for music programs in public schools as well as helping to help rebuild Detroit. In 2007, Miss Martha joined Austrialian quartet Human Nature (who had recorded their rendition of “Dancing In The Streets” on their 2nd Motown Covers album) on their rendition of “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave” featured on the quartet’s 3rd Motown covers album “Get Ready” which helped introduced Miss Martha to a new generation of fans. In 2010 Singer/Songwriter/Drummer Phil Collins released his own Motown’s covers album “Going Back” and scored with his version of “Heatwave” which became a huge international hit. In fact, many of Miss Martha’s songs has been covered by many acts including Dusty Springfield David Bowie, Mick Jagger & Linda Ronstadt. Miss Martha has also received many honors as a solo artist including an honorary PHD in Detroit and was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame as well as being featured in the state’s 2016 Black History calendar.

Miss Martha also mentors many fans and musicians including Motown fan Derek G. Thornton and Singer/Songwriter Antonio Dandrige, the host of the hit radio show “Hitsville Detroit” Both brothers call Miss Martha their God Mother, who she loves and adores like her own son.

Da-Professor’s Lounge is more than honored to with Council Woman Miss Martha Reeves a happy 75th Birthday. Miss Martha continues to inspire many to live out their dreams while continuing to have people Dancing In The Streets

Legendary Cat Woman’s documentary was purrfect

TV One’s Unsung Hollywood aired it’s documentary on Singer/Dancer/Actress/Activist Eartha Kitt last night and though I don’t feel that she’s Unsung, her life was interesting, heartbreaking and inspiring. I recall seeing many interviews she did where she revealed that she couldn’t locate her birth certificate and that she grew up on a cotton plantation, but I had no idea she was born in North, South Carolina, where her mother worked as a maid where she was raped by the plantation owner’s son who refused to be a part of his child’s life, forcing Eartha’s mother to allow Eartha Mae to be raised by her side of the family due to her mother’s husband refusing to raise Eartha due to her light complexion which caused the family where she lived with abused her. “The odds of her to make it was little” Actor Dick Gregory said on his friend’s documentary. I had no idea that her mother had remarried and her husband refused to allow Eartha to move with them due to her being light-skinned and bi-racial, and being forced to live with her mother’s relatives and other families where she was the victim of colorism and abuse. Her saving grace was when a local church arranged for Eartha to relocate to Harlem to live with an aunt, where she was quickly captivated with the singer and musicians, and it was watching them perform that made her decided to pursue a career in entertainment.  At the age of 16, Kitt auditioned to perform with Kathleen Dunham’s dance company and not only did she nail the audition, she was awarded a full-scholarship and began her first trip overseas where she performed throughout Europe including performing in front of the King & Queen of England. Eartha also did a successful fun in Paris where she began to added singing to her stage show and quickly learned to speak and sing in many different languages. By the time she returned to the U.S. she was fluent in 4 different languages. Eartha also began to experience racism in the both the White and Black communities. While performing a song in Turkish at a fancy night club in New York, an racist male called her an educated nigger, while many Blacks felt she wasn’t Black enough due to her not speaking slang nor sounding like a southern belle. Eartha would always show Blacks her southern roots by speaking with a southern twang while teaching them how it’s done. “Blacks didn’t like her speaking proper and she told people that was nonsense” Eartha’s friend Singer/Actress Freda Payne said on the documentary about how Eartha felt about Blacks criticizing her for having class. Eartha scored many hits including “Santa Baby” which became a huge hit and her signature song that still gets air-play on radio during the Christmas holiday due to the song’s adult, yet mature lyrics. “It was a sexy song” Actress/Author Robin Givens said while actress Tessa Thompson spoke highly of Eartha’s phasing and vocal performance. “She Inspired Madonna, Janet Jackson and Diana Ross.” She knew the power of her sexuality” college professor Anna Evertte added. Eartha began to receive several male suitors who was captivated by her beauty and intelligence which also added to the racism she encountered due to the fact that she dated both Black and White men including an actor who’s parents were part owners of MGM studios who refused to have A Black lady to be the heir of their family regardless of her being a successful entertainer. The actor though he was in love with Eartha had decided to make her his mistress, which naturally made Kitt devastated and pissed. Eartha pressed on and in 1958, she broke ground by working with Nat King Cole, where they displayed great chemistry on screen and for many decades many have assumed they have an affair. Eartha denied this claim for years, but in her later years, she finally revealed that Cole was the love of her life and she asked him to leave his wife for her. Cole refused. Eartha got the opportunity to work with Sammy Davis Jr who had a crush on her and romantically pursued her to be a powerful Black Couple. Eartha turned down his romantic request, but they remained friends and became active in the Civil Rights Movement. She did marry a real-estate agent who would drive her around while she was protesting for equality. Eartha also gave birth to her only child; a daughter name Kitt who became an attorney and later her manager. Eartha and Kitt had a close relationship. Despite her success, many casting directors wanted Eartha to play maids, but she refused and later on she got the role that would cement her place in history. She received the role as Catwoman in the Batman series and it was groundbreaking; Eartha was the first Black actress to play the role and Eartha along with her fans were extremely happy with the role. “That was the luckiest thing that happened to me” she said during an interview that was featured in Unsung. Many fans and performers spoke about how the role was a defining moment for her during the Civil Rights era and it further showed her strength and independence. “Cats are independent” Actor John Williams said. Eartha also became a youth advocate and formed the Kittsville Center a dance center in Watts where inner city children would attend to help develop their talents.  Eartha’s career was on the rise, but it came to an unexpected halt when she was invited to an all ladies luncheon by  President Johnson and while the President was speaking about the war, Eartha spoke out against the war asking ‘what about the Black boys you’re sending over there to get shot?’ The president and guest were shocked and outraged by her question that they decided to get the FBI and CIA involved forcing Eartha to relocate to Paris where she lived and worked for nearly a decade. She also ended her marriage to Kitt’s father. In a interview with Ebony Magazine, Eartha revealed that she discovered he was robbing her financially. In 1978, Eartha returned to the states and starred in the hit play Timbuktu with Actress/Singer Melba Moore and it was on opening night where Eartha received a standing ovation for her line I’m here. I give props to the late Geoffrey Holder for telling producers that he wouldn’t do the play if Eartha wasn’t cast. Eartha began to gain a new legion of fans by starring in the hit film “Boomerang” which was named one of the 10 romantic comedies of all time. She played the Sexy business Lady Louise the head of a legendary hair and skin product company who seduced Eddie Murphy’s character to make him believe he will be placed in charge of the company, which doesn’t happen. Her famous line “Marcus darlin’ I’don’t have any panties on’ became a hit with the fans. Many fans and critics loved seeing Eartha playing an older woman being seductive and sexual and inspired many females to dress without wearing panties while inspiring ladies in their 50’s and 60’s to be more outgoing and sexual. The documentary also spoke of Eartha’s returning to performing live concerts and still seducing males with her sexiness while speaking about her not remarrying and not finding a soul mate. Sadly she was diagnosed with colon cancer which had her shocked considering that she was into healthy eating and working out and she maintained her sassiness while fighting because she didn’t want to die. The documentary was great but I still feel that Eartha Kitt isn’t unsung. The documentary missed a few marks. It failed to mention Eartha returning to recording and scoring a huge Dance hit in 1983 with her single “Where’s My Man” (which my late father predicted was going to be a big selling hit)  which got lots of spins in clubs and was featured on New York City Hot Tracks. The documentary failed to mention her releasing a Live Jazz album which earned Eartha a Grammy Nomination and her making guest appearances on “In Living Single” and “New York Undercover.” Those elements were have made Eartha’s documentary more perrrrrfect. It was great to see Eartha’s daughter as well as actress Robin Givens, Singers Melba Moore and Freda Payne and director Reginald Hudlin featured along with many of Eartha’s friends participating in the documentary about this legendary icon who overcame many obstacles including racism, colorism, being blacklisted and being abandoned by her mother. Eartha showed the world that anybody can pursue their dreams. This review is dedicated to the Ultimate Cat Woman Miss Eartha Kitt.

Da-Professor’s Lounge celebrates R&B/Soul Singer/Songwriter/Producer Joe’s Birthday

R&B/Soul Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Musician Joe is still admired and loved by music lovers around the world. Many males loved his songwriting and production skills, while many ladies loves his voice, looks and his ability to sing songs about romance and sensuality. Many of his fans appreciate his down to earth and personality. He’s also known for arriving early for scheduled in-store signings and meets and greets, which is another reason why the singer is loved and respected.

Joe Thomas was born on July 5th, 1973 in Columbus Georgia to a set of ministers who preached the Gospel out of their love for God and not legalism and materialism items. Joe’s parents later moved him and his siblings to Opelika, Alabama, where he began to develop his vocal and musician skills performing in his parents church while listening to secular music being heavily influenced by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire and Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. After graduating from Opelika High School in 1990, Joe decided to pursue a career as a musician by singing in various clubs while working many jobs to support himself and his family. Seeing the limited opportunities in his city for musicians, Joe decided to migrate to New Jersey, where he continue to hone his talents in local churches while working at a Gospel Record Store and networking. He hit the jackpot when he met producer Vincent Hubert who helped the singer record a 3 song demo, which landed him a deal with Mercury Records, where he released his debut album “Everything” and single “I’m In Luv” which became a minor hit helping him create a buzz. The lack of record sales forced the label to release Joe, who continued to grind as a musician. In 1995, Joe was recruited to record a song for the soundtrack “Don’t Be A Menace In South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood” and his single “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do)” became a huge R&B and Quiet Storm hit, peaking at # 2 on the R&B charts and # 11 on the Pop charts. The success of the single earned Joe a record deal with Jive Records and in 1997, Joe released his 2nd album “All That I Am” which went platinum thanks to the single “Don’t Wanna Be A Player” which became a huge R&B and Pop hit while the title track and “Love Scene” became huge R&B radio hits. Joe also began to branch out as a performer. He produced a remix for the Tina Turner/Barry White duet “In Your Wildest Dreams” and recorded 2 duets with Chico DeBarge on his albums “Long Time No See” and “The Game” and their collabulation on the single “No Gurantee” became a huge R&B hit. Joe also teamed up with Rapper Big Pun on the remix single of the late Latin Rapper’s classic “Still Not A Player” which also become a huge hit peaking at # 6 on the R&B charts and # 25 on the Pop charts, introducing Joe to the Hip-Hop crowd, while helping Big Pun gain a Pop audience. The year 2000 would be a huge year for Joe professionally. He and Pop Boy Band 98 Degrees were recruited by Mariah Carey to join her on the single “Thank God I Found You” which became a # 1 Pop hit for both Joe and the quartet. Mimi also asked Joe and rapper Nas to record a cover of the Keith Sweat/Jacki McGhee duet “Make It Last Forever” which was produced by DJ Clue. The cover also featured re-sung ad-libs from their original duet and became a fan favorite. Joe also produced The Temptations’ classic single “I’m Here” which peaked at # 40 on the R&B charts and became a huge Quiet Storm hit, helping the Motown Legend’s 57th album “Ear-Resistable” reach gold status and it’s legacy of attracting additional fans. The success of the single also earned The Emperors of Soul earn a Grammy Award; the group’s first Grammy in nearly twenty years.  Joe had also released his 3rd album “My Name Is Joe” which became his biggest selling album to date reaching triple platinum status and peaking at # 2 on the Pop album charts while topping the R&B album charts. The album, which Joe revealed was one of his favorites due to him finally having the creative freedom he been advocating for also did well internationally topping # 1 on the South Africa album Charts for 18 weeks. The album scored many hits including “I Wanna Know” which became a huge Pop hit reaching # 4 while topping the R&B Charts, followed by “Treat Her Like A Lady” but it was the mid-tempo single “Stutter” that really help Joe become a household name. The remixed version of the single which was also featured on the Double Take soundtrack  was produced by Allen  “AllStar” Gordon, Jr featured samples from the Hip-Hop group The Pharcyde’s classic single “Passin’ Me By” and rap by label mate Mystikal became a huge with with the men and became his first # 1 Pop hit. The following year, Joe released the follow up album “Better Days” which earned Joe several Grammy nominations. Despite the nominations, Joe revealed that the album was rushed due to Jive forcing him to release a follow up to the previous album. In 2002, Joe decided to take a well-deserved vacation and the time off would pay off in a huge way. The following year he released his album “And Then” which became a hit reaching gold status, and while Joe served as executive producer and co-wrote and produced 3 songs, he worked with several big name and up and coming producers and songwriters including R. Kelly who wrote and produced the album’s lead single “More & More” which hit # 15 on the R&B charts and got great reviews from the press and fans who loved the production and arrangements. In fact, many fans originally thought it was a Joe composition and production. Joe’s follow up single “Ride With U” featuring Hip-Hop trio G-Unit also became a hit with the men and musicians who love the live grove. Originally written by Mario Cardoso who was a student in a London Inner City school at the time, the single became Joe’s 2nd biggest international hit and his signature mid-tempo song. The single helped Joe gain more Hip-Hop fans while helping G-Unit gain a R&B fans. “Ride Wit U” also became a hit with many in the LGBT/SGL community and it still gets spins on radio and in clubs to this day. Joe later appeared on G-Unit’s single “Wanna Get To Know You” which did well globally reaching the top 20 and 40 on many European music charts while becoming peaking at # 5 on the U.S. Rap single’s charts. The success of “And Then” earned Joe a spot on a tour which featured Ginuwine and Jaheim. After taking time off and delays due to staff changes at Jive, Joe released his long-awaited album “Ain’t Nothin’ Like Me” which became his second highest charting album to date. The album featured contributions from many outside songwriters and producers and got mostly positive reviews, though many journalist felt that Joe’s ballads sounded similar to singles that were released by many of his peers and up and coming artists. Shortly after the album’s release, Joe decided to leave Jive Records and sign with his manager Kedar Massenburg’s Kedar record label where he released his album “Joe Thomas, New Man which debut at # 1 on the Independent Album Charts. In several interviews the talented artist spoke about Jive showing favortism towards label mate R. Kelly by giving him more promotion, publicity and creative control while Joe and other artists had their album release dates pushed back, while many artists was forced to leave due the label. Joe released his first greatest hits CD in 2008 followed by his album “Signature” which became his 2nd album to debut at # 1 on the Independent Album charts and gained positive reviews and praised by fans and journalist who were happy to see Joe return to writing and producing his music. Joe also released 2 Christmas album and his first live concert DVD Joe In Japan which became a hit and one of 2010’s best selling live concert DVD’s. After releasing his last album on Kedar, Joe decided to sever his business relationship with Massenburg and in 2014 he released his 11th album “Bridges” on his Plaid Takeover Entertainment Record label. The album became a hit with Joe co-writing 14 of the 16 songs. The album’s lead single Love & Sex Part 2 featuring original Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland became a huge R&B hit. Joe also was one of many singers and rappers who paid homage to Funk/R&B band Kool & The Gang who was honored by the Soul Train Music Awards. Joe has influenced many singers including Soul/R&B/Rock Singer/Songwriter/Stylist Stage-Soul Music and U.K. based Soul/R&B Singer/Songwriter Sam The Man. Many authors and model has also named Joe as one their favorite male singers including Funk/R&B/Rock/Hip-Hop Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Musician L*A*W and Model/Actor Jay The Model. Da-Professor’s Lounge is more than honored to wish Joe a Happy Birthday


Da-Professor’s Lounge is honored to continue it’s Black Music Month celebration by honoring Austrailian R&B/Soul Singer/Songwriter Selwyn for his contributions to music. Born in Durban, South Africa, Selwyn Pretorius grew up listening to the music from his native homeland as well as music by American Hip-Hop and R&B singers and rappers including Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Michael Jackson and Destiny’s Child. At the age of 16, Selwyn’s family relocated to Perth, Australia for better opportunities and while it took him time to adjust to the city, he quickly made friends and became fell in love with the city. To help his family, Selwyn secured a job at Bi-Lo supermarket pushing trolley carts where he would sing, impressing many of the customers who was amazed by the power and tone of his voice. One customer even spoke to the store’s manager and suggested that Selwyn audition for the Australian reality talent show “Popstars.” Touched and inspired by the customer’s note and suggestion, Selwyn took a chance and auditioned for the show and made the audition where he competed for an opportunity to become a member of the singing group Scadal’Us. Sadly, despite getting great reviews and praise for his unique vocal gifts, he didn’t make the cut, so he returned to Bi-Lo to help pay the bills. 3 months later, Selwyn received a call from one of the show’s judges who believed in his talent and flew him Sydney to meet and audition for many record labels and producers who was eager to work with him. Selwyn wounded up signing a deal with Epic Records and linking up with Zimbarbre born Producer/Songwriter Audius who had also remember hearing sing at Bi-Lo. The two co-wrote nearly all the songs on Selwyn’s debut release “Meant To Be” which became an instant hit reaching gold status in Australia, while becoming a hit in America and South Africa. The album scored many hits including “Buggin’ Me” “Way Love’s Supposed To Be,” “Like This, Like That” and a remake of Philly Soul duo’s Daryl Hall & John Oates’ classic “Rich Girl” which  helped him gain an international following. In fact U.S. based R&B Singer/Songwriter Mya’s production team Red Zone contacted Selwyn’s label and informed them that they planned on submitting him songs for his follow up album. Selwyn embarked on an international tour around Australia, Europe and his homeland South Africa opening for Destiny’s Child and appearing on the legendary Rumba Tour with Shaggy, Pink and Sugar Babies. The singer had won several awards including a dance award which he was the 1st Black recording artist to receive the honor. After touring, Selwyn began to take more control of his professional career.He linked up with a new management team, and he decided that he didn’t want to keep recording Pop flavored music. He wanted to add more R&B, Rock and African styled music to his sound. He and his label clashed over his desire to grow which delayed his 2nd album for being released. After a long battle, he began to work on his follow up and in November 2004, Selwyn’s follow up “One Way” was released, and unlike his debut release, the new album had different types of music including UK Garage, Dance, Rock, Classic R&B, Sowetto Pop and Hip-Hop R&B. Selwyn also had co-wrote 6 of the albums songs as well as recorded a song with Singer/Songwriter/Rapper Isareal while members of the production team Red Zone composed 2 songs. The album featured 2 hit singles. “Boomin'” which hit # 28 on the Australian Pop charts, while the follow up “Satisfactual” didn’t chart at all, but many international producers began to record remixes for many of the album’s songs with several American Rappers including Mr. Cheeks of The Lost Boyz who rapped over a remix of “Boomin'” while U.S. Harlem Born-Australian raised rapper Stan Bravo appeared on a remix of the album track “Cutie” which became a fan favorite. Especially in America. Despite the glowing reviews from critics and fans, the album didn’t so well. Management and executive changes at Epic prevented the album to be promoted properly and with low sales, the label decided to drop Selwyn from the roster. After being dropped, Selwyn decided to take time out to relax and spend time with his mother, sister and friends. He also began to date and wound up marrying a Salsa dancer who gave birth to their son (The couple had divorced, and he spends time with their son). He enjoyed being a husband and father, but when his money began to dry, up he was forced to return to the work force and he worked several jobs including driving a fork lift and working for a charity. However he love for performing began to return. Selwyn began to perform at various clubs around Australia, opening for several acts including Flo Rida. He also began to record music with several producers around the world including New York and Atlanta. Some of his singles including “Me & U” was released with good reviews as well as “Not Gonna Let You Go” which was his first music video since “Boomin'” Last year Selwyn was featured on the Soul Promotions tour which featured several talented Australian R&B and Hip-Hop acts which toured around the state and in New Zealand where Selwyn performed many songs from his upcoming album. Despite his desire to return to performing, Selwyn keeps a low profile and usually connects with fans on his twitter page from time to time. Da-Professor’s Lounge is awaiting for Australian’s 1st R&B star to return, and while many are awaiting for his return, Da-Professor’s Lounge continues its celebration of Black Music Month by honoring Australian R&B Singer/Songwriter Selwyn.