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Vesta's signature tear jerker back on YouTube. From the 1988 album "4U".


   (RIP) September 22, 2011
ON FACEBOOK Click here: http://www.facebook.com/vestawilliams

VESTA WILLIAMS "interviewed by" DONNIE SIMPSON


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Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on April 19, 2013 at 9:07am

 Vesta Williams

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on April 19, 2013 at 8:45am

Vesta - SevenVesta - SevenVesta - SevenVesta - SevenVesta - Seven

     Click on CD cover to listen or purchase

It’s unfortunate - even tragic - that Vesta Williams died before the release of Seven, her final album. Would this album be the one that earned Vesta the mainstream acceptance that eluded her later in her career? Probably not. Vesta faced the same challenges that confront veteran R&B singers making music in an industry that caters almost exclusively to young listeners. She dealt with declining label support, the ill-fated efforts to change her style and separation from the big label in the 1990s. But with all she seemed to lose in those later years, this new release shows that, artistically, she found even more.

By the time Williams died, the music industry provided her little support. But while the industry continued its longstanding focus on youth, Vesta’s world view changed. The old Vesta used food and drugs to cope with her disappointments. The transformed Vesta joined the church, stopped using drugs and sculpted her body through diet and exercise while working tirelessly to rebuild her reputation. The insecure Vesta spent part of the 1990s chasing musical trends in a corporate mandated effort to stay relevant. The confident Vesta of this decade embraced the sound that suited her sultry, sassy and mature vocals.

The Bible tells us that seven is the number of completion. Seven the album tells the story of an artist who completed a musical and emotional journey. Vesta invites listeners to share her pain on the introspective ballad “Water on the World.” The tune tells the story of a person who wore a joyful public face, and that facade masked the pain Vesta carried.  Anyone who watched the posthumous “Unsung” episode knows that Vesta attracted hangers-on when hits such as “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and “Congratulations” topped the charts. The parasites bled the singer dry to the point that she couldn’t afford to buy stockings. “Water On the World” is a beautifully sung and honest portrayal of personal and professional pain. 

Vesta reveals her injuries on “Water On the World.” However, that track serves as the setup for her comeback on the triumphant “Better Days.” This mid-tempo stepper’s anthem finds the singer assuring listeners that her situation – and ours – will change for the better. “Better Days” is an inspirational anthem that basks in the virtues of persistence and optimism. “Troubles on my heart/things falling apart/the fight in me was slowly dying/but never did I give up trying to find my moment to shine.”

Vesta was a mother, and the artist reveals a concern for young mothers and daughters on the track “All You Girls.” This cut sports a classic Motown sound, as well as the theme of a seasoned woman imparting wisdom on the younger ladies.

Vesta wouldn’t be Vesta if she didn’t devote some of the tracks to addressing affairs of the heart. Seven sports solid inspirational tracks, but Vesta is in top form on cuts allowing her to channel that sensual, playful and sassy side. The vocalist coos an erotic sales pitch on the percussive ballad “5 Ways” and pledges her devotion on  “Dedicated,” another funk filled ballad. She plays the hanging judge while telling a man sized boy about his shortcomings on “Silly,” perhaps the best track on this very good album, and shows that Keith Sweat ain’t got nuthin’ on her when it comes to begging on the dance floor ready “Can We Talk About It.”

I’m one of the music fans who lost track of Vesta after the mid 90s. I’d hear “Congratulations” on the radio and go into where-is-she-now mode. Truth is that even in the midst of her struggles, Vesta never went away. She sang jingles, acted in plays and in film and became a radio personality. Just as importantly, the trials helped her to find herself as an adult artist, and the results of that journey make her final album something special.  Sadly, Vesta is gone now, but in Seven she has left her fans a lovely valedictory. Highly Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

Click here  http://www.soultracks.com/review-vesta-seven

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on February 24, 2012 at 7:56am

 


Vesta Williams Special

Vesta Williams Sweet Sweet Love

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on October 5, 2011 at 2:24am

 

Los Angeles — Had Vesta Williams been able to attend her own funeral, it’s very likely that she would have given the performers who sang their hearts out, and the speakers who reflected on her life during a two-hour, closed-casket service, a standing ovation. They truly represented when it came to celebrating the legacy of heaven’s newest star at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ on Tuesday morning.

Williams, who was found dead at age 54 in a Los Angeles hotel room on Sept. 22, was serenaded by the West A Mass Choir, which sang Soon and Very Soon and Changed; vocalist Jesse Campbell, whose acapella rendition of Amazing Grace brought the house down; and Bridgette Bryant who stirred it up with His Eye is on the Sparrow. There was also a DVD of Williams performing a gospel tune during a Women’s Day service at West A.

The life of the four-octave singer, who was best known for her No. 1 hit Congratulations, was also acknowledged by some of the people who knew her best including: music producer Tena Clark, her longtime manager Iris Perkins and her sisters Minister Margaret Wilson and Martae Collins.

Clark, who co-wrote Congratulations with Williams and Gary Prim, recalled how the singer fought for her to produce tracks on her second album during an era in the music industry when they didn’t let women do so. Williams told Clark if the record company wouldn’t let her have her way she’d have “laryngitis for the next five years.

“I’ve always been indebted to her,” Clark said while fighting back tears. “She was the sweetest angel and the funniest human being I’ve ever met in my life.”

Wilson, who was barely able to get through her remarks talked about the older sister who was her “first friend” and her “protector.” Recalling an incident in which their younger sister was being bullied on the way home from school, Wilson had the congregation laughing hard when she mentioned how an adult Williams, sans makeup, greeted the bully with a baseball bat and approached the bully.

“The girl was so focused on the bat in Vesta’s hand that Vesta hauled off and cold cocked her with her other hand!” Later that day when the girl returned with her mother and the police Williams had applied her makeup, making it impossible for the girl to make a positive I.D.

Among the celebrities attending Tuesday’s services were: Jackee Harry, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine, Miki Howard, Norwood Young, Kiki Shepherd, Bill Duke, Freda Payne and Kellita Smith. 

Harry, a longtime friend who worked with Williams briefly on Sister, Sister, said before the service that she’ll always remember the singer’s sense of humor. “She often impersonated me in her shows. One time someone asked her what my son’s name was and she said, ‘Frank, but it should be Frankee!’ She had me rolling. I’m just so sorry that a lot of people didn’t know the real Vesta, not just the playful Vesta. We’re here to celebrate her and not mourn.”

Charles E. Blake, the presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ and the pastor at West A, officiated the service with his son Elder Lawrence Blake. In his closing remarks the Bishop remembered Williams as a wonderful woman who “in a very special way blessed us with her music and her service.”

Williams, whose burial information was kept private, is survived by her daughter Tandia White; mother Joan Williams Tate; sisters Margaret Wilson, Martae Collins, Marlena Robinson and brother Marques Williams; and three grandchildren. 

(JET Blogger Miki Turner)  10-04-2011

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on October 5, 2011 at 2:13am

Funeral Information (above) Provided by UNLIMITED WHISPERS

Click here:  http://unlimitedwhispers.com/2011/10/05/vesta-williams-laid-to-rest/

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on October 1, 2011 at 7:01pm

 

John Buddy Hopkins's Photo below REMEMBERING :

WILD HONEY (1979) Mary Flowers, Freddie Pool, Vesta Williams

Photobucket

VESTA WILLIAMS Photos Click here:  http://www.google.com/search?q=photos+vesta+williams&hl=en&...

 

Type the words to see who're talking about it on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube

Click here:  http://whotalking.com/Vesta+Williams

 

 

 

 

VESTA WILLIAMS is survived by her daughter – Tandia White, her mother – Ms. Joan W. Tate, her sisters – Margaret Wilson, Martaé Collins

and Marlena Robinson, and her grandchildren – Taya McNeil, Alexia McNeil and Brendon White.

Funeral services for Vesta Williams will be held at the following:

West Angeles Church of God and Christ

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 11:00AM

3045 Crenshaw Blvd. (North Campus)

Los Angeles, CA 90016

For gifts other than flowers, please contact: 951.278.9634

For more information, please contact:

J’ai St. Laurent-Smyth, Inque Public Relations, 732.254.0607

inquepr@comcast.net / inquepr@gmail.com

Iris Perkins, MGP Management, 201.434.5995

mgpmanagement@earthlink.net

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on October 1, 2011 at 11:20am

(Part 1 of 3)

FROM THE FAMILY OF VESTA WILLIAMS

(September 29, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)

On the evening of Thursday September 22, popular veteran singer/songwriter/entertainer

Vesta Williams was found dead in her El Segundo, California hotel room. The artist best known for her heart-wrenching 1988 classic

“Congratulations” (#1 R&B Radio & Records / #5 R&B Billboard) had been staying in the hotel as she prepared to move into a new home

that upcoming weekend. Her untimely passing – still a mystery at press time with a toxicology report not due until the end of October

– has left those that loved her devastated.

In a collaborative statement prepared by Williams’ family, they express:

“After many years of sharing her God-given gifts and talents with the world, we have lost our beloved mother, daughter, and sister, Vesta.

Due to the uncertainty of her passing we are awaiting toxicology and autopsy results to shed light on what may have caused her death.

We take extreme comfort in the cherished times that we shared with Vesta over the years, and the knowledge that her life brought joy and

happiness to so many people around the world. Our family requests that the media please respect our privacy during this difficult time.

Although she is gone, her music lives on. Vesta will never be forgotten.”

Born Mary Vesta Williams on December 1, 1957 in Coshocton, Ohio, the lady was the first born child to Hugh Williams and his wife Joan,

and the eldest of four daughters. Mr. Williams was a broadcaster who moved his family to Los Angeles in the mid–’60s to pursue opportunities

as a disc jockey at KFWB-AM and KGFJ-AM, became the first African American to anchor the evening news in Los Angeles at KABC-TV

and later hosted his own program “The Big Question.” At 14, Vesta returned to Ohio to live with grandmother Vivian Williams but came back

to L.A. in the ’70s to pursue her love of singing and entertaining. Putting her powerful 4-octave vocal range to work, her first major gig was as

a member of the Las Vegas show group Wild Honey led by Ron Townson (a founding member of The 5th Dimension), as well as background

vocals on the road with Bobby Womack and the Commodores. Her first lead vocal gig was live with the Crusaders.

From there, Williams landed a job singing background for then-recently liberated former Rufus lead singer Chaka Khan, whose voice hers

uncannily mirrored. This exposure led to a string of impressively eclectic gigs singing background on studio recordings for artists as wide

ranging as R&B bands L.T.D. and the Commodores, soul singers Anita Baker and Jermaine Jackson, rock group Lone Justice, folk star

Gordon Lightfoot, Latin heartthrob Julio Iglesias and English rocker Sting (singing the blazing hook of “We’ll Be Together”). A chance

meeting with record executive John McClain, who was looking for a third girl for a female vocal trio swiftly evolved into the powerhouse singer

– now known as Vesta Williams – to sign a solo contract with Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss’ A&M Records.

Williams bowed in 1986 with the album Vesta which featured the single “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and the original recording of the Gary

Taylor-penned Quiet Storm burner “I’m Coming Back” (later covered by Lalah Hathaway…twice).

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on October 1, 2011 at 11:17am

VESTA (continued from above)  (Part 2 of 3)

It was her second album, Vesta 4 U

(1988) that yielded the song that became her signature, “Congratulations,” the show-stopping number that lifted audiences to their feet

night after night. Vesta co-penned the song with Gary Prim and Tena Clark, the latter an aspiring female writer whom Vesta passionately

fought for to produce the song. Beyond the strength of that smash, it was Vesta’s concerts – which also showcased her natural comedic

instincts, gift for celebrity impressions and defiantly flirty nature…for a “big girl” – that were winning her loyal fans wherever she performed.

Family of R&B

Singer/Songwriter

Vesta Williams

Speaks Personally

Upon Her Passing

FROM THE FAMILY OF VESTA WILLIAMS

For Immediate Release

More hits followed such as “Sweet, Sweet Love,” “Special” (her highest Billboard R&B charter at #2) and “Always,” but Vesta’s bountiful gifts

were taking her places.

One place was the Hollywood big screen where she played a saucy Black Mae West-type saloon singer named “Vera” in the Black Western film

“Posse” (directed by Mario Van Peebles – 1993), also writing and singing two songs for the soundtrack. On the television sitcom “Sister Sister,”

she played recurring character “Monica” – best friend to Jackée Harry’s “Lisa Landry.” Her voice animated the theme song for the TV show

“Malcolm & Eddie” titled “It’s Our World,” which she later recorded on George Duke’s album, Is Love Enough? That golden voice also made

her money singing jingles for Diet Coke, Baskin-Robbins, Revlon, Honda, Exxon and – most memorably – on camera with jazz vocal icon Al

Jarreau singing “The Big Mac Scat” for McDonalds.

Vesta’s winning personality also shone brightly when she took a six-figure job as one of four members of a radio morning show team at

KRNB-FM 105.7 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas market. The cushy and lucrative gig found her recording her parts two weeks out of a month

from the comfort of her L.A. home studio and the other two weeks in the Dallas studio with the crew. It also gave her a poignant chance to

follow in her father’s broadcast footsteps…

Following a stint at MCA Records where she recorded well over an album’s worth of material (of which only one promotional single was

released), a slim and trim 100 pounds lighter Vesta returned triumphant in 1998 on guitarist Lee Ritenour’s boutique i.e. music imprint (via

jazz giant Verve) with a concept album widely considered to be her finest entitled Relationships. Vesta co-composed 10 of the CD’s 11 songs

including the gorgeous single, “Somebody For Me,” plus sang a cover of “You and I” by one of her greatest musical influences, Stevie Wonder.

Through bassist Nathan East, Vesta was invited to tour with super group Fourplay, just one of many associations she cultivated in the smooth

jazz world, including featured guest recordings with singer Will Downing, saxophonists Najee and Eric Marienthal, drummer Ricky Lawson,

and guitarist Norman Brown. When her voice was added on a remix of Brown’s jazz take on the SWV hit “Rain,” the song proved so popular at

radio that Warner Brothers pulled the original CD off the shelves and added Vesta’s version as a bonus track. And on the more serious straight

ahead jazz tip, Vesta did a sassy memorable turn on bassist Christian McBride’s album, A Family Affair titled “…Or So You Thought.”

Comment by Ann Dandridge Public Relations on October 1, 2011 at 11:14am

VESTA  (continued from above)    (Part 3 of 3)

Inspirational at heart, Vesta also recorded the touching “Bless This Child” for the Christmas compilation Mother & Child (which featured a

cross-section of mothers who were also singers that included Amy Grant, Olivia Newton-John, CeCe Winans and Martina McBride). For

the Norman Connors-produced Café Soul All-Stars CD/DVD Love Pages she sang “One More Bridge to Cross.” And those present will never

forget her show-stopping performance during a Bobby Jones gospel concert which surprised folks that didn’t know “V” had church roots.

The last album released by Vesta was 2007’s Distant Lover for Shanachie Records on which she sang a hand-picked selection of soul classics

ranging from Bill Withers to Babyface…from Sly Stone to Sade. She also recorded an album for Stimuli Records titled Seven that was

slated for a 2010 release but held back except for the first single/video “Dedicated.” In between those two projects, Vesta remained on the road,

delighting audiences with a well-rounded old school “show” that entertained on multiple levels. Iris Perkins, Vesta’s dear friend and longtime

manager, reminisces of promoting her, “Even without a record deal, we were able to keep Vesta’s concert calendar booked solid. With ‘V,’ we

had an artist that was the total package.”

In her wake, fans can thankfully anticipate an episode of TV One’s popular music documentary series “Unsung” devoted to her to air later this

Fall (she was in the midst of completing her interviews the week before her passing), as well as the likely release – sooner than later – of the

unreleased material Vesta left behind at MCA/Universal, Stimuli and elsewhere.

Gifted, funny, sexy, generous, ever-so-real and oh-so-underrated, Vesta Williams will be deeply missed as a performer, loving family member, a

friend and an all-around sunny presence on Earth.

Vesta Williams is survived by her daughter – Tandia White, her mother – Ms. Joan W. Tate, her sisters – Margaret Wilson, Martaé Collins

and Marlena Robinson, and her grandchildren – Taya McNeil, Alexia McNeil and Brendon White.

Funeral services for Vesta Williams will be held at the following:

West Angeles Church of God and Christ

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

11:00AM

3045 Crenshaw Blvd. (North Campus)

Los Angeles, CA 90016

For gifts other than flowers, please contact: 951.278.9634

For more information, please contact:

J’ai St. Laurent-Smyth, Inque Public Relations, 732.254.0607

inquepr@comcast.net / inquepr@gmail.com

Iris Perkins, MGP Management, 201.434.5995

mgpmanagement@earthlink.net

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