Friday, February 14, 2020
8:00pm (doors 7pm)
$85, $65, $55, $45
WBLS 107.5 FM welcomes Peabo Bryson with special guest Regina Belle for a special Valentine’s Day concert. Together, Bryson and Belle’s 1992 duet “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin remains the only song from a Disney animated film to reach Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Enjoy an evening of love songs including “Tonight I Celebrate My Love”, “Without You”, “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again”, “Beauty and The Beast”, “Baby Come to Me”, “Make it Like it Was”, and more!
Peabo Bryson, the legendary voice of love, is back, and music has never been happier. Peabo is not just “back”, he is back and collaborating with powerhouse producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for his 21st album titled“Stand For Love. This music dream teamhas delivered something music and music fans didn’t know was missing… R&B HITS. The lead single off this 11track masterpiece, “Love Like Yours and Mine,” makes it clear that Peabo is better than ever. The second single, “All She Wants To Do Is Me”,has already been featured on the Showtime hit series “The Chi”. Peabo’s smooth delivery orchestrated by Jimmy and Terry’s flawless production has made this single an instant groove classic that is familiar to Peabo’s seasoned fans but has also caught the ear of some new ones. “Stand For Love”is an anticipated and epic return to popular music by one of the industries most gifted and cherished voices. The legend is back.
Born Robert Peabo Bryson on April 13, 1951 in Greenville, South Carolina, this world renowned balladeer got his start as the lead singer of Al Freeman&The Upsetters and Moses Dillard&The Tex-Town Display. In 1976, he released his debut LP, “Peabo”, on Atlanta’s Bullet/Bang label. Peabo composed nearly all the songs for this album (some with the great Thom Bell), in addition to a young Luther Vandrossbeing among the background vocalists, and sexy Black film star Tamara “Cleopatra Jones” Dobson showing him love on the back jacket.
Peabo had back-to-back gold albums with Capitol Records, Reaching for the Sky (1977) and Crosswinds (1978). The title tracks of these albums, as well as the hit singles “Feel the Fire” and “I’m So Into You”, truly penetrated the hearts of soul fans everywhere.During his relationship with Capitol, Peabo collaborated with label mate and friend Natalie Cole for the 1979 project “We’re the Best of Friends”.A year later he worked with the phenomenal Roberta Flack for the double-LP “Live & More” (on Atlantic Records). Peabo delivered four more albums for Capitol before making a second, even bigger album with Ms.Flack titled Born to Love, a gold seller that featured the smash “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” (Top 5 R&B and #16 Pop). Peabo soon moved over to Elektra Records for four albums, the second of which, “Take No Prisoners” featuredthe crossover smash “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again” (Top 10 Pop and R&B).
A return to Capitol in 1989 for the one-off album “All My Love”, earned Peabo his first R&B #1 single with a remake of the late Al Wilson’s “Show & Tell”. He hit the top of the R&B charts a second time with the smash “Can You Stop The Rain”, the title track of his R&B chart topping first of two albums for Columbia Records.
It was with the help of very famous Disney animated films that earned Peabo his two Grammys and the songs two Oscars®. The first was 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” with international pop singer Celine Dion which also topped the pop chart. The very next year, Peabo struck gold with a Grammy® and an Oscar® with Regina Belle for “A Whole New World” (Aladdin’s Theme) from Aladdin. Since these two milestones, he has been even more sought after as a guest vocalist and duet partner, resulting in work with Tony Award-winner Lea Salongaon “We Kiss in the Shadows” (#1 on the Classical Crossover chart from a new recording of “The King and I” score) and Kenny G’s “By The Time This Night is Over” (from the chart topping Contemporary Jazz CD, Breathless.
Peabo has since also starred on stage in the lead role of “Raisin,” as The Wizard in “The Wiz” and was featured in the Michigan Opera’s 100th anniversary production of “Porgy & Bess.” He also released a whopping three Christmas CDs, lovingly filled with music he’s performed for several years running in the annual touring holiday music extravaganza, The Colors of Christmas.
As Peabo continues to make feel good music and sing about love, he encourages fans of classic R&B to have their voices heard. Leading an initiative called “The Choice,” he wants fans and advocates of classic R&B to actively support the genre. The time for complaining is over and albums like Stand For Love support the goal of this initiative. Choose Love. Choose R&B. Choose Peabo.
Beyond his own music, Mr. Bryson is looking to help nurture deserving new artists. “I’d like to find some serious talent and give them wings,” he states. “As far as I’m concerned, everything is going to get better,” Peabo concludes]. “I’m feeling like I’m in a really good place musically.”
“I’m amazingly blessed. I will never ever say that I’ve lived the perfect life to be shown such favor with
God or the people but here I am,” declares the incomparable Regina Belle. The Academy Award-winning and Multi Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and actress, with a string of hits including Make It Like It
Was, If I Could, Baby Come To Me and This Is Love, Regina Belle has made a career following her heart and moving gracefully between the worlds of R&B, Gospel and Jazz.
She is an entertainer of immeasurable musical talent. This New Jersey native has earned distinction as an international treasure. Her luminous vocals on the Peabo Bryson duet, A Whole New World, (Grammy’s Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group in 1994) solidified her place as music royalty.
Belle’s vocal abilities were demonstrated at a young age, with her first solo at the age of 8, at Friendship
Baptist Church in New Jersey church pastored by her uncle, the late Dr. Fred M. Belle, Jr.. The entertainer’s natural gifts were further polished at Dwight Morrow High School and the Manhattan School of Music for Preparatory College where she studied classical voice training with Inga Wolfe. Although having received a full scholarship to attend Manhattan School of Music, she opted to aim her sights on the elite Rutgers University to study both Africana Studies and Music.
In 1985 Belle left Rutgers University, her senior year, just 15 credits shy of completing her degree, to go on the road with the Grammy Award, World Renown Group, THE MANHATTANS. She remained with them for two years before being spring boarded into her own career.
Thirty years after leaving Rutgers and 10 albums later, Belle started taking online courses, which earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Africana Studies and a Minor in Music. Belle walked the stage with her ‘new class’ from Rutgers in May of 2015. She states; “This achievement of finishing my degree which I started almost 30 years ago and finally being done, was a bittersweet moment and rates as high as my Grammy Awards.”
Her life was eventful, journey purposeful but not without misfortune. After releasing her first Gospel album in 2008, Love Forever Shines with the hit single God Is Good she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This devastating news came at the height of her gospel career. After two surgeries and 10 months rehabilitation, Belle found herself back at the top of her game ready to take on the world.
Belle’s life experiences and health challenges have made her a champion in area of care-giving, affording her opportunities to wear different hats. She is honored to represent AARP as a spokesperson for caregivers.
Belle has enjoyed career success for which many entertainers can only pray. She can also give thanks for a blessed personal life. She has been married to former NBA player, John Battle, since 1991. The couple has raised five children and blessed to have 3 grandchildren. Rev. John Battle serve as Senior Pastor and Belle, working alongside him as an ordained minister, First Servant and Minister of Music of their two churches: New Shield of Faith Worship Center in Atlanta, Georgia and Spread the Word Ministries in College Park, Georgia.
With her latest release, The Day Life Began, Regina Belle is affirming that her journey continues and that her new recording signifies yet the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Regina concludes, “I draw strength from knowing that I’m operating within the purpose for my life and I’m having a ball doing it!”
Regina’s goal is simple, “If I cannot identify with the songs, and if the music does not move my soul, make me feel better, take me up when I’m down or higher when I’m up, then I don’t want to record it, play it or sing it!”