4th Annual San Diego Soul Music Festival Featuring Charlie Wilson, Joe, After 7 & Monica
Before launching his solo career in 2000, Wilson racked up a string of hits in the late ‘70s and ‘80s as front man with the Gap Band. The pioneering R&B/funk group charted such frequently sampled classics as “Outstanding,” “Yearning for Your Love,” “Burn Rubber on Me,” “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Early in the Morning.” Wilson signed to Jive (now RCA) in 2004 after landing his first No. 1 Billboard Adult R&B hit in 2000, “Without You.” Since then, he’s released six solo albums and become a consistent chart presence. His tally of 19 hits boasts seven more Adult R&B No. 1s. Among them: “My Love Is All I Have,” “You Are” and “There Goes My Baby.” While garnering 11 Grammy nominations and other industry accolades, including BET’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, Wilson has stayed busy on the road, as he is a major concert draw, claiming the crown for top winter tour of 2015 with his Forever Charlie arena, or in the studio.
In retrospect of looking back over the past twenty years, R&B superstar JOE Thomas crosses BRIDGES. The crooner’s new Album clearly defines his new outlook on life’s relationships and where they have taken him. Why “BRIDGES”? A self-described “country boy” born in South Georgia and raised in Alabama, Joe often accompanied his traveling evangelist father on the road. Growing up, he also learned to play the guitar and piano while developing his vocal skills in church. Joe’s dream of attending Dillard University in New Orleans to study business and law took a backseat when he opted to relocate to New Jersey in pursuit of a musical career. After notching his first R&B top 10 for Mercury Records in 1993 with “I’m in Luv,” Joe began hitting his stride in the mid-‘90s with the R&B and pop crossover smash “All the Things (Your Man Won’t Do).” An ensuing string of hits—“All That I Am,” “I Wanna Know,” “No One Comes Close”—sealed Joe’s reputation in the 2000s as an R&B superstar. And the seven-time Grammy nominee’s memorable collaborations with Mariah Carey (“Thank God I Found You”), Big Pun (“Still Not a Player”) and G-Unit (“Wanna Get to Know You”) further underscored his musical versatility.
Kevon Edmonds, one of six brothers, formed the group After 7 with his brother Melvin and classmate Keith Mitchell while attending Indiana University in 1988.
Jason joined the group replacing his father Melvin in 2004.
Monica will inarguably be remembered in music as one of the most iconic soul singers of a generation. Her enviable resume detailing extraordinary musical contributions that started professionally at the tenderfoot age of 12 when her first major label deal was signed. Monica’s musical journey started in College Park, Ga., when she began performing with a traveling gospel choir, following in her mother’s footsteps, an incredible church singer herself. While honing her craft competing in as many local talent shows she could find, Monica was discovered by hitmaker Dallas Austin, signed to Arista Records’ distributed label, Rowdy Records and by thirteen became the youngest artist ever to score two back-to-back Billboard #1 chart-topping hit records with “Don’t Take it Personal” (Just one of dem Days) and “Before you Walk Out of My Life.” By the end of 1995, she had taken the world by storm with her unstoppable debut album, “Miss Thang.” Her next album, the 1998 record-breaker “The Boy Is Mine,” was a crossover pop juggernaut as the result of her duet with Brandy; the Rodney Jerkins produced song of the same name. She’s acted on stage and in feature films, contributed to the hit NBC show, “The Voice,” and witnessed her life documented in the BET reality show, “Monica: Still Standing.” And in 2010, Billboard Magazine listed Monica at No. 24 on it’s list of the Top 50 R&B and Hip Hop Artists of the past 25 years.
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