By Bill Vaughan
With a concert planned for this week and a new album titled “Love Signals” released, Freddie Jackson is back as proof that the rumors of his demise were premature.
The singer of 11 No. 1 records including “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” “Jam Tonight,” “You Are My Lady” and “Do Me Again,” will perform his hits as part of the Gentlemen of Soul along with Jeffrey Osborne, Howard Hewett, Peabo Bryson and the Whispers at the Microsoft Theater July 20.
“I’ve got a body of work and I’m blessed to be able to say it,” the vocalist told Tasty Clips. “They had me locked, tied and bound in the studio pushing songs out constantly, but I’m grateful. I was just bestowed into the Smithsonian African American Museum. I try to live up to that.”
Back in 1988, he was one of the first to expound on cultural appropriation and how true R&B artists were beginning to be ignored by those who studied the genre.
“I don’t think that’s very fair at all,” he said. “How do we attack this so that we’re not left out? We all need a meeting at the conference table regarding this before we are all sitting somewhere twiddling our thumbs watching ‘Unsung.’”
“They’re labeled the new soul guys. Well what about my soul? Just like everybody else, Freddie Jackson’s soul needs to be fed too. You want to know why I’m losing weight? I’m hungry.”
Fans have been alarmed at how svelte the former plus sized crooner has looked in recent appearances with social media rumors running rampart that he was deathly ill.
He chalks it up to growing older and losing his mother, sister and close friends while going through the struggle of life.
“I’m doing just fine,” said the Harlem native. “I’m 60 years old. I’m not Freddie Jackson singing ‘Rock Me Tonight’ straight out of church and a job eating McDonald’s hamburgers at 29 years old. Eating organically has changed me and I’m OK with it. What is so strange is that most of the people who have so much to say about me losing weight are sitting and busting out of their pants.”
“If you lose weight, you’re dying. If you gain weight, then you’re too big. No one was concerned about my 46-inch waist. [They’d yell] ‘Go Freddie Go!’ But now that I’ve lost weight, I feel good about myself. Yeah, I probably could stand to gain a few more pounds, but I’m moving and shaking. I’m still doing what it is I’m supposed to be doing and if that’s the sign of a dead man, then my God, then we all should die.”
With famous duet partners like show biz mentor Melba Moore and Irene Cara on record, Jackson would love to sing someday with Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Kenny Latimore and Jennifer Hudson.
Of the latter, he said, “I feel she is strong and powerful. It was unfortunate that it was at Whitney [Houston]’s funeral that I met her, but she took me by the hand and we sat down and had a wonderful conversation.”
“Whitney and I were friends and we started in this industry together,” Jackson said. “I kind of suffer every day with the loss of her because she was a really sweet girl. She just had a lot of baggage and it’s very unfortunate.
“I was invited to [the premiere of the documentary “Whitney”], but I wasn’t ready to eulogize her again. So I picked not to go. That’s how much of a friend I can be. A red carpet doesn’t mean that much to me.”
Having a current single, “Without You,” doing well on the charts, he hopes it portends for the return of simple love songs.
“The world right now needs to be embraced,” Jackson said. “Music is a powerful thing. If you can embrace the heart with a melody it will last forever. Kids need to have something to hold on to today as opposed to just a cell phone.”
“That’s why I will truly never ever stop singing a ballad, because somewhere in the midst of it all somebody will hear it and know that love conquers all. It truly does and it still can. I still have love for this thing that I do and it’s called a song. … And I will never let anyone take that away from me.”
CLIPPETTES: For a fascinating look at a pioneering make-up artist, head to the Laemmle Monica Film Center for “Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story.” After this run, the documentary, with appearances by Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Isaac Mizrahi and more, may be seen on digital platforms and on demand July 23. …
EPMD, Doug E. Fresh and Big Daddy Kane lead a Salute to Hip-Hop at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on July 20 …
Sade’s longtime collaborator and band member Stuart Matthewman confirmed that they are in the studio working on a new album …
The 2018 Maxim Hot 100 Experience featuring Future with Kate Upton and Tinashe will be held at the Hollywood Palladium on July 21. Also that day, Salt-N-Pepa, Lisa Lisa and the Village People headline the Freestyle Summer Festival at the Greek Theatre; Bob Baldwin, Jon B, Tom Browne and Rick Parma entertain at the Anaheim Business Expo; and Lalah Hathaway performs at Burton Chace Park as part of the Marina del Rey Free Summer Concert Series …
Bassist/singer Meshell Ndegeocello is in concert at the Blue Whale July 25 …
July 26 finds Goapele at the Skirball Cultural Center; Playboi Carti at the Shrine Expo Hall; Brenda Lee Eager at Culver City Hall; and Lucha VaVOOM, L.A.’s longest running variety show combining Mexican masked wrestling, burlesque and comedy at The Mayan Theater.
TC ON TV: July 20 – “Killjoys” (SYFY): Hannah John-Kamen, so impressive as tortured villain Ghost in “Marvel’s Ant Man & The Wasp,” returns for a fourth season.
July 21 – “Conan” (TBS): Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson and M. Night Shyamalan preview the upcoming film “Split” from Comic Con. The next night, the show will feature Jason Momoa and a first look at DC’s “Aquaman.”
July 22 – “Down For Whatever” (TV1): LeToya Luckett stars as a young doctor who learns that her newly-found biological teen sisters (Bre-Z and Imani Hakim) are ruthless cop killers that her detective husband (Hosea Chanchez) is hunting down. “$100,000 Pyramid” (ABC): Terry Crews vs. Andre Braugher “Shaq Does Shark Week” (DISC): In celebration of its 30th anniversary. “The Morning Show Mystery: Murder On The Menu” (HMC): Holly Robinson Peete and Rick Fox are back in the film series produced by Al Roker.
July 23 – “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” (VH1): The fifth season begins with the return of R&B songstress Kimberly Pate, formerly known as K. Michelle, to the franchise.
July 24 – “Bad Henry” (ID): The 1990s murders in Charlotte, N.C., of 10 young African-American women by serial killer Henry Louis Wallace is documented by the detective turned sheriff Garry McFadden (“I Am Homicide”) who solved the case. “No Passport Required” (PBS): Chicago
July 25 – “Castle Rock” (Hulu): Andre Holland stars in this new psychological-horror anthology series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King. “Colony” (USA): Wayne Brady is shining in a rare dramatic turn on the sci-fi drama.
TASTY QUIP: “We have power. We just don’t recognize it. The power that we have is in our dollars. We are the largest consumer base which means we support companies and make them billions, [yet] we have the least amount of ownership or participation. We have to go to the corporations. Stop spending with them until they press the politicians to press the police to do what we need. To respect our lives and consider us as equals or else they don’t deserve our dollars.” – TIP “T.I.” HARRIS on “BET Genius Talks”
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tastyclips.