With Michael Jackson and Prince on her resume, does singer/songwriter Judith Hill even have to audition? She laughed at the notion of just walking in on Jennifer Lopez’s live “Bye Bye Birdie” for NBC — or a movie version of “Hamilton” for that matter.
“It’s funny because I have this big musical ballet I’m putting together called ‘Golden Child,’” said the performer who wowed viewers during season four of “The Voice.” “It’s not ‘Hamilton,’ but it’s like a live funk soul concert/modern ballet. It’s a really amazing fusion of the two worlds in telling the story about diversity and unity. So I’m excited to share it with the world down the pipeline.”
It evokes a commonality with “We Are One,” the theme song Hill wrote for this year’s outstanding benefit concert for the Los Angeles Unified School District at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion April 12 which saw her along with Sheila E., Pete Escovedo, Siedah Garrett and 239 students from schools across the district proudly sharing their talents and gifts.
Hill can relate to the students’ thrill as a prodigy from the Santa Clarita school system in the Valencia area.
“I grew up in a very funk-driven house that was about the music,” she said. “My dad used to be the bass player for Billy Preston and a lot of The Family Stone would be at the house. I was just a little kid who was soaking it all up.”
When asked for her essential albums, she was quick to shout out Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain.”
“There are so many Sly and The Family Stone records so I can’t really narrow that down,” Hill added. “I like the Ohio Players, Brothers Johnson. The list could go on. I love the funk.”
The last time Tasty Clips spoke to the stunning vocalist who was featured in the hit documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” was at the final performance of her close friend and collaborator Prince two years ago at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre.
“The whole thing has been really hard,” she said with an understandable tremble. “It was an incredible show. He gave his whole everything. His heart and soul. It was just so deeply rooted. You felt it. It was a powerful night.”
“There are a lot of things I don’t wish to comment on,” she added. “It’s one of those things. Traumatic.”
Up next are two singles she’s releasing — “Abracadabra” and the popping “Pepper Club” — with an album due late summer in conjunction with the musical.
Regarding any future dream collaborations, Hill said she’s been excited to work with a lot of new young artists. “I’ve met some legendary people that have been my idols,” she said. “I’m just grateful to keep meeting incredible talent each day. I just met Bill Withers not too long ago and what an honor. He’s an inspiration.”
As is she.
TICKET ALERT: “National Concert Week” will take place April 30 at 8 a.m. through May 8 with an exclusive $20 all-in ticket offer for fans to shows from Janet Jackson, Kevin Hart, Maroon 5, Steely Dan/The Doobie Brothers and more. Visit NCW.LiveNation.com for details.
Janelle Monáe will tour nationally in support of her new album “Dirty Computer” with tickets on sale for the 27 cities on May 2 at LiveNation.com. She’ll be joined by fellow Wondaland artists Alexe Belle and Isis Valentino, known together as the soulful duo St. Beauty on the dates including L.A. on June 25 at the Greek Theatre.
CLIPPETTES: The remarkable Cicely Tyson will be honored with a hand and footprint ceremony on April 27 during the ninth annual TCM Classic Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theater …
Later that evening, the inaugural “In Stitches: A Night of Laughs with Tracy Morgan and Friends” benefits the Hydrocephalus Association at The Novo …
CHIC’s Nile Rodgers told Pitchfork Radio that the group’s long delayed album “It’s About Time” will definitely be released this year with contributions from Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak, Craig David and Blondie’s Deborah Harry …
Mavis Staples sings at Long Beach’s Carpenter Center on April 28 …
Rick Williamson’s “Combat Nuns All Or Nothing,” starring Dot Marie Jones from “Glee,” is among the offerings at Santa Monica’s Artemis Women In Action Film Festival April 28-29 …
April 29 finds UK Reggae group Steel Pulse at the Fonda Theatre; hip hop vets Eric B & Rakim with Yo Yo at the House of Blues Anaheim; and Justin Timberlake at The Forum …
Mike Epps discusses his new memoir “Unsuccessful Thug” at Santa Monica’s Moss Theater in the Herb Alpert Educational Village on Apr. 30 …
Jazz composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard with The E-Collective are set for two nights of intimate performances May 1–2 at Northridge’s Valley Performing Arts Center …
Vocalese wonders of the world Naturally 7 arrive at the Mint on May 2 in support of their seventh studio album “Both Sides Now.” Among the highlights on the recording are their a cappella renditions of Sting’s “Shape Of My Heart” and Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.“
TASTY QUIP: “No one will say that a woman is getting paid less because she’s a woman of color, but the numbers mostly end up reflecting that.” – PRIYANKA CHOPRA of ABC’s “Quantico” to In Style
TC ON TV: April 27 – “The Week of” (Netflix): Chris Rock and Adam Sandler reunite again for this original film about families at odds. “The Rachel Divide” (Netflix): Ms. Dolezal has her home life filmed post racial revelations. “Live From Lincoln Center” (PBS): Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton”) performs in concert. “International Jazz Day From Cuba” (PBS): Quincy Jones and Will Smith host more than 50 global artists including bassist Esperanza Spalding and Cuban music legend Bobby Carcassés. “David Tutera’s CELEBrations” (WE): Zendaya needs a hand.
April 28 – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN): “Witness to a Killing: Philando’s Fiancé”
April 29 – “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo): “10th Anniversary Special” “United Shades of America” (CNN): W. Kamau Bell begins his third season by looking into “The Border.”
April 30 – “Dancing With The Stars” (ABC): This abbreviated athletes edition features Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Josh Norman, Arike Ogunbowale, Johnny Damon and Tonya Harding. “Very Superstitious with George Lopez” (A&E): The beliefs and rituals of others are explored in this series described as a personal passion project.
May 1 – “Night Train with Wyatt Cenac” (Starz): This marks a second show running concurrently with one for HBO! Not bad for the former “Daily Show” correspondent. “Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s” (OWN): The fifth and final season begins with a special sneak preview before continuing in its regular Saturday time slot.
May 2 – “Being Serena” (HBO): This five-part docu-series airing on Wednesdays chronicles tennis icon Serena Williams during pregnancy and through her steps to return to the courts.
TASTY QUIP: “In failure, there can be success: By that I mean you can learn what not to do. I find the funny in a lot of failures, because I’ve had enough of them.” – TIFFANY HADDISH to W Magazine
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.